The Greatest Slovak, a television poll broadcast by the public broadcaster RTVS, has revealed who Slovak viewers see as the top 100 greatest Slovaks in history.
Milan Rastislav Štefánik, one of the founders of Czechoslovakia in 1918, features in the top 10 alongside former communist Czechoslovak president Gustáv Husák, who appeared among the ten greatest villains as voted by Czechs in a similar poll 14 years ago, as the Sme daily reported.
Communist politician Alexander Dubček, who triggered the communist liberalisation known as the Prague Spring in 1968, has been listed among the 10 greatest Slovaks.
RTVS said 24,000 viewers voted in the nomination process, based on which the list of the 100 greatest Slovaks was drawn up, the CTK newswire wrote.
Top 10 finalists
Each Wednesday, Slovaks will be watching documentaries and panel discussions broadcast by RTVS on the 10 greatest Slovaks, from February 24 until May 1. The greatest Slovak will be announced on May 1, as reported by the omediach.com website.
10 greatest Slovaks
Milan Rastislav Štefánik
Ss. Cyril and Methodius
(Names are listed in no particular order. The greatest Slovak will be announced on May 1, 2019. )
Priest and politician Andrej Hlinka, whom some of the Slovaks see as the father of the nation in the interwar period, features in the top 10 as well.
Ľudovít Štúr, Slovak politician from the 19th century and codifier of the Slovak language, and highwayman Juraj Jánošík, whom the poets grouped around Štúr made a national hero, have joined the group.
Christian missionaries from the Byzantine Empire, Saints Cyril and Methodius, who created the Glagolitic alphabet used by the Slavs living in Great Moravia in the 9th century, have made it onto the list, too.
Cyclist Peter Sagan, priest and dissident Anton Srholec, as well as singer Marika Gombitová, the only female nominated, are on the top 10 list.
Who made it into the TOP 100?
Paratrooper Jozef Gabčík, one of those who in 1942 killed Reich-Protector of Bohemia and Moravia, Reinhard Heydrich, came 11th in the poll.
Slovaks voted in murdered journalist Ján Kuciak, ranked the 13th greatest Slovak, followed by the first PM of the Slovak Republic, Vladimír Mečiar, in 15th place.
Current politicians feature on the list in addition to many artists, scientists, sportspeople, and writers – former PM Robert Fico came in 35th, president Andrej Kiska came 55th, and Speaker of Parliament Andrej Danko came 58th.
After criticism RTVS excluded Jozef Tiso, who was the president of the Slovak State, a client state of Nazi Germany, during the Second World War. Tiso was hanged in 1947 for his collaboration with the Nazis and treason, the Dennik N daily reported.
Some of the greatest Slovaks questioned
Among the hundred people nominated in the poll are personalities whom are hard to consider as Slovaks.
Andy Warhol, who came 14th, was born to Slovak parents in the USA. Empress Maria Theresa was also ranked as the 22nd greatest Slovak alongside the Hungarian king Matej Korvín, who ended up in 98th place.
American astronaut Eugene Cernan, whose mother was Slovak, was voted the 37th greatest Slovak.
Czech PM Andrej Babiš, who was born in Bratislava, came 89th.
3. Jan 2019 at 14:08 | Compiled by Spectator staff