After the Warsaw Uprising, the Slovak National Uprising was the largest anti-Nazi insurrection in Central Europe. It is a crucial event in Slovak modern history as well as in the country’s culture of remembrance regarding WWII. As such it has its own museum and central memorial in Banská Bystrica, the center of the anti-Nazi resistance during the uprising. Even though the insurrection was suppressed in less than two months, it helped the Allies in the fight against Nazi Germany. Its significance on a moral and political level was central: part of the Slovak nation rose up against the authoritative regime of the First Slovak Republic, a client state of Nazi Germany, in order to restore democracy. However, it also has its negative aspects, such as the treatment of the German civilian population by the partisans. The most tragic event in this regard took place in the predominantly German village of Sklené / Glaserhau. On 21 September 1944, under the pretext of digging trenches, the partisans took about 300 men between 16 and 60 years of age from the village and shot 187 of them at the edge of a nearby forest. In 1994, 50 years later, a monument of the Sklené massacre was established on the mass grave of its victims. Nevertheless, as the historical narrative presented in the current exhibition in the Museum of the Slovak National Uprising shows, the memory of the violence against the German civilian population is being marginalized. This process enables far-right groups and political parties glorifying the First Slovak Republic to take over the memory of murdered Germans and in doing so also instrumentalize the narrative of the whole uprising.

You can read blog post in Slovak here.