Tuesday, September 6, 2022

Slovak National Uprising

The Slovak National Uprising, Slovenské národné povstanie, usually just abbreviated as SNP, was a revolt organised by the Slovak resistance during WWII.  It lasted from 29 August to 28 October 1944.  Here's what happened...

Romania had been an Axis ally of Nazi Germany and the Slovak puppet state but on 23 August 1944, it switched sides and joined the Allies.  On 28 August, in Martin, a group of partisans killed 24 German soldiers that were returning from Romania.  So the next day, Germany essentially invaded and took over Slovakia.

The next day, on 29 August, an uprising started in Banská Bystrica to resist the Germany occupation and to overthrow the puppet state and to re-establish Czechoslovakia.

The uprising's headquarters were in Banská Bystrica which is about halfway between the country's cities.  It's 208 km (129 miles) from Bratislava and 217 km (135 miles) from Košice.

On 5 September, Ján Golian was given the rank of General and became commander of all of the rebel forces in Slovakia.

Many groups fought in the uprising - units of the Slovak Army, democratic resistance, communist partisans, and some international forces.  However, it the end it wasn't able to overthrow the government due to bad timing of the uprising and a lack of support from the Soviet Union.  

On 3 November 1944, General Golian was captured and sent to the Flossenbürg concentration camp in Bavaria.  He was officially listed as missing for two years after the war but it is believed that he was tortured and murdered in Flossenbürg.

While the uprising was put down by the Germans, resistance continued until the Red Army, Czechoslovak Army and Romanian Army occupied Slovakia in 1945.

SNP Square in Bratislava

In Slovakia, 29 August is a public holiday to commemorate the Anniversary of the Slovak National Uprising.  There are many streets and parks across the country that are named after SNP.

In 1955, the SNP Museum opened in Banská Bystrica.  Here's a video I found on YouTube about it.

©Govisty & Tipnatrip

Banská Bystrica has actually been on my list of places to visit.  I've heard that it's a lovely small town in central Slovakia and worth a weekend visit.  Now I need to make sure that check out the museum whenever I eventually go check it out.

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