Facts about Slovakia

Central Europe


Parliamentary republic




49,035 sq km

CET / GMT+1.00


History of Slovakia

Slovakia and the World War I

The “Great War” grouped the rival countries into two major alliances: the Central Powers (Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Turkey) and the Entente Powers (Britain, France, and Russia). After the war began in 1914, Slovak politicians proclaimed so-called passive politics; nevertheless, Slovak soldiers were drafted to fight for the Emperor on the side of the Central Powers. Heaviest casualties were reported at the Eastern Front in Halic and in southern Italy on Piava River, where almost 70, 000 Slovaks died in the battle. Fortunately, the war did not spread to the Slovak territories even though the Russian troops had seized the east of Slovakia (Bardejov, Zborov, Svidnik, Snina, Humenne, Medzilaborce) at the end of the year 1914. The Carpathian battles took place in winter 1914-1915. Slovak soldiers were humble but brave, modest and compliant; therefore, they were often deployed to the most hostile territories of the frontlines. They suffered from starvation and cold weather and often fell prey to bullying army officers.

Any anti-war protest had been suppressed. Many Slovak nationals who opposed the War faced imprisonment for their beliefs or were constantly monitored by the police. Women stayed at home and worked in fields or in factories. Some merchants sold merchandise for high prices; corrupted public notaries accepted bribes in return for a promise that a soldier would be temporarily released from the battle line. Thus a new social group of nouveau riche formed in Slovakia.

Public was appalled when church bells were melted to make cannons for the war.  The towns supporting the Army trade prospered. At that time Slovak activists abroad were determined to end Hungarian supremacy and create a centralized state of the Czechs and Slovaks. Thus on May 30, 1918 the Pittsburg Agreement was signed in the United States (agreement signed by the Czech and Slovak associations about the autonomy of Slovakia in the newly formed Czechoslovakia). The Czech and Slovak resistance movement abroad had its seat in France. Its main representatives and founders were T. G. Masaryk and Slovak M. R .Stefanik – a politician, an astronomer, and a pilot who organized the Czechoslovak legions (voluntary troops of almost 100,000 soldiers serving abroad but especially in Russia.

Slovakia National Aspirations History of Slovakia First Czechoslovak Republic

HomeContactTourist GuideDisclaimerReviews