In September 1938, France, United Kingdom and Nazi Germany concluded the Munich agreement that forced Czechoslovakia to cede the predominantly German region Sudetenland to Germany. In November, by the first Vienna Award, Italy and Germany impel Czechoslovakia to cede Southern Slovakia to Hungary. Then on March 14, 1939 Slovakia declared its independence and became another state in Central Europe under Nazi German control. One day later Germany invaded what remained of Bohemia, Moravia and Silesia and established a German protectorate there. The new Slovak Republic was led by Jozef Tiso. Slovakia was liberated by Soviet Red Army in April 1945.
1: Inauguration of Slovak Parliament in Bratislava (issued in 1939)
2,3: General M. R. Stefanik (1) 20th Death Anniversary Unissued Set
4: J. Murgas (2) 10th Death Anniversary (1939)
5: Child Welfare: President J. Tiso (1939)
6: Presentation of Slovak Memorandum to Austrian Emperor (3) 80th Anniversary (1941)
7: Red Cross Fund (1941)
8: Child Welfare (1941)
9: Hlinka Youth Fund (1942)
10-13: Bratislava Philatelic Exhibition (1942)
14: European Postal Congress in Vienna (1942)
15-17: Child Welfare (1943)
18: Slovak Literary Society (4) 150th Anniversary (1942)
19-21: Slovak Armed Forces (5) Fund (1943)
1-4: Opening of Strazke – Presov Railway (1943)
5-8: Culture Fund (1943)
9-16: Slovak State 5th Anniversary: Slovak Rulers (1944)
17-20: Sports Fund (1944)
21: War Wounded Fund (1944)
22: Child Relief (1944)
(1) Milan R. Stefanik
was born in Slovakia, at that time part of Austria-Hungary in 1880. As a strong
Slovak patriot, he had troubles at Hungarian schools (Slovak ones were prohibited).
In 1898, he started to study in Prague. There he met T. Masaryk (the future
first president of Czechoslovakia), who inspired Stefanik with the idea of cooperation
of the Czechs and the Slovaks. In Prague, he wrote political and artistic texts,
in which he tried to inform the Czechs on the disastrous situation of the Slovaks
at that time. He graduated in 1904 with a doctor’s degree in philosophy
and with thorough knowledge of astronomy.
In 1904, he went to Paris to find a job in astronomy. Since 1908, he has been charged by French authorities with astronomic and meteorological observations and political tasks in various countries all over the world. In Tahiti, he also built an observatory and a meteorological stations network. When he was in South America, he got an opportunity to show his diplomatic skills for the first time. His studies and the results of his observations were published in reports to the Academie Francaise and he received several awards for them. In 1912, he received French citizenship.
When WW1 broke out Stefanik understood that a defeat of Austria-Hungary (and Germany) in this war meant a chance for the Slovaks and Czechs to gain independence from Austria-Hungary. Therefore, he insisted on participating in the war as an aviator (of the French army). After a short training, he was sent as a pilot to Serbia. He returned to Paris at the end of 1915.
Back in Paris, he met E. Benes and T. Masaryk again. In 1916, these three men founded the Czecho-Slovak National Council (the supreme body of Czecho-Slovak resistance abroad). Since 1917, he was the vice-president of the council. Thanks to his diplomatic skills, Stefanik helped Masaryk and Benes to meet and obtain the support of some of the most important personalities of the Entente. In 1916, Stefanik and the Czecho-Slovak resistance started to create Czechoslovak troops (legions) that would fight against Austria-Hungary and Germany. For this purpose, Stefanik (as the Czechoslovak Minister of War and as a French General) went to Russia and then to the USA. In January 1919, when the war ended, Stefanik went from Russia to France and Italy, where he organized the retreat of Czechoslovak troops from Siberia.
Finally, Stefanik wanted to return home. He decided to fly from Italy and to use an Italian military plane. On May 4, 1919, his plane tried to land in Bratislava (which was threatened by Hungarian troops at that time), but was shot down and Stefanik died. The official explanation at that time was that the plane was shot down „by mistake“, because its Italian tricolor was mistaken for the Hungarian tricolor.
(2) Jozef Murgas (1864-1929) is an inventor of the wireless telegraph (forerunner of the radio). Murgas' "Rotary-spark-system" allowed for much faster communication, through the use of musical tones. He patented his new invention, as well as more inventions in this field. His other patents include the spinning reel (for fishing), the wave meter, the electric transformer, the magnetic detector, and a engine producing electromagnetic waves.
(3) The 18th century witnessed the rise of a distinctive Slovak consciousness, concurrent with that of the Magyars. During the next century and a half the Slovaks struggled to preserve their national identity in the face of efforts to transform the multinational Hungarian kingdom into an ethnic Magyar state, especially after the establishment of the Dual Monarchy of Austria-Hungary in 1867. A key component of the national awakening was the codification of the Slovak literary language by L. Stur. In its Memorandum of the Slovak Nation of 1861, the Slovak National party of Bishop S. Moyses petitioned Emperor F. Joseph to grant the Slovaks territorial, linguistic and political rights: they demanded that Slovaks were recognized by constitutional actors as a distinct state-forming nation and the creation of a national self-government (autonomy) on the territory they historically inhabited, so that the Slovak language could be used in all spheres of public life. Instead, the pressure to Magyarize increased. The principal Slovak cultural organization, Matica Slovenska, was disbanded in 1875, and Slovak secondary schools were closed. In response, the Slovak nationalists sought allies among the Czechs and other nationalities of Austria-Hungary.
(4) In 1792 A. Bernolak, a Catholic priest, established a Slovak Learned Society in Trnava to publish and distribute books in the first version of Slovak modern language based on local dialects of Western Slovakia.
army was created in 1939. It inherited its weapons, equipment, training manuals
and its doctrine from the defunct Czechoslovak Army. Although the Slovakian
military was only six months old it was the only Axis nation other than Germany
to take part in the invasion of Poland.
Four days after the Germans invaded the Soviet Union, Slovakia sent its own units forward against the Russian lines in the form of the Slovakian Expeditionary Army Group. The Slovak Army Group was commanded by the Slovak Minister of Defense, Ferdinand Catlos. It was by far the smallest of the armies of Germany's allies on the Eastern front. Though hampered by a shortage of specialists in its air force, armored units and artillery, it managed to field several division-sized units and sustain them during the initial three years of combat on the Eastern front. Its Mobile division fought its way all the way from the Carpathian Mountains to the Caucasus.