Masakra katyńska a Słowacja. Obraz tragedii w prasie słowackiej wiosną 1943 roku
Katyn massacre and Slovakia
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The tragedy of Katyn had repercussions not only in Poland but also in other European countries. One of them was Slovakia which at the time of war was an independent country of Hitler’s “New Europe.” The situation of this country was very specific. As a German ally it was under its constant control, but culture and tradition bound it to the Slavic world, of which Russia had been considered the most important representative. After news about the massacre reached Slovak public opinion, an idealized notion of Russian politics was called into question. The media reported on the sensational discovery almost immediately – on the 14th of April 1943. However, since the first news was supplied only by German sources, it sounded suspicious and was believed to be a part of war propaganda. This attitude changed as soon as the results of analyses, carried out by a widely respected pathologist – Prof. Frantisek Subik, were published. Not only was he the only Slovak who witnessed the exhumations, but also a member of the international commission examining the gravesite. Soon after his return from the USSR he shared his impressions and gave a detailed account of his findings during a lecture he held on the 9th of May 1943. Almost all the important newspapers (“Slovak,” “Gardista,” “Slovenska Pravda,” “Slovenska Politika”) wrote about the lecture in a politically correct way. Nazi propaganda in Slovakia also exploited the facts fittingly.
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