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Judr. Imrich Karvaš: Biography

(February 25, 1903 Varšany - February 20, 1981 Turá Lúka)

Imrich Karvaš was born in the family of the notary in Varšany (Levice district) on February 25, 1903. He visited elementary school in Pukanec, later in Holíč in years 1909 - 1913. He graduated on gymnasium in Skalica in 1921.

After the graduation he decided to study in Faculty of Law on the University of J. A. Komenský in Bratislava. After the graduation ceremony in 1925 he remained on Faculty of Law as an assistant. In the same year he obtained a title Judr. and later: docent (1930) , special professor (1934) and academic professor (1940). The young Karvaš was attracted to economic law. He obtained a studentship and became a student of the University of Paris and University in Strasburg in years 1926 – 1927. When he came back, he started to work as assistant secretary in Camber of Commerce and Industry. He was a secretary of Association of Slovak banks in years 1930 – 1933.

He was nominated to general secretary of the Institute of general economics of Slovakia and Ruthenia in Bratislava in 1932. He was in this position till 1938 and he was also vice president of the Export institute in Prague. Doc. Judr. Karvaš approved in this positions as an excellent expert. This fact was acknowledged by his lecture tour in the USA in 1937. He became a member of Economic Society Colorado Springs.

Doc. Judr. Karvaš worked in the function of the “minister without a chair” of the industry and trade in Czechoslovak government in years 1938 – 1939. After the declaration of the Slovak republic on March 14, 1939 he became a governor of the Slovak national bank. Slovak government nominated him to the position chairman of the Chief office of catering industry in 1942. He was in this position till his arrest by Gestapo on September 3, 1944. According to stimulus of Karvaš commercial university was origin in Bratislava in 1940.
Prof. Karvaš participated in antifascist resistance in August 1943. He co operated with group of Dr. Vavro Šrobár till the second half of year 1944. He established contacts with members of illegal Slovak National Council through Dr. Ing. Zaťko and they informed him about preparations of the Slovak National Uprising. His task was to supply the uprising from the economic aspect. Prof. Karvaš used the bombing of Bratislava in June 1944 and ordered to transfer about 3 billion crowns from Slovak National bank in Bratislava to branch office of the Slovak national bank in Banská Bystrica. This money were available for the insurgents after the declaration of the Slovak National Uprising. In spite of conspiration Gestapo uncovered the relations between Karvaš and antifascists and arrested him in his own apartment on September 3, 1944. After interrogation on Gestapo in Bratislava he was interned in concentration camps of Flossenburg, Dachau, Innsbruck and Niederdorf.
After his comeback from the concentration camp in 1945 he taught and worked as an adviser of the Czechoslovak government for the reconstruction of Slovakia. Prof. I. Karvaš occupied a post of decanus of the Faculty of Law and he was a chairman of International executive board of the health resort.

He refused to co-operate with communist regime and the State court in Prague found him guilty in crimen leasae majestatis in 1949. He lost his property and went to prison for 2 years. He was released after 1 year with health problems.

Within the frame of Action “B” his family was evacuated from Bratislava in 1953. He was second time found guilty for crimen leasae majestatis and sent to prison for 17 years in 1958. He became amnesty after 2 years and he was rehabilitated by court in 1969.

He died on February 20, 1981.

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