K niektorým politicko-spoločenským otázkam vývoja Slovenska v rokoch 1935 - 1938

Political and Societal Problems in Slovakia from 1935 until 1938

The situation in Slovakia from the mid 1930s was influenced mostly by weakening effects of the Great Depression and the threatening signals coming from the Nazi Germany. Handling of those phenomenon was the basic task for the government. Its urgency was growing due to the pressure from abroad which was a threat for the territorial integrity and even the existence of the Czechoslovak Republic. The problem of attitude toward the organization of the state security was coming out like never before. Opinions about international affairs, allied agreements and about great powers were culminating. Pacifistic views and illusions gave way radically and there was a general positive attitude towards the moves aiming to increase the security of the republic. To the direct outcomes of the growing tension belonged several security arrangements, for example more attention to foreign citizens in the republic, setting up of wiretapping services which became an important source for political information etc. In this context, the importance of Slovakia for the republic was growing. Even foreign press started to pay more attention to the situation in Slovakia and focused on the activities of the Slovak autonomists. Good example was the campaign before the local election in May and June 1938 or the two biggest demonstrations of the inter-war period in Bratislava from the 5th and the 6th of June. German, Hungarian and Polish press used those events for their fierce campaign against the Czechoslovak state. Especially Germany was very active in its anti-Czechoslovak tone and the attempts to influence population around the world by its propaganda. There were polemic battles going on even in the domestic press which led to the radicalization of citizens. The civic consciousness was strengthening by the activities of societies which mirrored the colourful cultural, confessional, social and political stratification of the population. They made Slovak society more open to impulses and influence from abroad. Young generation started to be very active in public and political life. Regardless of their sympathies for particular political movements, they were the dynamo which electrified the national self-confidence of the society. The young generation called for industrialization of Slovakia that could in their eyes eliminate cultural and historical differences between the Czech lands and Slovakia. They also demanded the liquidation of centralism, supported strengthening of self-government and solutions for social problems. All those elements influenced the attitude of the Slovak society during the crisis in the autumn of 1938.