Hlinka's Slovak People's Party (Slovak: Hlinkova slovenská ľudová strana, HSĽS), also known as simply the Slovak People's Party (Slovenská ľudová strana, SĽS) or the Hlinka Party, was a right-wing conservative political party in Slovakia with strong Christian and nationalist orientation. Its members were called Ľudaks.
The party arose at a time when Slovakia was still part of Austria-Hungary and fought both for democratic freedoms and Slovak national rights, and against liberalism. After the formation of Czechoslovakia, the party preserved its conservative character, opposing ethnic Czechoslovakism and demanding Slovak autonomy. In the second half of the 1930s, the rise of totalitarian regimes in Europe and the party's inability to achieve long-term political objectives caused a loss of faith in democracy and saw the party turn to more radical ideas. After a merger with other parties in November 1938 to form the Hlinka Slovak People's Party – Party of Slovak National Unity, it became the dominant party of World War II Slovakia. In addition to adoption of a totalitarian vision of the state, it included an openly pro-Nazi wing, which dominated Slovak policy between 1940 and 1942.
The party chairmen were the Slovak priests Andrej Hlinka (1913–38) and later Jozef Tiso (1939–45), and its main newspapers were Slovenské ľudové noviny (Slovak People's Newspaper, 1910–30), Slovák (The Slovak, 1919–45) and Slovenská pravda (The Slovak Truth, 1936–45).
Hlinka's Slovak People's Party – Party of Slovak National Unity
Hlinkova slovenská ľudová strana – Strana slovenskej národnej jednoty
|Leader||Andrej Hlinka (1913–38)|
Jozef Tiso (1939–45)
|Founded||July 29, 1913|
|Dissolved||May 1945 (banned)|
|Newspaper||Slovenské ľudové noviny (1910–30)|
Slovenská pravda (1936–45)
|Youth wing||Hlinka Youth|
|Paramilitary wing||Rodobrana (1923–27)|
Hlinka Guard (1938–45)
|Political position||Before 1938:|
Right-wing to far-right
|Colours||Blue, red, white|
|Slogan||Verní sebe, svorne napred!|
("Faithful to Ourselves, Together Ahead!")
Za boha, za národ!
("For God, For Nation!")
The creation process of the party took several years. With the exception of the short-lived Slovak Social Democratic Party (1905–06), there was only one party in Austria-Hungary that specifically promoted the interests of the Slovaks at the turn of the 19th and 20th century — the Slovak National Party (SNS). The Slovak People's movement was established within the Hungarian People's Party (Néppárt, founded in 1895) which opposed liberalism and was popular amongst the religious Slovak population. The party's program addressed several other problems of Slovak society including emigration, usury, corruption and forced magyarization. Due to the gradual shift away from these values, Slovak politicians began to form a separate group within the party. The party hierarchy reacted in November 1905 by asking its only MP František Skyčák to sign a testimony against the Slovak program. Skyčák refused and on 5 December 1905, he published a declaration of a new political party. Other personalities, among them the Catholic priest Andrej Hlinka, joined the organisation in early 1906, before the Slovak National Party (SĽS) was officially formed on 18 March 1906 by Skyčák, Milan Hodža and A. Ráth. However, following a decision in April 1906, the party contested elections as part of the Slovak National Party until 1913 in order to prevent splitting the Slovak vote. However, their programmes were nearly identical; the SĽS called for strong democratization and included liberal reforms such as freedom of speech and universal suffrage. Despite the frequent election manipulations in Hungary at that time, the SĽS won six deputies (and the SNS one) out of the 415 deputies of the Hungarian Diet in the 1906 elections. The Hungarian government immediately reacted by increasing oppression to suppress the national and political conscious of Slovaks.
In 1912 the SĽS refused to support the strong Czecho-Slovak orientation of the SNS prevailing at that time, and made a similar declaration as in 1905, again without formal effects. On 19 July 1913 the SĽS became a separate political party with Hlinka as chairman and Ferdiš Juriga and Skyčák amongst its leadership. During World War I the SĽS (just like the SNS) went into abeyance in order to prevent any possible pretext for accusations of activities against the Austrian-Hungarian state. In 1918 Hlinka and Juriga solidly supported idea of common Czechoslovak state and signed the Martin Declaration which rejected Hungarian jurisdiction over Slovakia. The party participated in the creation of the (2nd) Slovak National Council that existed from October 1918 to January 1919 and its leaders helped to consolidate the situation in Czechoslovakia during the first weeks of its existence.
After the establishment of Czechoslovakia, the SĽS renewed its activities on 19 December 1918 in Žilina. On 17 October 1925 it was renamed the Hlinka Slovak People's Party (HSĽS) to distinguish it from the Czechoslovak People's Party. During the majority of the whole inter-war period, the HSĽS was the most popular party in Slovakia and until 1938, was a standard part of democratic political spectrum. The party operated mostly in opposition but not as a destructive power and preserved loyalty to Czechoslovakia. All of its programs had religious, national, social and constitutional character; its ideology was based on papal encyclicals Rerum novarum and Quadragesimo anno and was oriented mostly towards its Catholic electorate. The party rejected economic liberalism and class-struggle theory popular among socialists and communists, who were (together with liberal atheists) considered to be the party's main enemies. The constitutional part of its program was derived from the Pittsburg Agreement which promised an autonomous status of Slovakia within Czechoslovakia. The HSĽS opposed centralism and ethnic Czechoslovakism (i.e. not considering Slovaks a separate ethnicity from the Czechs). In addition to its program, popularity of the party was maintained by Hlinka's charisma.
In the 1920 elections the party participated together with the Czech People's Party under the name Czechoslovak People's Party. The alliance received 17.5% of the vote in Slovakia making it the third largest party. Following the elections, Hlinka stated that he would "work 24 hours a day till Slovakia turns from a red Slovakia into a white and Christian Slovakia." The majority of the party's support came from Slovak farmers, mainly because the party criticized the land reforms of 1920–1929.
After the county elections in 1923, the party became the biggest party in Slovakia, receiving 34.4% of the vote in the 1925 elections. In 1923, the HSĽS founded the paramilitary Rodobrana organization to protect their meetings. Rodobrana was influenced and manipulated by Vojtech Tuka for his own anti-Czechoslovak intentions and later it was banned by Czechoslovak government. Rodobrana was inspired by Italian fascism and became a magnet for young dissatisfied radicals, the core of future fascist wing of HSĽS. The HSĽS leadership attempted to bring Rodobrana under party control and succeeded when its activities were restored in 1926. Rodobrana raised several radicals like Alexander Mach or Ján Farkaš.
On 15 January 1927, the HSĽS became a member of the Czechoslovak government coalition after Jozef Tiso started negotiations during a foreign trip by Hlinka. The party held the Ministry of Health (Jozef Tiso) and Ministry of Unification of Laws and State Administration (Marek Gažík). After a controversial trial against the HSĽS member Vojtech Tuka, who was accused of high treason, the HSĽS left the government on 8 October 1929.
In order to contest the 1935 elections, the HSĽS joined with the SNS to create the "Autonomous Block", which received 30.12% of the vote in the Slovak part of Czechoslovakia. However, it was dissolved after the elections. The HSĽS considered itself to be the only political party that vigorously defended Slovak national interests, but its inability to achieve autonomy decreased the prestige of its moderate wing and strengthened its radical members.
After the death of the 74-year old Hlinka in August 1938, the presidium of the party decided that the post of chairman would remain unoccupied. The party was subsequently led by vice-chairman Jozef Tiso until October 1939, when he became the new chairman. During the Czechoslovak crisis between spring and fall of 1938, the HSĽS remained on a common Czechoslovak platform. The party officially supported both mobilizations and refused appeals of Sudeten German Party to radicalize its position.
The situation dramatically changed in the fall of 1938. On October 6, 1938, after the Czech part of Czechoslovakia had lost border regions to Germany through the Munich Agreement, the executive committee of the HSĽS together with most other Slovak parties declared the autonomy of Slovakia within Czechoslovakia. Prague accepted this and appointed Jozef Tiso the Prime Minister of Autonomous Slovakia on the same day. HSLS became the dominant party in the subsequent Slovak governments. After the declaration of autonomy, internal tension between conservative and radical wing continued to grow. The conservative wing led by Tiso preserved majority in the presidium of the party, but radicals compensated it by higher activity and held important positions in new organizations like Hlinka Guard (Hlinkova garda) and Slovak national committees (slovenské národné výbory).
On November 8, 1938, after the Slovak part of Czechoslovakia had lost some 1/3 of its territory to Hungary through the First Vienna Award (Vienna Arbitration), the Slovak branches of all parties except the Communists and Social Democrats merged with the HSLS and formed the Hlinka Slovak People's Party – Party of Slovak National Unity (HSĽS-SSNJ). The Slovak National Party joined the HSĽS-SSNJ on December 15.
This new party quickly developed clear authoritarian characteristics. It immediately subjected the leftist and Jewish parties to considerable harassment. In the December 1938 Slovak general election this new party won 97.3% (out of which 72% went to candidates of the original HSĽS). The Social Democrats and Communists were shut out because the HSĽS-SSNJ government didn't publish new election procedures until it was too late for those parties to select candidates. As of January 31, 1939 all parties except for the HSĽS-SSNJ, the German Party and the Unified Magyar Party (party of the Hungarian minority) were prohibited. For all intents and purposes, Slovakia was now a one-party state.
In a last-ditch attempt to save the country, the Prague government deposed Tiso as Slovak premier, replacing him with Karel Sidor. A few days later, amid massive German provocations, Hitler invited Tiso to Berlin and urged him to proclaim Slovakia's independence. Hitler added that if Tiso didn't do so, he would have no interest in Slovakia's fate. During the meeting, Joachim von Ribbentrop passed on a (false) report saying that Hungarian troops were approaching Slovak borders. Tiso refused to make such a decision himself, after which he was allowed by Hitler to organize a meeting of the Slovak parliament which would approve Slovakia's independence.
On 14 March, the Slovak parliament convened and heard Tiso's report on his discussion with Hitler as well as a declaration of independence. Some of the deputies were sceptical of making such a move, but the debate was quickly quashed when Franz Karmasin, leader of the German minority in Slovakia, said that any delay in declaring independence would result in Slovakia being divided between Hungary and Germany. Under these circumstances, Parliament unanimously declared Slovak independence. Jozef Tiso was appointed the first Prime Minister of the new republic. The next day, Tiso sent a telegram (which had actually been composed the previous day in Berlin) asking the Reich to take over the protection of the newly minted state. The request was readily accepted.
The HSĽS-SSNJ was the leading force in the country (the parliamentary elections scheduled for 1943 did not take place) and it was supposed to represent the interests of all Slovaks.
Some historians describe the party as a "fascist and clerical nationalist group". After 1939, the conflict between two wings of the party continued and reached a new dimension. The conservative wing led by the Catholic priest Jozef Tiso, the president of Slovakia and chairman of the party, wanted to create a separate authoritarian and religious state of Estates. The conservative wing had no doubts about the need to build totalitarian state but wished to do so gradually, preserving legal and personal continuity with previous regime. The radicals preferred methods and theory of National Socialism, were strong antisemites, wanted to remove all Czechs and to create a radically nationalistic state. Their main organization was the Hlinka Guard, which was controlled by the HSĽS-SSNJ. The main representatives were Vojtech Tuka and Alexander Mach.
In the spring if 1940, the conservative wing was close to victory over the radicals, when Tiso pacified Hlinka Guard by organizational changes and bound it stronger to the party leadership. However, in July 1940 Germany made personnel changes in the Slovak government and reinforced the radicals. The radical wing then held the most important positions of executive power. The Prime Minister Vojtech Tuka became also the Minister of Foreign Affairs. Alexander Mach became again the leader of Hlinka Guard and also the Minister of the Interior. Tiso changed tactic and verbally adopted idea of national socialism, but manoeuvred and stated that it had to be implemented in "folk and Christian spirit". In the fall of 1940, the conservative wing began taking the initiative. Tiso eliminated trial to reduce already weak competencies of the parliament and strongly refused a proposal to replace four conservative ministers by radical national socialists. In early 1941 his group silently liquidated trial for pro-fascist coup. On the other hand, Tiso left the radicals an initiative in the solution of the "Jewish question", wrongly assuming that he can leave them also all responsibility and later he publicly advocated deportations.
The struggle between wings ended in the summer 1942 by victory of conservatives. A part of radicals withdrew from public life, another lost its political influence or switched to the winning side (Alexander Mach). Due to pragmatic reasons HSLS then adopted the "Führer"-principle, however with a completely different purpose than in Germany - preventive elimination of radicals without causing concern of Germany. Germany naturally sympathized with the radicals but allowed to win their opponents. The reason was purely rational - Nazi foreign policy was more interested in consolidated Slovakia as a model of satellite state and the conservative wing was more popular among population and more qualified to manage the state. Germany never stopped to support the radicals and used them to raise pressure.
After German occupation in 1944 and the outbreak of the Slovak National Uprising, the insurgent Slovak National Council (Slovenská národná rada, SNR) declared restoration of Czechoslovakia. On 1 September 1944, SNR banned the HSĽS and all of its organisations like Hlinka Guard and Hlinka Youth and confiscated their property. Although the uprising was violently suppressed, HSĽS never fully restored its position. The party ceased to exist with the liberation of Slovakia by Czechoslovak troops and by the Soviet Army in April–May 1945. Many of the party's members were persecuted during the Communist regime.
|Election||% in Slovakia||Notes|
|Czechoslovak People's Party (together with Czech People's Party)|
|Autonomous Block (together with Slovak National Party, Autonomous Agrarian Union (Ruthenian party) and Polish People's Party)|
|United List (manipulated undemocratic elections)|
]1928 Slovak provincial election
Provincial elections were held in Slovak Province on 2 December 1928. The elections were marked by a drop in support for the Slovak People's Party, whilst the Republican Party of Farmers and Peasants emerged as the largest party in the Assembly of Slovakia.1929 Czechoslovak parliamentary election
Parliamentary elections were held in Czechoslovakia on 27 October 1929. The result was a victory for the Republican Party of Farmers and Peasants, which won 46 seats in the Chamber of Deputies and 24 seats in the Senate. Voter turnout was 90.2% in the Chamber election and 78.8% for the Senate.1935 Slovak provincial election
Provincial elections were held in Slovak Province on 26 May 1935. They elections were marked by victory of Autonomous Bloc of Hlinka's Slovak People's Party, Slovak National Party, Autonomous Agrarian Union and others.1938 Slovak parliamentary election
Parliamentary elections were held in Slovakia on 18 December 1938 following the German occupation of Czechoslovakia.Alexander Mach
Alexander Mach (11 October 1902 in Slovenský Meder (today Palárikovo) – 15 October 1980 in Bratislava) was a Slovak nationalist politician. Mach was associated with the far right wing of Slovak nationalism and became noted for his strong support of Nazism and Germany.Andrej Hlinka
Andrej Hlinka (September 27, 1864 – August 16, 1938) was a Slovak Catholic priest, journalist, banker and politician, one of the most important Slovak public activists in Czechoslovakia before Second World War. He was the leader of the Hlinka's Slovak People's Party (since 1913), papal chamberlain (since 1924), inducted papal protonotary (since 1927), member of the National Assembly of Czechoslovakia (the parliament) and chairman of the St. Vojtech Group (a religious book publication organization).Ferdinand Ďurčanský
Ferdinand Ďurčanský (December 18, 1906 – March 15, 1974) was a Slovak nationalist leader who for a time served with as a minister in the government of the Axis-aligned Slovak State in 1939 and 1940. He was known for spreading virulent antisemitic propaganda, although he left the government before the Holocaust in Slovakia was fully implemented. After the war, he joined the Gehlen Organization.HSLS
HSLS refer to:
Hazy Sighted Link State Routing Protocol, a wireless network routing algorithm
Slovak People's Party (Slovak: Hlinkova slovenská ľudová strana)
Croatian Social Liberal Party (Croatian: Hrvatska socijalno liberalna stranka)Hlinka Guard
The Hlinka Guard (Slovak: Hlinkova garda; German: Hlinka-Garde; abbreviated as HG) was the militia maintained by the Slovak People's Party in the period from 1938 to 1945; it was named after Andrej Hlinka.The Hlinka Guard was preceded by the Rodobrana (Home Defense/Nation's Defense) organization, which existed from 1923 to 1927, when the Czechoslovak authorities ordered its dissolution. During the crisis caused by Hitler's demand for the Sudetenland (in the summer of 1938), the Hlinka Guard emerged spontaneously, and on October 8 of that year, a week after Hitler's demand had been accepted at the Munich conference, the guard was officially set up, with Karol Sidor (1901–1953) as its first commander.
The Hlinka Guard was known for its participation in the Holocaust in Slovakia; its members appropriated Jewish property and rounded up Jews for deportation in 1942. Under one of the Beneš decrees, No. 16/1945 Coll., membership of the Hlinka Guard was punishable by 5 to 20 years' imprisonment.Hungarian National Party (Czechoslovakia)
Hungarian National Party (Hungarian: Magyar Nemzeti Párt, MNP, Czech: Maďarská národní strana, Slovak: Maďarská národná strana) was one of political parties of ethnic Hungarians in the First Republic of Czechoslovakia.
The party was founded in February 1920 in Komárom/Komárno as party of smallholders, under name Országos Magyar Kisgazda és Földműves Párt. From May 1925 it used name Országos Magyar Kisgazda, Földműves és Kisiparos Párt often abbreviated as Magyar Kisgazda Párt (Hungarian Party of Smallholders). In 1925 the name was changed to Magyar Nemzeti Párt. On June 21, 1936 the party merged with Országos Keresztényszocialista Párt (OKSZP, Provincial Christian-Socialist Party), another large Hungarian party into Egyesült Magyar Párt (EMP, United Hungarian Party) led by János Esterházy as national executive chairman (until then leader of OKSZP) and Andor Jaross as national chairman. The main objective of the party was initially an autonomy for ethnically Hungarian parts in Slovakia. This stance was later revised, and the party advocated a revision of the Trianon Treaty. In the economic sphere, the party advocated free market and called for government support for smallholders and peasants.
After establishment of Slovak State (1939) which had about 65,000 ethnic Hungarians the party (under name Szlovenskói Magyar Párt, Hungarian Party in Slovakia) remained as one of few allowed political parties (the others being Hlinka's Slovak People's Party and Deutsche Partei of ethnic Germans in Slovakia). During Slovak National Uprising (1944) the party was banned on the area controlled by insurgents. The ban was reconfirmed after the end of World War II.Jozef Tiso
Jozef Tiso (Slovak pronunciation: [ˈjɔzɛf ˈtisɔ]; 13 October 1887 –18 April 1947) was a Slovak politician and Roman Catholic priest who governed the Slovak Republic, a client state of Nazi Germany during World War II, from 1939 to 1945. After the war, he was executed in 1947 for war crimes and crimes against humanity in Bratislava.
Born in 1887 to Slovak parents in Bytča, then part of Austria-Hungary, Tiso studied several languages during his school career, including Hebrew and German. He was introduced to priesthood from an early age and helped combat local poverty and alcoholism in what is now Slovakia. He joined the Slovak People's Party (Slovenská ľudová strana) in 1918 and became party leader in 1938 following the death of Andrej Hlinka. When Nazi Germany seized Czechoslovakia in 1938, the German authorities founded the Slovak Republic out of Czechoslovakia, while the Czech portion became the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia. Tiso became the Republic's President in 1939.
Tiso collaborated with Germany in deportations of Jews, deporting many Slovak Jews to extermination and concentration camps in Germany, while some Jews in Slovakia were murdered outright. An anti-fascist partisan insurgency was waged against Tiso, culminating in the Slovak National Uprising in 1944, which was suppressed by German authorities with many of its leaders executed.
When the Soviet Red Army overran the last parts of western Slovakia in April 1945, Tiso fled to Austria and then Germany where American troops arrested him and then had him extradited back to the reformed Czechoslovakia, where he was convicted of treason against the state, treason against the uprising and collaboration, and then executed by hanging in 1947 and buried in Bratislava.Juriga's Slovak People's Party
Juriga's Slovak People's Party (Slovak: Jurigova slovenská strana ľudová) was a political party in Slovakia. The party was founded in 1929 as a split from the Hlinka's Slovak People's Party. The leaders of Juriga's Slovak People's Party, Juriga and Tománek, had been expelled from Hlinka's Slovak People's Party in February 1929, as they opposed party leader Andrej Hlinka's support for Vojtech Tuka during his treason trial. The party published Slovenské l'udové Noviny as its organ.Juriga's Slovak People's Party contested the Czechoslovak parliamentary election, 1929. The party ran candidates in three electoral districts. It failed to win any seats, obtaining 2,752 votes (1.27%) in Trnava electoral district, 691 votes (0.43%) in Báňská Bystrica electoral district and 1,952 votes (0.61%) in Nové Zámky 16th electoral district.Ján Ševčík
Ján Ševčík (Brezolupy, 13 February 1896 - Bratislava, 6 March 1965) was a Czechoslovak politician.
Ševčík participated in the Czechoslovak Legion during World War I. After the war he studied law and from 1926 to 1934 represented the Slovak People's Party (incl. as secretary of the faction). After that, he worked in the agrarian sector.
From 1939 to 1942 he was the head of the YMCA administration in Bratislava.
Ševčík was an opponent of fascism and therefore joined the Slovak résistance movement. The Slovak résistance opposed the nominally independent Slovak republic that was established in 1939 by monseigneur Jozef Tiso but to a large extent controlled by Germans. In 1944 the Slovak National Uprising took place, in which Ševčík participated. The résistance forces met an early success in fighting with Slovak fascists and German troops, but later had to retreat.
After World War II Ševčík joined the Democratic Party (DS). The DS won the 1946 election in the Slovak part of Czechoslovakia and thereafter had to share power with the Communist Party of Slovakia (KSS). Ševčík became a deputy once more. The communists carried out a 'great purge' of DS members in 1946-1948. After the communist coup d'état in February 1948, the DS was banned and replaced by the Party of Slovak Revival (SSO), a pro-communist satellite party. Ševčík became the chairman of the SSO and at the same time vice-premier in Antonín Zápotocký's cabinet.
In 1952 Ján Ševčík was arrested and accused of opposition to the socialist development of Czechoslovakia. He was sentenced to imprisonment. In 1960 he was released. On 6 March 1965 Ševčík died. He was re-habilitated soon after that.Karol Kmetko
Karol Kmeťko (December 12, 1875 – December 22, 1948) was the Roman Catholic Bishop of Nitra in Slovakia (1920-1948) and personal archbishop (from 1944).Karol Sidor
Karol Sidor (July 16, 1901 – October 20, 1953) was a far right Slovak nationalist politician. Active from an early age, he was undecided about full independence and as a result was largely sidelined during the Slovak RepublicRodobrana
Rodobrana (literally Home Defense/Nation's Defense) was a Slovak paramilitary organization of the Slovak People's Party. The organization existed, officially, from 1923 to 1927 in Czechoslovakia, when the authorities ordered its dissolution, though many of its members continued to function in other party organizations. It was a predecessor of the Hlinka Guard. According to Beneš decree No. 16/1945 Coll., membership of Rodobrana was punishable by 5-20 years of imprisonment, or life in prison in case of aggravated circumstances.Slovak National Party (historical)
The Slovak National Party (SNS, Slovak: Slovenská národná strana) was a Slovak conservative and nationalist political party in the Kingdom of Hungary and then in Czechoslovakia from 1871 to 1938. The post-Velvet Revolution party with the same name sees the historical one as its ideological predecessor.Vojtech Tuka
Vojtech Lázar "Béla" Tuka (4 July 1880 – August 20, 1946) was the Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the First Slovak Republic between 1939 and 1945. Tuka was one of the main forces behind the deportation of Slovak Jews to Nazi concentration camps in German occupied Poland. He was the leader of the radical wing of the Slovak People's Party.Štefan Tiso
Štefan Tiso (October 18, 1897, Nagybiccse, Kingdom of Hungary – March 28, 1959, Mírov, Czechoslovakia) was a lawyer and president of the Supreme Court of the 1939–1945 Slovak Republic which was a puppet state of Nazi Germany. He was a cousin of Josef Tiso, the President of the Republic.
He became Prime Minister (replacing Vojtech Tuka), Foreign Minister (replacing also Vojtech Tuka) and Minister of Justice (replacing Gejza Fritz) of the Slovak Republic. In the latter position in 1944 he pressed for death sentences against leaders of the pro-allied Slovak National Council.
In a postwar trial, Štefan Tiso was given a life sentence.