ANDREJ HLINKA IN THE COLLECTIVE MEMORY OF SLOVAK PROTESTANTS

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Peter Macho

Abstrakt

The present paper maps the portrayal of Andrej Hlinka within the Protestant milieu during his lifetime. It also tries to answer the question of Hlinka’s position in the hierarchy of symbols which were and are relevant for the formation of the Slovak Protestants’ identity. Nowadays, ambivalent or expressly negative att itudes towards Hlinka prevail within the Lutheran community, however, similar att itudes prevailed also during the interwar and aft er-war periods.

In 1902 at the regional forum, A. Hlinka did not support the rights of the Slovak language which represented a major att ribute of the national identity of Slovaks. Hlinka’s att itude was then reminded in the Lutheran milieu in the situations when an idealized and mythologized portrayal of Hlinka as an uncompromising fi ghter for the national rights spread in particular via offi cial propaganda. In fact, it served as a de-legitimizing instrument of Hlinka cult. During the existence of the Slovak State (1938/1939 – 1945) Slovak Protestants were massively confronted with the phenomenon of Hlinka and denied this historical fi gure in the position of the most signifi cant national symbol. At the religious celebration of the national hero General Milan Rastislav Štefánik in May 1939, General Bishop of the Protestant Church Vladimír Pavel Čobrda compared both personages – Hlinka and Štefánik – and refused the symbolic governmental policy and propaganda which tried to make believe the whole society including Lutherans that Hlinka was a positive social example. He called Štefánik the greatest Slovak who became the symbol of antifascist resistance.

 

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Article Details

Dział
Historia, kultura, pamięć
Biogram autora

Peter Macho, Institute of History of the Slovak Academy of Sciences

Th e scientifi c worker of the Institute of History of the Slovak Academy of Sciences. He deals with history of 19th and 20th centuries and he is specialized in the research of historical memory, collective identities and national symbolism (in particular the phenomenon of a national hero). He is the author of many scientifi c and popularizing publications (Milan Rastislav Štefánik in the heads and hearts. Th e phenomenon of the national hero in historical memory/ Milan Rastislav Štefánik v hlavách a v srdciach. Fenomén národného hrdinu v historickej pamäti /2011/, Th e Revolution 1848/49 and historical memory/ Revolúcia 1848/49 a historická pamäť /2012/, Our Slovak myths/ Mýty naše slovenské, 2. vyd. /2013/).

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