Bratislava almost became Wilson’s Town

Today, there is a street named after the US president, a commemorative plaque, his bust as well as a book and film inspired by those turbulent times.

The scene from the film Wilsonov in which Bratislava, then-Wilsonov, prepares for signing an agreement on joining the city with the USA. The scene from the film Wilsonov in which Bratislava, then-Wilsonov, prepares for signing an agreement on joining the city with the USA. (Source: PubRes)

Presslawasburg, Pressburg, Posonium, Pozsony, Prešporok and Požoň. These are not different cities but only some of names the city today known as Bratislava, the Slovak capital, used to be called. And there might have been one more. When Czechoslovakia was created after WWI, there was a proposal to call it Wilson’s Town after the American president Woodrow Wilson. This idea did not materialise. Nevertheless, there are several places in Bratislava remembering the American politician and his contribution to the creation of Czechoslovakia while this era continues to fascinate some artists.

Almost Wilson’s Town

The vain efforts of Czechs and Slovaks for equal status within the Habsburg monarchy resulted in their decision to leave Austria-Hungary. Czechoslovakia was created on October 28, 1918, with American president Woodrow Wilson contributing to its creation.

“In his famous Fourteen Points speech delivered on January 8, 1918 to the US Congress, he called for, among other things, freedom and self-determination for the various nations living within the Austro-Hungarian Empire,” said US Ambassador to Slovakia, Adam Sterling, on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the speech on January 8, 2018.

Nevertheless, during the creation of the new republic, there were disputes as to which state then Pressburg, with large Hungarian and German-speaking populations, should belong to – Czechoslovakia, Hungary or Austria. At that time, efforts to call the city Wilson’s Town and make it a free city with a status similar to then Gdansk emerged. Gdansk was the Free City of Danzig, an independent quasi-state under the auspices of the League of Nations.

The rest of this article is premium content at Spectator.sk
Subscribe now for full access

I already have subscription - Sign in

Subscription provides you with:
  • Immediate access to all locked articles (premium content) on Spectator.sk
  • Special weekly news summary + an audio recording with a weekly news summary to listen to at your convenience (received on a weekly basis directly to your e-mail)
  • PDF version of the latest issue of our newspaper, The Slovak Spectator, emailed directly to you
  • Access to all premium content on Sme.sk and Korzar.sk

Get daily Slovak news directly to your inbox

Theme: Bratislava

Read more articles by the topic

Top stories

News digest: Slovakia tests en mass and launches vaccination of seniors

Health minister admits resignation if alert system not observed. Slovak diplomat has a new lucrative post.

The vaccination in nursing homes started.

A swab instead of a jab. The renamed testing kicked off

The government spent the week deciding about nationwide testing. Lockdown is starting to show in infection numbers, experts say.

Košice

Curfew will be prolonged. Negative test result will be required for work or trips to nature (FAQ)

Here are some of the answers to questions about the ongoing mass testing.

Nitra

Why Trump's Twitter ban is no censorship

The solution is to force Facebook to regulate their content more — not less.