Facts about Slovakia

Central Europe


Parliamentary republic




49,035 sq km

CET / GMT+1.00


History of Slovakia

Slovakia After World War II

On April 5, 1945 the Kosice Government Program reconstituted the Czechoslovak Republic as a common state of two equal nations. The Slovak National Council became Slovakia’s supreme body of state power. A centralized state model was rooted in the Constitution from May 9, 1945. On October 24, 1945 President Benes issued the Decrees about nationalization of key national industries and banks. Consequently, totalitarian regime was established shortly after the Communists under the leadership of Klement Gottwald seized the political power on February 25, 1948. Totalitarianism in Czechoslovakia was characterized by merciless persecutions of the real or fabricated enemies of the regime, collectively called the Class Enemy. In the politically motivated trials, 232 prisoners received death penalty and 178 were prosecuted. The Communist “witch hunt” for the “enemy within” did not spare Church dignitaries either.

Czechoslovak Socialist Republic

The 1960 constitutional law declared socialism the economic system of the newly renamed Czechoslovak Socialist Republic. Alexander Dubcek who advocated a reform program called “Socialism With Human Face” led the new reformist wing in the leading Communist Party.

Occupation of Czechoslovakia by the Warsaw Pact Troops

The attempt to liberate the country in the spirit of Dubcek’s socialism was soon dismissed by the invasion of five member states of the Warsaw Pact (USSR, East Germany, Poland, Hungary, and Bulgaria). The armed forces entered our country on August 21, 1968 (approximately 500,000 soldiers, 2000 cannons, 800 air force planes, 6000 tanks, and special air force units). Reproachful public across the country greeted Warsaw Pact troops with demonstrations and arguments about absurdity of the Soviet invasion. By the end of September 1968, the Warsaw Pact soldiers killed a total of 94 people. Ultimately, the only successful outcome of the political change initiatives was the constitutional law of federation from October 27, 1968. Political changes also affected the leadership of the dominant Communist Party when all reform-supporting representatives were removed from their offices and expelled from the Communist Party. On April 17, 1969, Gustav Husak became a first secretary of the Central Committee of the Czechoslovak Communist Party. In 1970s the process of Normalization began, and Husak was elected the President of Czechoslovakia in 1975. As a result of Normalization, more than 10, 000 citizens emigrated.  To support the Slovaks living abroad, the Slovak World Congress was founded in the United States in 1970.  Similarly, the Catholic Church opened the Slovak Institute of St. Cyril and Methodius in Rome.

Slovakia and the World War II History of Slovakia Present Slovakia

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