Andrej Hlinka - saviour of slovak nation
In first third of twentieth century A. Hlinka indisputable belonged to the most known slovak politicians. But also he was most discussed person- from admires from followers to the hates of his opponetnts. Hlinka was born in peasant’s family on 27th September in 1864 in Černová near Ružomberok. As many nationally oriented preachers and lately christian Priest in Sliače, and then in Ružomber he tried to help by enlightening,organizing industrial self-helping union and spreading slovak newspapers.
Politically he began to work in Hungarian People’s party, that promised to solve national questions. After being disappointed in this party he reoriented himself onto Slovak National Party (SNP). Perish suspended him from executing priest office and court judged him for 2 years in prison.
While he was traveling Czech countries waiting for his punishment, great tragedy happened in his born-village, because citizens did not want to allow to ensaint their new church to anyone else than Hlinka. Local authority wanted enforce ensaitment by another priests using violence. Militia started a fire to weaponless crowd. 13 men had died on place and two died in hospital. 40 citizens were sent to jail.
This tragedy in Černová had great reaction in Europe, noticed on tragic results of hungarisation and opression in Hungary. After discharging prison Hlinka continued working in SNP and lead christian wing until 1913 when he established Slovak Popular Party (SPP).Hlinka´s authotity was important in establishing Czechoslovakia. Authority of Hlinka clearly proves renameing SPP into Hlinka’s SPP. Hlinka was its president until his death in 1938. Great merit of Hlinka is that by his authority and influence weakened strong Hungarian stream evident in Slovakia after 1918. Autonomy of Slovakia, proclaimed by Hlinka, paralyzed crowds. Strickt refusing of centralism in Czechoslovakia but also socialism in its smallest form mobilized large mass of his opponents. Hlinka as majority of politicians of that age was autor of many articles, good speaker with ability to explain problems with language understood to the widest crowds. Hlinka was elected for member of parliament in 1920,1925, 1929, 1935, but still he stayed priest in Ružomberok.
In age of Slovak Republic (1939-1945) his name became object of cult: by his name were called organisation of youth (Hlinka’s youth), armed component of party (Hlinka’s Guard), council accepted separated law about his merits.
After war he was object of many critics.
He died on 16th of August 1938 in Ružomberok. Once again we can repeat his worldly-known sentece : „We want to be not only liberated nation, but also free. We were slovak nation for ages and we want to stay slovak in future. We declare that we do not accept czechoslovak nation, because czechoslovak nation does not exist.“.