The 1944 uprising failed and teenagers think the opposite

Four percent also think the Holocaust is a made-up thing, was the right thing to do or nothing horrible, the latest survey revealed.

The Slovak National Uprising took place from August 29, 1944 until October 28, 1944. After all, it failed. The Slovak National Uprising took place from August 29, 1944 until October 28, 1944. After all, it failed. (Source: The SNP Museum (Facebook))

Most teenagers do not have an opinion on the Nazi-allied Slovak state, while nearly half of youngsters think the Slovak National Uprising (SNP) in 1944 was a success, although it was not.

About 4 percent also think the Holocaust is a made-up thing, was the right thing to do or was nothing horrible, the latest survey revealed.

“Even with this number, we must be aware of the impact of dangerous fascist tendencies; these do not concern only anti-Semitism, but also anti-Roma and anti-immigrant attitudes,” said Stanislav Mičev, head of the SNP Museum in Banská Bystrica, as quoted by the regional MY Bystrica website.

Read alsoDebunking some of the SNP myths Read more 

A survey was carried out by the AKO pollster for the SNP Museum between June 21 and July 7, 2019, on a sample of 1,000 young people, aged 15-20.

“In the survey, we asked about four main topics: the SNP, the Slovak state, the Holocaust, and extremism,” AKO head Václav Hřích said, as quoted by Sme.

The survey focused on young people's sources of information as well.

The Slovak state

As for the Nazi-allied Slovak state (1939-1945), 41.5 percent of respondents said they do not know when it actually existed. About 45.1 percent got the time period somewhat right.

Furthermore, 57.6 percent could not say whether the Slovak state should be regarded as a good or bad period of Slovakia's history. However, 18.2 percent see it as a good thing, mostly because of the good economic situation and its sovereignty. Young people from Banská Bystrica Region most often see the Slovak state positively, the survey showed.

One-fifth of respondents regard the Slovak state as a bad period due to fascism, the Holocaust, and Nazi Germany's supremacy.

Read alsoA private firm will profit from big-budget SNP celebrations Read more 

Nearly half the teenagers surveyed got the name of the Slovak state president, Jozef Tiso, right. However, some named Andrej Kiska, Robert Fico, Michal Kováč, and Zuzana Čaputová, which also proves that young people are confused by the expressions Slovak state and the Slovak Republic.

The Slovak National Uprising

The survey also suggests that 73.9 percent are interested in the SNP, which lasted from August 29, 1944 to October 28, 1944. The SNP, whose centre was Banská Bystrica, failed in the end. Yet, up to 46.6 percent said the SNP ended with a success.

Nearly 60 percent could get the period right, but many struggled to tell the exact dates despite the fact that August 29 is a national holiday in Slovakia. At the same time, 11 percent mix the 1944 SNP with other revolutionary years, such as 1848 and 1989.

At the same time, 45.9 percent could give, at least, one right reason why the SNP broke out. In most cases, teenagers name Nazi Germany's domination, the intervention of the German army, and fight against fascism as reasons.

One-fifth of respondents associate the SNP with Tiso, who collaborated with Nazi Germany. He is followed by the SNP organisers, including Brigadier General Ján Golian and General Rudolf Viest. Three out of 10 teenagers could not name anyone related to the SNP.

Read alsoSlovakia celebrates 70th anniversary of the SNP Read more 

The SNP is seen as important by 57 percent of teenagers, mainly in the Banská Bystrica and Žilina Regions. An alarming 40 percent hold no opinion.

During this period, the Germans set more than a hundred Slovak villages on fire, including Kľak, Kalište, and Ostrý Grúň. However, 52 percent of the respondents could not name any.

The Holocaust & extremism

Mičev considers the findings of the survey to be proof of how bad history classes are taught, the MY Bystrica website wrote.

Although about 50 percent marked Tiso and Adolf Hitler as people accountable for the Holocaust, there are still 40 percent who do not know.

Besides, half of Slovak teenagers do not think the Holocaust will not happen again compared to one-fifth of those who think the opposite. Reasons why the risk of another Holocaust does not exist included: people learned their lesson, fewer Jews, and a Holocaust cannot happen in a democratic society.

Read alsoMemories of the uprising: It seemed that even the birds stopped chirping Read more 

Another group, however, said extremist political groups and the Roma issue could, in theory, lead to a Holocaust in Slovakia.

In this regard, nearly 36 percent said Slovaks are disadvantaged compared to minorities, and 47.5 percent said organised armed groups could protect the property and safety of people if required.

Sources of information

The survey also found that young people do not read print media and books or listen to the radio. Television is not popular, either.

Many receive information from the internet, mostly from news website Aktuality.sk, showbiz-oriented Topky.sk, and the youth-oriented Refresher.sk.

As far as alternative media is concerned, Hlavnespravy.sk and Slobodnyvysielac.sk are visited the most. A quarter of the youth sometimes visit at least one Facebook page inclined towards extremism. Mostly Slobodný Vysielač, the survey suggests.

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