Wartime Bratislava

The growing influence of Hitler in Central Europe reached its peak in March 1939 with the disintegration of Czechoslovakia. Protectorate under Nazi administration was established in the Czech territory. Slovak politicians were called on by Hitler to decide on the further fate of Slovakia. Out of two alternatives– division of Slovakia among Poland, Hungary and the Protectorate of Czechia and Moravia or establishment of an independent state, the then political leadership made up their minds for the second alternative. Thus the independent Slovak State was established, whose 6-year existence remains a controversial chapter in our history unresolved to the present day.

During the existence of the Slovak State, Bratislava became a capital for the first time. The town was the seat of the President, Parliament, Government and all offices of state administration. However, it also lost part of its territory – PetrĎalka and Devín were annexed to Germany. By the end of the war, Bratislava, as a capital city of an allied country of Hitlerian Germany, was bombed by the US Air Force. On 4 April 1945 , Bratislava was liberated by Stalin’s red army.