Author Topic: The History and Coinage of the First Slovak Republic  (Read 822 times)

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Offline <k>

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Re: The History and Coinage of the First Slovak Republic
« Reply #30 on: April 10, 2018, 10:47:28 PM »
A little more history now. To gain some time as he prepared to attack the Soviet Union, Hitler now made friendly overtures to Stalin. The Georgian responded favourably, in the hope that Germany would now turn against the West instead of the USSR and that the two would exhaust each other. On 23rd August 1939, Vyacheslav Molotov and Joachim von Ribbentrop – the Soviet foreign minister and the German foreign minister – signed the Treaty of Non-aggression between Germany and the USSR, otherwise known as the Nazi-Soviet Pact. In secret protocols, the two powers had planned to divide Europe up between then, into separate spheres of influence.

On 1st September 1939, Nazi Germany attacked western Poland, while the Soviet Union attacked from the east. The two countries split Poland between them. Slovakia was the only Axis nation other than Germany to take part in the Polish Campaign. The Wehrmacht had requested the assistance of Slovakia beforehand. Although the Slovak military was only six months old, it formed a small mobile combat group consisting of a number of infantry and artillery battalions. Two combat groups were created for the campaign in Poland for use alongside the Germans, and these two groups fought while pushing through the Nowy Sącz and Dukla Mountain Passes, advancing towards Dębica and Tarnów in the region of southern Poland.

The Slovak military also participated in the war on the Eastern Front against the Soviet Union, which Hitler launched in June 1941. Slovakia issued a set of surcharged charity stamps for the benefit of the participants.

Offline <k>

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Re: The History and Coinage of the First Slovak Republic
« Reply #31 on: April 12, 2018, 01:29:43 PM »
Like other fascist, semi-fascist and authoritarian right-wing parties of the 1930s and 1940s, the Slovak People's Party had its own uniformed youth wing. This was named the Hlinka Youth, after Andrej Hlinka, the founder of the Slovak People's Party. Its members wore uniforms similar to those of the Italian Fascist youth section, Opera Nazionale Balilla.

Offline <k>

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Re: The History and Coinage of the First Slovak Republic
« Reply #32 on: April 12, 2018, 01:46:14 PM »
The Hlinka Guard was the elite paramilitary organisation of the Slovak People's Party. It carried out functions similar to those of the Nazi SS and Gestapo. Throughout its years of existence, the Hlinka Guard competed with the Slovak People's Party for primacy in ruling the country. It represented the radical, pro-Nazi wing of the party, whereas Jozef Tiso was a standard old-fashioned Catholic authoritarian.

In 1942, the Hlinka Guard headed deportations of Slovak Jews to Nazi concentration camp of Auschwitz. The Guard would regularly make round ups for Jews in the spring and summer months. Deportation of the Jews by the Hlinka Guard led to confiscation of Jewish property,  some of which was distributed to individual members of the Hlinka Guard. When it later transpired that Slovakian Jews had been murdered in Auschwitz, Tiso claimed that he had thought his deported Jewish citizens were simply being used for forced labour, and he then ordered a halt to their deportation.

Offline <k>

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Re: The History and Coinage of the First Slovak Republic
« Reply #33 on: April 12, 2018, 01:59:09 PM »
Slovakian stamps of 1942, depicting the Hlinka Youth.

Offline <k>

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Re: The History and Coinage of the First Slovak Republic
« Reply #34 on: April 12, 2018, 02:17:51 PM »




Vojtech Lázar "Béla" Tuka (1880 – 1946) was the Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the First Slovak Republic between 1939 and 1945. Tuka was one of the main forces behind the deportation of Slovak Jews to Nazi concentration camps in German occupied Poland. He was the leader of the radical wing of the Slovak People's Party.

The "Salzburg Summit", concluded between Slovakia and Nazi Germany in Salzburg, Austria on 28 July 1940, resulted in closer collaboration with Germany, and in Tuka and other political leaders increasing their powers, at the expense of Tiso's original concept of a Catholic corporate state.  The agreement called for dual command by the Slovak People’s Party and the Hlinka Guard, and also an acceleration in Slovakia's anti-Jewish policies. Tiso accepted these changes in subsequent conversation with Hitler, and two state agencies were created to deal with "Jewish affairs".

On 3 September 1940, Tuka led the Slovak Assembly to enact Constitutional Law 210, a law authorizing the government to do everything necessary to exclude Jews from the economic and social life of the country. That November, on the 24th, Tuka and von Ribbentrop signed a protocol entering Slovakia into alliance with Germany, Japan, and Italy. Tuka composed the Ordinance Judenkodex (Codex Judaicus, or Jewish Code) of 9 September 1941, which comprised 270 articles comprehensively denying rights to Slovak Jews. The Code was longer than the Slovak Constitution. It required that Jews wear the yellow star, annulled all debts owed to Jews, confiscated Jewish property, and expelled Jews from Bratislava, the Slovak capital.

In 1942, Tuka strongly advocated the deportation of Slovakia's Jewish population to the eastern Nazi concentration camps. Twenty thousand Jews were to be deported under the German resettlement scheme, for which the Slovak government was to pay five hundred Reichsmark per deportee. Tiso was perfectly aware of the deportations. Hitler commented, "It is interesting how this little Catholic priest Tiso is sending us the Jews!" Between 25 March and 20 October 1942, Slovakia sent about 57,700 Jews to Nazi concentration camps. The deportation of Slovak Jews was halted in October 1942. Tuka told his ministers that Slovakia's economy could not withstand continued deportation of the Jews. However, in September 1944, the deportation of Slovak Jews was resumed; by the end of the war in April 1945, about 13,500 additional Jews were deported.

Offline <k>

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Re: The History and Coinage of the First Slovak Republic
« Reply #35 on: April 12, 2018, 02:20:13 PM »
In the early stages of the state, there was something of a power struggle behind the scenes between the conservative Tiso and the extremist pro-Nazi Tuka. Tiso eventually exerted his control over the Hlinka Guard, though he did sign Hitler's Tripartite Pact, sending his troops to fight alongside the Nazis in 1941. Generally Hitler preferred to keep moderates in power in his satellite states, because they were respected by the population and were less volatile than the local pro-Nazi extremists and therefore easier to control. Even after Germany occupied Slovakia in the final stages of the war, Hitler made no attempt to place the real extremists in control.

Below you see some Slovakian charity stamps of 1943, in aid of the military.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2018, 04:04:00 PM by <k> »

Offline <k>

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Re: The History and Coinage of the First Slovak Republic
« Reply #36 on: April 12, 2018, 04:23:51 PM »
On 13 March 1944, a silver 50 korun coin was issued to commemorate the fifth anniversary of the Slovak Republic. It featured a portrait of Jozef Tiso, similar to the one that appeared on the 20 korun of 1939. The legend translates as "Faithful together, forward together."

Offline <k>

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Re: The History and Coinage of the First Slovak Republic
« Reply #37 on: April 12, 2018, 04:31:01 PM »
On 10 August 1944, a silver 10 korun was issued in honour of Prince Pribina. Pribina was the first ruler of Slavic origin to build a Christian church on Slavic territory in Nitra and also the first to accept baptism. He died in the year 861.

Pribina is depicted in the centre of the design, with Bishop Adalram of Salzburg to his left and Louis the German to his right. "Knieza" is Slovak for "Prince".

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Re: The History and Coinage of the First Slovak Republic
« Reply #38 on: April 12, 2018, 04:52:35 PM »
But the end was near. The Slovak National Uprising was an armed insurrection organized by the Slovak resistance movement. It was launched on 29 August 1944 from Banská Bystrica in an attempt to resist German troops that had occupied Slovak territory and to overthrow the collaborationist government of Jozef Tiso. Although the resistance was largely defeated by German forces, guerrilla operations continued until the Soviet Army, Czechoslovak Army and Romanian Army liberated Slovakia in 1945.

Jewish deportations resumed on 30 September 1944, when the Soviet army reached the Slovak border. Hitler then decided to occupy all of Slovakia and the country lost its independence. During the German occupation, another 13,500 Jews were deported and 5,000 were imprisoned. Deportations continued until 31 March 1945. In all, German and Slovak authorities deported about 70,000 Jews from Slovakia; about 65,000 of them were murdered or died in concentration camps. The overall figures are inexact, partly because many Jews did not identify themselves, but one 2006 estimate is that approximately 105,000 Slovak Jews, or 77% of their pre-war population, died during the war.

Below is a stamp issue of October 1944, entitled "National Protection". It reflects a regime that is in despair and is expecting the end.

Offline <k>

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Re: The History and Coinage of the First Slovak Republic
« Reply #39 on: April 12, 2018, 05:00:08 PM »
The German troops were gradually pushed out by the Red Army and Romanian and Czechoslovak troops coming from the east. The liberated territories became de facto part of Czechoslovakia again.

The First Slovak Republic ceased to exist de facto on 4 April 1945 when the Red Army captured Bratislava and occupied all of Slovakia. De jure it ceased to exist when the exiled Slovak government capitulated to General Walton Walker, who was leading the XX Corps of the 3rd US Army on 8 May 1945 in the Austrian town of Kremsmünster. In summer 1945, the captured former president and members of former government were handed over to Czechoslovak authorities.

Tiso lost all remnants of power when the Soviet Army conquered the last parts of western Slovakia in April 1945. He fled first to Austria, then to a Capuchin monastery in Altötting, Bavaria. In June 1945, he was arrested by the Americans and extradited to the reconstituted Czechoslovakia to stand trial in October 1945. On 15 April 1947, the Czechoslovak National Court found him guilty of many (but not all) of the allegations against him, and sentenced him to death for "state treason, betrayal of the antifascist partisan insurrection and collaboration with Nazism". Tiso appealed to the Czechoslovak President Edvard Beneš and expected a reprieve; his prosecutor had recommended clemency. However no reprieve was forthcoming. Wearing his clerical outfit, Tiso was hanged in Bratislava on 18 April 1947. The Czechoslovak government buried him secretly to avoid having his grave become a shrine.



By 1943, Vojtech Tuka's health had deteriorated to a point where his political activities were significantly diminished and at the beginning of 1944, he was planning his resignation. After negotiations about his successor, he resigned on September 5, 1944, a few days after the outbreak of the Slovak National Uprising. Tuka was replaced by Štefan Tiso (a distant relative of president Jozef Tiso). From then on, Tuka no longer took part in Slovak political life.

At the end of the war, having already suffered a stroke which tied him to his wheelchair, Tuka emigrated together with his wife, nursing attendants and personal doctor to Austria, where he was arrested by Allied troops following the capitulation of Germany and handed over to the officials of the renewed Czechoslovakia. Following a brief trial, Vojtech Tuka was executed by hanging on August 20, 1946.

Offline <k>

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Re: The History and Coinage of the First Slovak Republic
« Reply #40 on: April 12, 2018, 05:10:34 PM »

Edvard Beneš



After World War II, pre-war Czechoslovakia was re-established, with the exception of Subcarpathian Ruthenia, which was annexed by the Soviet Union and incorporated into the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic. The Beneš decrees were promulgated concerning ethnic Germans (see Potsdam Agreement) and ethnic Hungarians. Under the decrees, citizenship was abrogated for people of German and Hungarian ethnic origin who had accepted German or Hungarian citizenship during the occupations. In 1948, this provision was cancelled for the Hungarians, but only partially for the Germans. The government then confiscated the property of the Germans and expelled about 90% of the ethnic German population, over 2 million people. Those who remained were collectively accused of supporting the Nazis after the Munich Agreement, as 97.32% of Sudeten Germans had voted for the NSDAP in the December 1938 elections. Almost every decree explicitly stated that the sanctions did not apply to antifascists. Some 250,000 Germans, many married to Czechs, some antifascists, and also those required for the post-war reconstruction of the country, remained in Czechoslovakia.

In the 1946 parliamentary election, the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia was the winner in the Czech lands, and the Democratic Party won in Slovakia. A coalition was formed, but the Communists controlled the police and packed it with their party members. In February 1948 the Communists seized power. Although they would maintain the fiction of political pluralism through the existence of the National Front, except for a short period in the late 1960s (the Prague Spring) the country had no liberal democracy. In 1989, the Velvet Revolution restored democracy.

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Re: The History and Coinage of the First Slovak Republic
« Reply #41 on: April 12, 2018, 05:14:00 PM »
In this topic, I have quoted Wikipedia extensively, sometimes abridged, but mixed with my own words. I have presented it in the way I thought best, but it is impossible to do justice to the subject, even in a relatively long topic.



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See also: War time patterns of the First Slovak Republic.

 
« Last Edit: April 12, 2018, 07:44:38 PM by <k> »