Attila Simon: Conceptions and plans for populating Southern Slovakia by the Slavs within the framework of the land reform in the first republic


The study examines the Slav colonisation plans made within the Land reform during the first Czechoslovak Republic (1918-1938). The study states that the Land reform announced after the formation of the Czechoslovak Republic served together with the nationalisation of trades, for taking economic power to the hands of Czechs and Slovaks.

In his study the author follows the birth of colonisation conceptions and its first definitions. In his historical review he shows that the Land reform, as the tool for expanding the Slav nationality was present before 1918. The Czechoslovak acts on land property reform created in 1919-1920 did not include any discriminative elements, although the State Land Administration who was to provide the reform, received so un-controllable power that enabled attitude oriented on nation. The designers of colonisation plans were primarily from the Land Administration or they were high-position officials. Milan Hodza, who was the member of the controlling committee of the Land Administration, and was the Ministry of Economy for a period of time, announced the plan of Slav colonisation of Southern Slovakia with referring to historical harm. According to his officially accepted complaints during the colonisation the Slovaks only re-settle the land, from where the Hungarians “pushed them out with force”.

The plan of settling Slavs on Hungarian territories of Southern Slovakia was defined by Ivan Daxner in detail, who planned to settle more than a half a million of people.

The author with introducing the colonisation plans makes it clear that the colonisation did not have only national, but also economic and social goals. And since these plans came from the leaders of the state and land administration, the author considers the settlement plans to be part of the official Czechoslovak policy.