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Czechoslovakia anniversary overshadowed by Černová

Slovakia’s commemoration of the anniversary of the first Czechoslovak Republic remained in the shadow of the 100th anniversary of the Černová tragedy on October 27.

Deputy Prime Minister Dušan Čaplovič and non-parliamentary party OKS were the only Slovak politicians who commemorated the establishment of the Czechoslovak Republic, the Sme daily wrote.

According to Čaplovič, without the Czechoslovak Republic, the Slovak nation would not exist.

More than 2,000 people gathered in Černová, a borough of Ružomberok, on October 27, including President Ivan Gašparovič, Prime Minister Robert Fico, MPs, and political party representatives, the TASR newswire wrote.

The Černová tragedy, which left 15 people dead and another 52 people wounded, was connected with the consecration of the Černová church. Local citizens were opposed to the consecration of their newly-built church without their compatriot, priest Andrej Hlinka, who had fallen out of favour with the Hungarian religious and state authorities. The parishioners blocked the procession of Hungarian religious dignitaries from entering the village. In reaction, a police commander ordered his officers to shoot into the crowd.

For their part in the rebellion, 38 people were sent to prison following a trial in 1908. The tragedy sparked huge protests in the European press and it turned the world's attention to the attitude of the Hungarian empire to its minorities.

-TASR

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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