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Ian Wilson
Ian Wilson

Slovakia ((BETTER))

Before World War I, the city had a population that was 42% German, 41% Hungarian and 15% Slovak (1910 census, the population was influenced by Magyarization[citation needed]). The first post war census in 1919 declared the city's ethnic composition at 36% German, 33% Slovak and 29% Hungarian but this may have reflected changing self-identification, rather than an exchange of peoples. Many people were bi- or trilingual and multicultural. After World War I and the formation of Czechoslovakia on October 28, 1918, the city was incorporated into the new state despite its representatives' reluctance.[52] The dominant Hungarian and German population tried to prevent annexation of the city to Czechoslovakia and declared it a free city. However, the Czechoslovak Legions occupied the city on January 1, 1919, and made it part of Czechoslovakia, against the wish of the local population, on reasons of its economic importance for the new state.[52] The city became the seat of Slovakia's political organs and organizations and became Slovakia's capital on 4 February.[53] On February 12, 1919, the German and Hungarian population started a protest against the Czechoslovak occupation. According to Marcell Jankovics, lawyer, publicist and member of the Hungarian Parliament, the Czechoslovak Legions opened fire on the unarmed demonstrators.[54] Slovak sources do not deny the shooting, but add that the Legionaries were defending themselves from violent and aggressive behavior of the demonstrators. A contemporary Slovak language newspaper reported that "a mob spat on our soldiers, tore down badges from their hats, physically attacked them and shot on them from windows."[55][56][57]


After the Communist Party seized power in Czechoslovakia in February 1948, the city became part of the Eastern Bloc. The city annexed new land, and the population rose significantly, becoming 90% Slovak. Large residential areas consisting of high-rise prefabricated panel buildings, such as those in the Petržalka borough, were built. The Communist government also built several new grandiose buildings, such as the Most Slovenského národného povstania bridge and the Slovak Radio headquarters.

In 1968, after the unsuccessful Czechoslovak attempt to liberalise the Communist regime, the city was occupied by Warsaw Pact troops. Shortly thereafter, it became capital of the Slovak Socialist Republic, one of the two states of the federalized Czechoslovakia.

After the formation of the Czechoslovak Republic in 1918, Bratislava remained a multi-ethnic city, but with a different demographic trend. Due to Slovakization,[110][111] the proportion of Slovaks and Czechs increased in the city, while the proportion of Germans and Hungarians fell. In 1938, 59% of population were Slovaks or Czechs, while Germans represented 22% and Hungarians 13% of the city's population.[112] The creation of the first Slovak Republic in 1939 brought other changes, most notably the expulsion of many Czechs and the deportation or flight of the Jews during the Holocaust.[14][113] In 1945, most of the Germans were evacuated. After the restoration of Czechoslovakia, the Beneš decrees (partly revoked in 1948) collectively punished ethnic German and Hungarian minorities by expropriation and deportation to Germany, Austria, and Hungary for their alleged collaborationism with Nazi Germany and Hungary against Czechoslovakia.[64][114][115] 041b061a72


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