Slovaks celebrating independence in Bratislava, January 1, 1993
Officially, The Slovak Republic came into existence on January 1, 1993. Except for a brief period during World War II, during which Slovakia was a protectorate state of Nazi Germany, the Slovak people have been the subjects of stronger political entities, such as the Czechs of the Czechoslovak federation, the Magyars of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and the sovereigns of the Habsburg Empire.
Although the history of the Slovak people as expressed in the nation state is less than two decades old, Slovaks have existed as a unique entity for about 1500 years. Please browse either the overview of the entire history of Slovakia or select a topical issues to find out more.
Forced Magyarization by the Hungarians
The scars from ethnic pressures on the part of the Hungarians in the Austro-Hungarian Empire have yet to heal. Slovaks have not forgotten the cultural suppression precipitated by their former masters, the Magyars (Hungarians).
The Slovak Republic during World War II
A period in Slovak history is viewed by most Slovaks with mixed feelings since what was to be a joyous occasion that signaled the birth of a nation and the freedom of a peoples was overshadowed by atrocities sponsored by Nazi Germany.
The Velvet Divorce: The Breakup of Czechoslovakia
Relationships between the Czechs and Slovaks were sometimes uneasy. After almost half a century of trying to find a compromise the two peoples went their separate way (only to reunite later as member states of the European Union).
The Slovak Question: A Candid View
A taboo subject under the Czechoslovak Federation - the failure to confront the grievances and aspirations of a minority proved to sow the seeds of their nationhood.
The Gabcikovo Dam Dispute with Hungary
Harnessing the hydro-electric power of the Danube was the goal in 1977, but by 1989 Hungary decided to back out causing a legal dispute, if not more.