The Slovak National Uprising (SNP) of 1944 represents one of the greatest armed anti-fascist events taking place during the years of the World War II. Slovak political representatives of the left-wing communist and civic democratic illegal anti-fascist movement, with a military headquarters founded at the Headquarters of Land Forces of the Slovak Army in Banská Bystrica in spring 1944, had participated on its preparation since December 1943. An objective of the uprising was to military react against Nazi Germany and its Slovak cooperators at a right moment, change the Slovakia's position of a vassal state of the Third Reich with help of the allied world powers, and bring it to the anti-fascist camp of the Allies. The Slovak anti-fascists elaborated two alternatives of the uprising − an optimal one, counting on a coordinated reaction of the Slovak army and the Allies, and emergency one, relying on armed resistance at all costs, in case Nazi Germany attempted to occupy the territory of the Slovak Republic. On August 29, 1944, German troops tried to military occupy Slovakia, which was a signal for the military headquarters to declare the uprising and use the emergency alternative. Approximately sixty thousand Slovak army soldiers and from twelve to fifteen thousand partisans gradually started to participate in the armed resistance against the German occupation. In the territory of central Slovakia with the centre in Banská Bystrica, a continuous liberated area, which managed to defend itself against the German numerical superiority for almost two months, was formed. In the final phase, the German army used military troops with power of almost four divisions in order to suppress the uprising. The organised military resistance within SNP was defeated at the end of October 1944. However, plenty of military troops did not surrender and managed to fight in Slovak mountains until the end of the war.
The postage stamp is based on the impressive work of the academic sculptor Jozef Jankovič from 1969, “Obete varujú” (Victims warn us), being a part of the SNP memorial in Banská Bystrica. The memorial silhouette is included in the special postmark. A motive of the first day cover is the town castle in Banská Bystrica and includes also the coat of arms of the town.
Anton HrnkoShow less
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