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

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.

President Tiso formally asked Hitler to guarantee the independence of Slovakia and the integrity of her territory. A treaty known as "Schutzvertrag" (Protection Treaty) was worked out and signed by Minister Ribbentrop and President Tiso on March 18th. The treaty stated that Germany would protect the political independence of Slovakia. The Gentians were given the right to garrison troops and build military fortifications in an area defined as Western Borders along the Lower Carpathians, White Carpathians and Javornik Mountains. The treaty also contained a secret protocol outlining a programme for close economic cooperation between Slovakia and the Reich.

Slovak troops participated in the military campaign against Poland, but on a very minor scale and, in return, received the districts ceded to Poland by Prague in 1920 and usurped from Slovakia in 1938. Dr. Tiso refused the German offer of expanding Slovak territory in Tatra Mountains on Polish side, Zakopane and the surrounding area. Although Slovakia has lost 11,000 square miles in favour of Hungary in November 1938, Slovak farmers worked diligently and produced more cereals than was needed for domestic consumption. Some of it could be exported to Switzerland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and others.

In July 1939, a constitution, combining the features of the liberal State, authoritarianism and Christian principles was drafted and ratified. Accordingly, most power was granted to the Parliament; state president was to be elected by it for a term of seven years. He, in turn, could appoint and dismiss ministers, was commander-in-chief of the army. Slovak parliament elected Tiso as President on October 26, 1939. He was not enthusiastic about accepting this office, but he assumed the position only out of a sense of obligation to the Slovak people.

On December 5, 1939, Pope Pius XII sent a letter of congratulations to Dr. Tiso which seemed to express at least some support of Tiso's election. Tiso's strength came from the Church, the Slovak people and the Slovak People's Party. To keep his authority in the Party, Tiso placed young, reliable men into key party positions. In 1939, for example, he nominated the 26-year old Dr. Kirschbaum for the Secretary Generalship of the Party, and later the 28-year old Dr. Pauco, Editor-in-chief of Slovak, official newspaper of Tiso's government.

Dr. Tiso was a man of clean character, extraordinary intelligence, crystallized views. All his exceptional spiritual gifts and personal energy, he willingly placed into the service of his nation when the necessity called for it. He was aware that Slovak independence, which came about on the 14th of March 1939, was the result of great work of many Slovak generations. He knew very well the course of Slovak history, importance of Christianity, and therefore, with all his personality clung to Christian tradition of our nation. In his speeches, he was not afraid to refer to Christian philosophy which should be the basis of the Slovak national philosophy. He was thoroughly convinced that the Slovaks do not need to import foreign doctrines like Nazism, Communism and Fascism, but Christianity would suffice.

Political statesmanlike work of Dr. Tiso was aimed exclusively at well-being of Slovak nation. Within its state borders our nation should prove its life preserving instinct, self-sufficiency.

In international relations Slovak Republic merited respect and diplomatic recognition of at least 27 states. In economic production, though on reduced territory by Viennese arbitration, Slovak farmers demonstrated their diligence and love of their country. They listened and took to heart Dr. Tiso's challenge by producing enough cereals for domestic consumption and export to other countries. The Slovak crown was a hard currency, called Danubian dollar. Dr. Matura confirmed this during Tiso's trial.

In logical thinking of Dr. Tiso and many of his followers it was very clear that as Slovak nation existed, equally a Slovak State had to exist (the very existence of Slovak State was justified). It was a logical conclusion of natural law and God-given right of an individual and consequently also of individuality of Slovak nation.

In social thinking and doctrine of Christian socialism, where workers should be shareholders in factories and other enterprises, Dr. Tiso preceded European and world development. A worker deserving his pay was much less than a worker as shareholder in factories.

President Tiso practised state politics in geographic and international situations when Second World War was raging. In this game of contradictory forces and interests he defended the Slovak nation and its State as best as he could. Nobody was executed under his regime. Compare this highly human record with executions of many thousand victims during the inhuman system of Benes, Gottwald, Zapotocky, Novotny, Husak from 1945 till 1989. This diabolical Communist regime represents one of the worst periods of barbarism not only in Slovak history but also of Central Europe since Tatar invasion of 1241.

In Switzerland about 30 individuals who threatened the state security during Second World War were executed. Dr. Tiso decidedly opposed Communism and warned Slovak nation against this satanlc system. Benes had him condemned and executed because Dr. Tiso was a living symbol of Slovak State and a resolute adversary of Communism. Benes blindly aspired Stalin's socialism and became its deliberate agent and propagator.

President Tiso was a Slovak patriot of highest rank, protected Slovak nation and lives of its citizens. He refused to declare a general mobilization of Slovak army in 1943, when German Marshal William Keitel demanded this of him in Bratislava. He argued very logically that Slovakia was a small country and not a direct member of Axis Berlin-Rome-Tokyo. Not even Italy declared a general mobilization. Marshal Keitel had to leave without achieving his goal.

While serving as president, Tiso continued his priestly duties. He said Mass every day and on Saturdays, unless detained with business in Bratislava, drove to Banovce to be with his parishioners on Sunday.

Tiso was a man of the people, never forgetting his peasant origin. He did not place himself above the people or draw any distance between himself and the masses. There was little aloofness about him or affectation in his manner. He felt at home among the people and could easily relate to them. Tiso never evoked the kind of mass hysteria Hitler did. He walked freely about the streets of Bratislava without a bodyguard, and when asked about this, he only replied "Why should I be afraid, these are my people." The author of these lines saw Dr. Tiso three times walking from the presidential palace, passing by the Trinity church towards the parliament, window shopping on the way. It was his personal manner, sincerity and dedication which the people admired. Tiso was at first the symbol of the Slovak state. Until 1941 at the outbreak of the war against Russia, Tiso's supporters contend that a vast majority of the people supported Tiso.

Sandorfi, R.: History of Slovakia. (Survey). Toronto-Bratislava : Zahraničná Matica slovenská, 1996. s. 207-211.