Slovaks and Slovakia


One thought on “Slovaks and Slovakia

Add yours

  1. After WWI, the new Czechoslovakia had an eastern most province not mentioned in the narrative here – Ruthenia. That province, now called Zakarpatskie Ukraine, was attached to the new Czechoslovakia because it had been part of the old Austro-Hungarian empire that had just been carved up, and it had a central European outlook. It had no majority population – there were Western Ukrainians, to be sure (mostly Lemko dialect), but they were less than 50%, the rest being Jews (the majority in many large towns), Romanians, Germans (not just in towns), Slovaks, and Roma. When Hitler removed the Jews (whose cemeteries I photographed about 20 years ago), That made the Ukrainians the majority, so the Soviets took the province and added it to Ukraine; that gave them the all-important corridor to Hungary, as well as Poland and Czechoslovakia, that could (and did) use to suppress any breakaway movements. The Ukrainian population, usually called Carpatho-Rusins now, have many excellent wooden churches in Slovakia as well as in neighboring southeastern Poland. They are mostly “Greco-Catholics” (orthodox rite Catholics). Steve Kotansky’s ancestors came from that community, and he and Susi are leading a dance tour to Northeastern Hungary and that part of Slovakia, where we will be learning some of the dances from the Rusins.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: