Somewhat Forgotten Irredentism – Moravian-Slovak Irredentism in Making a Choice Between Czechia and Slovakia in the Crisis Years 1938 and 1939

As a consequence of the First World War, the era of multinational monarchies came to an end and the period of successor democratic “nation” states began. Czechoslovakia was one of these newly created states. National minorities in the republic made up as much as a third of the total population that did not consider Czechoslovakia their homeland. The concept of a somewhat artificially created Czechoslovak nationality, with which many Slovaks did not identify, can also be seen as a potential conflict. Moreover, it is often forgotten that the Czech nation was not united either. It was divided into Bohemians, Moravians, and Silesians, who were then further divided into smaller groups that claimed their own ethnicity. One of the most distinctive of these groups were, and to some extent still are, the Moravian Slovaks. Within this group of inhabitants of the southern part of Moravia, defining themselves on the platform of their own ethnicity, a group established itself which, towards the end of the 1930s, joined the other disaffected traditional ethnic groups in Czechoslovakia who opposed the centralist constitutional concept of the Czechoslovak state. The aim of the study is to acquaint the reader with the development of this small ethnic group of Moravian Slovaks who, at the turn of 1938 and 1939, at the time of the Second Republic, decided that remaining in the Czech or Moravian part of Czechoslovakia, at that time “torn to pieces”, had no advantages for the inhabitants of Slovácko, and a more advantageous political step for them seemed to be the merger of Slovácko with autonomous Slovakia, which later became an independent state.