The Slovak National Party and Fascism during the Interwar Period

Slovenská národná strana a fašizmus v medzivojnovom období

Attitude of Slovak National Party (SNS) to fascism during the interwar period was determined by its basic political principle – nationalism, as well as by its political and ideological construct, through which the party interpreted situation at home and abroad. The view of SNS was that after WW I the political shift to the left together with internationalism led to increased preferences of class interests and less accent to the needs of the whole nation. SNS, in terms of this construct and as a result of government policy and programs of its parties which supported professional and international principles, considered worsening economic and social impact of economic crisis as well as a significant influx of the population in Slovakia to the ideas of left-wing radicalism. The party perceived Fascism as a response to these conditions. According to SNS, this ideology declared to solve the problems of the whole national community and not only partials problems of classes.
In addition to nationalist themes of the Italian Fascism, SNS dealt during the 1920s with other elements of its ideology, e. g. anti-communism, anti-liberalism or conservatism. In this sense, the party positively assessed the social and political program of Czech fascism. A key point of possible co-operation between SNS and Czech powers leaning to fascism (especially NOF) was their attitude to the problem of Slovak national independence. Since this issue remained unsolved, the co-operation was not widely developed. SNS inspired by Italian example set up its own organization JSJ, but it was not successful.
Attitude of SNS to fascism at the turn of the 1920s and the 1930s was developed under the influence of a progressively aggressive Fascist and Nazi policies. The party highlighted the fact that nationalism in the practical politics of nation states – Italy and Germany – led to a clear threat not only for the persecution of the domestic population, but also to a threat for political stability in Europe and in the world built on the Versailles peace system. In general, these undemocratic states used the aggressive nationalism and aggressive policy that could have had negative consequences for the security of the states built on security principles guaranteed after WW I.
Evolution of the SNS to fascism led from affection and sympathies to rejection of nationalist politics of aggressive states. It led to urgent appeal to the world powers not to accept revisionist demands which could initiate dangerous precedents in international politics. These demands could also damage the post-war order and could have become a threat for stability and security of the Czechoslovak Republic including Slovakia as its part.