Sylabus rozšírených bludov o Povstaní '44 Svedectvá doby Pravda o Povstaní '44 Memoriál pplk. Jána Šmigovského

Very strong criticism of Benes' politics is the work of a university professor of Czech origin, Josef Kalvoda, "The role of Czecho-Slovakia in Soviet strategy". According to this author from Washington, DC, Benes was an intentional agent of Communism. Another critical work founded on documents was written by Miloslav J. Broucek, "Czechoslovak Tragedy", how Czechoslovakia was bolshevisized. Many specialists who studied the penetration of Soviets into Central Europe, were convinced that the sovietization of Czechoslovakia after 1945 was thoroughly planned. Very clear proof for these views was the leading role of Czech Communist Party in the years 1945 - 48. Before Benes' conclusion of a treaty with Stalin in December 1943, the Czech Communists settled in Moscow, and forced Benes to give the Communists four key ministries in the future government of Czecho-Slovakia (Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Interior and Education).

Very well known American journalist, Dorothy Thompson, wrote in 1955 a series of articles in which she severely criticized Benes' politics, especially construction of so-called bridge between the East and West. She said, it was not a serious planning or responsible talk of a diplomat, but building of castles in the air. She compared the position of Czecho-Slovakia with Finland. The situation of Finnish nation in direct neighbourhood of Soviet Union in 1945 was very critical. Finland has lost two wars with the Soviets (1939 and 1944), but when the Finnish Communists tried to introduce Communist system in a coup d'etat, the Finnish president had them arrested. By acting decidedly and without fear, he saved the situation in favour of democracy.

The inevitable end to the Slovak Republic came with the invading Red army in April 1945. In early April, Tiso instructed his secretary, Karol Murin, to go to Munich to seek the help of Cardinal Faulhaber in obtaining asylum for him. At the same time Tiso left Bratislava for Kremsmuenster in Upper Austria. Faulhaber invited Tiso to the monastery at Altoetting near Munich, meanwhile trying to contact the Vatican to work out some arrangements for permanent asylum. However, before this could be accomplished, Tiso was discovered by the American army and, in the following October, handed over to the Czechoslovak authorities. Benes, as well as other Czechs and Slovaks in exile or in underground organizations in Slovakia, had claimed that Tiso and his associates had been traitors. This kind of statement and other accusations were, of course, false. Dr. Tiso, as a priest of Catholic Church, was strongly opposed to Communism, being very well aware of the nature of this perfidious political system based on violence and disrespect for human life.

It was general knowledge among simple people in Slovakia, as well as educated scholars that no government entering into negotiations with Soviet officials could trust the conclusion of any agreement. The Soviets have signed many treaties but kept only those which were useful and profitable for them.

When Dr. Kirschbaum, charge d'affaires of Slovak Government in Switzerland, came to Bratislava on the 4th of August, 1944, the political and military situation in Central Europe was very serious. He was well acquainted with many European diplomats in Bern: Papal Nuncio, representatives of the Swiss Foreign Affairs Department, Bulgarian envoy Kioseivanov, Spanish envoy, Finnish and Irish charge d'affaires. He gave the President every diplomat's opinion and added his own observation to that, including the survey of the daily Swiss press and radio commentary.

An element in the opposition from the time the Germans began to lose the war, was in the Slovak Officer Corps, namely some officers at the head of the Slovak Army who previously served in the Czechoslovak Army. A number of these Officers were of Czechoslovak spirit, Lutherans, some were former Legionnaires, and many were married to Czechs. In 1944 when the defeat of Germany appeared almost a certainty, Catlos, the Defence Minister, felt it imperative for Slovakia to get on the winning side before the war was over. He devised a scheme whereby Slovakia could switch sides by declaring war against Hungary, which he reasoned would be very popular. Tiso rejected the proposal, saying he would have nothing to do with the Soviets or with the re-creation of a Czechoslovak Republic.

This resistance movement was no secret to Tiso or anyone in Slovakia. In the first years of the Slovak state, the resistance did not pose any serious problems to Tiso, but toward the end of the war the resistance gathered strength. The guerrilla formations swelled in 1943 and 1944 by the influx of Soviet and other foreign "partizan" units so that by August of 1944 there were some forty guerrilla units, some very small, some larger, operating in the mountains of Slovakia. The actual uprising of August-September 1944, was a joint one involving Communists and non-Communists alike in co-operation with the dissatisfied elements in the Slovak Army.

The proclamation of Slovak independence was received generally with joy and jubilation. It was indeed a historical moment, long-lasting dream of many Slovak generations. Of course, there were some people who were filled with fear and apprehension. The sky over Central Europe was becoming cloudy because Hitler came up with some new demands addressed to Poland. The German port Danzing and Polish corridor dividing East and West Prussia was to be incorporated into the Third Reich.

The main preoccupation of the young Slovak State was the diplomatic recognition by neighbour states and big powers. Within a few days and months, Slovakia was recognized by 27-30 states; among others, Vatican, Soviet Union, Germany, France, England, Italy, Hungary, Poland, etc. Slovaks knew that independence was partly due to the Slovak struggle of many generations, but partly as the result of international situation and Hitler's intervention. President Dr. Tiso challenged the nation to unite and build its own State. The Slovak people followed his proclamations and speeches with serious efforts to improve living conditions, construct new railways, highways, hydroelectric plants, etc. The Slovaks formed and maintained their own army, coinage, postage, national banner, thus the country took on all the appearances of a fully independent state.

Im August 1944 brach in der Slowakei eine Militärrevolte aus, die angeblich gegen die Deutschen, den Faschismus und für die Erneuerung der Tschechoslowakei gerichtet sollte. In dieser Zeit ist die Slowakei noch nicht von deutschen Truppen okkupiert worden und in wahrem Sinne des Wortes war hier auch kein wirklicher Faschismus. Für die Erneuerung der Tschechoslowakei setzt sich eine geringe Zahl der Slowaken ein. Trotzdem war die Revolte anfänglich ganz erfolgreich und verbreitete sich an mehr als die Hälfte des Territoriums der Slowakei.

Die wahre Beweggründe für den Aufstand waren die raschen sowjetischen Offensiven und die fortschreitende Vorahnung der Niderlage des Deutschlands. Die Revolte ist in derselber Zeit, als Rumänien (23. August), Finnland (2. September) und Bulgarien kapitulierten, ausgebrochen worden. Aber im Unterschied zu diesen Ländern, die sich nach der Wende der Kriegskoalition, ihre nationale Unabhängigkeit bewahrt haben, die Organisatoren des Aufstandes in der Slowakei – protschechisch orientierte Politiker, Armeeoffiziere und die Kommunisten – ein unbegreiflicher, beispielloser Schritt getan haben; sie haben törichterweise dem Selbstbestimmungsrecht der Slowaken entsagt und gegen den eigenen Staat bewaffnete Hand erhoben haben. Im Sommer 1944 haben die Aufstandsinitiatoren den Sowjeten das Angebot, die Karpatenbergpässe für die Rote Armee freilegen lassen, gemacht, um sie eine unverhinderte rasche Offensive bis zu den Toren Wiens führen könnten. Die Russen lehnten aber diese Initiative ab, sowie auch jede Militäraktion, die mit den Slowaken koordinieren sollte. Statt dessen haben sie die, für Partisanenkampf ausgebildeten Fallschirmjäger in der Mittelslowakei ausgesetzt. Mitte August operierten in diesen gebirgigen Landschaft zirka 2000 Partizanen. Diese leiteten schnell die Verbindung mit der lokalen Opposition und mit verschiedenen Flüchtlinge aus deutschen Konzentrationslager ein. Weil die Slowakei dammals nicht von Deutschland okupiert wurde, die Partisanen richteten ihre Gewalttätigkeit gegenüber den unbewaffneten Volksdeutschen und den Räpresentanten des Staatsapparat der Slowakischen Republik. Die Sabotageakte waren an die Zerstörung der Brücken, Tunnels, Verkehrsader und an die wichtigen Militärobjekte gezielt. Solche Objekte waren meistens nicht bewacht worden und ihre Destruktion war eine leichte Aufgabe, was später die Partisanen als Heldentaten dargestellt haben. Diese Taten haben schliesslich eine Vergeltung mitgebracht. Am 29. August 1944 hat General Ferdinand Čatloš als Verteidigungsminister in seiner Rundfunksrede bekanntgegeben die Berufung der deutschen Streitkräfte um die Lage im Land zu beruhigen und das Recht und die Ordnung wiederherzustellen. Folgender Tag Oberst Ján Golian, einer von Militärsführer des Aufstandes erliess den Befehl zum allgemeinene Aufstand.

In august 1944 an armed rebellion occurred in Slovakia allegedly against the Germans, the Fascism an for the restoration of Czecho–Slovakia. At that time there were no German troops in Slovakia, there was no Fascism to speak of, and those Slovaks who genuinely desired the restoration of Czecho–Slovakia were very few in numbers. Yet the rebellion was initially quite successful and it spread over more than a half of Slovak territory.

The real motives behind this uprising were the rapid advance of the Red Army and the approaching defeat of Germany. The revolt errupted at the same time as the capitulation of Rumania (23rd August), Finland (2nd September) and Bulgaria (5th September). But while these countries in changing sides retained their national independence, the perpetrators of the Slovak uprising – the Czech–leaing politi–cians, army officers and Communists – took an unheard of and unprecedented step: they foolishly renounced their national birthright and took up arms to fight against their own state.

In the summer of 1944 the military organisers of the revolt approached the Russians with an off er to open the Carpathian passes to the Red Army and to enable them an unimpeded and rapid advance to the very gates of Vienna. But the Russians refused to commit themselves to this proposal, or to any coordinated action with the Slovaks. Instead they dropped several groups of trained partisans over Central Slovakia. These partisans were soon joined by the local dissidents and various refugees from the German POW–camps. In mid–August 1944 there were some 2 000 partisans roaming the montainous terrain of Central Slovakia. Since there were no German troops in Slovakia, the partisans directed their querilla activities against the unarmed indigeneous German population and the represen–tatives of Slovak state administration. Their acts of Sabotage involted the destruction of bridges, tunnels, railways and other objects of military importance. Since these object were unprotected and unguarded, there was no risk or danger involted and no heroism required for these missions.

In the last days of August 1944, Slovakia, a peaceful island in war-ravaged Europe, suddenly became a theatre of war. There occurred an armed rebellion against the Slovak Republic sponsored by Czech-leaning politicians, ambitious army officers and communists. On the pages of the world press the incident passed almost unnoticed; if it appeared it was completely lost alongside such events as the gallant stand of the Poles in the Warsaw rising (August-September), the Allied landing on the south coast of France (August 15), the fall of Paris (August 23), the capitulation of Rumania (August 23), the Finnish withdrawal from the war (September 2), the Soviet declaration of war on Bulgaria (September 5), etc. While on a world scale the Slovak uprising was an insignificant development (e. g. there is no reference to it in the 'Chronology of the Second World War' published by the Royal Institute of International Affairs), on the Slovak scale it was an undertaking of vast dimensions. It started spectacularly; in the first days it spread over more than a half of Slovak territory and, by the time it was liquidated with the help of the German troops at the end of October 1944, it had cost Slovakia some 40,000 dead, immense material losses and irreparable losses in terms of human suffering. It failed largely because of its untimely start, confused leadership and lack of popular appeal.