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The Slovak Dilemma is a case-study in nationalism. Accepting the view that the four and a half million Slovaks who inhabit the eastern part of Czechoslovakia are a separate Slav ethnic group, Dr Steiner describes their position in Czechoslovak history, their role in political life, the extraordinary persistence and continuing frustration of their national aspirations. After a brief survey of the history of the Slovaks under Hungarian rule, Dr Steiner examines their position in the democratic Czechoslovak Republic which was established in 1918. He analyses the causes of Slovak discontent and shows that although the new constitution granted full expression to Slovak culture, it limited complete development of Slovak national rights. Nevertheless he suggests that Slovak separatism played little part in the dismemberment of Czechoslovakia in 1938 and that the real attitude of the people towards Hitler's puppet Slovak State was eloquently expressed in their tragic rising against it in August 1944.
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