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

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.

Catlos worked out an agreement with the Soviets whereby, when the Red Army approached the Slovak borders, the Slovak Army and guerrillas would attack the Germans and allow Russians to quickly occupy Slovakia. This Catlos reasoned would save Slovakia from becoming a battleground. September 15 was suggested by Catlos to the Russians as the approximate date for the beginning of the operation. A group of guerrillas in Turiec and a few army officers, though, became impatient and triggered off a premature action which ended in disaster. Catlos fled to Banska Bystrica where he was arrested and Tiso appointed General Turanec in his stead as Commander-in-Chief of the Slovak Army. Tiso was hoping that the rebellion would somehow disintegrate by itself. Tiso knew that Slovak forces alone could not handle the situation and that Germans were determined to enter Slovakia, so he took Hubitzky's advice and called in German troops. This was perhaps one of the most controversial decisions of Tiso's political career. In a radio broadcast to the Slovak people, Tiso said that the Germans had come to restore order. At the same time Tiso accepted Ludin's proposal and demobilized the Slovak Army. German troops and S.S. units smashed the revolt which cost many dead and destroyed some sixty villages. The exact number of partisans killed during the uprising reached several thousands. On both sides rather cruel actions accompanied the military intervention. By December, 1944, 18,000 people had been arrested many of whom were shipped to German concentration camps. After the war 3,131 people were uncovered in mass graves in Slovakia revealing the real horrors of the rebellion.

The uprising failed for several reasons. It was begun prematurely and was poorly coordinated. The leadership, which was composed of both Communists and Democrats, was not in agreement with its political aims. There was also only minimal military support from the Soviet armies. They wanted the Slovak rebels to exhaust themselves first, so that the Russians could enter Slovakia as the sole liberators and facilitate control after the war. Furthermore, they hoped German intervention would totally discredit Tiso and his government. This last objective was achieved to a considerable degree. From September, 1944 Tiso's authority extended only to Bratislava and its environs. With the army dismantled Tiso had to rely on the Hlinka Guard to carry out his orders. In the fall of 1944 a home guard, the Domobrana was created to assist in the defence of the state, but for practical purposes the German army was the real authority in the country until the end of the war. Tiso reorganized the Slovak government in September 1944. A distant cousin of Tiso, Stefan Tiso, was appointed Prime Minister; Stefan Hassik, Minister of Defence; Aladar Kocis, Minister of Education and Stefan Polakovic, Head of the Propaganda Office. Tiso tried to place blame for the rebellion partly on Communists, Soviet guerrillas and Czechoslovaks, but mostly on the war conditions. He tried to re-establish the faith of the people in the Slovak state and to explain why Slovakia was on the side of Germany in the struggle against Russia.

Tiso refused to the very end to co-operate with the Czechoslovak government-in-exile or to work for a renewal of the Czechoslovak Republic because this was tantamount to the liquidation of the Slovak Republic and repudiation of independence.

Sandorfi, R.: History of Slovakia. (Survey). Toronto-Bratislava : Zahraničná Matica slovenská, 1996. s. 211-213.