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The 100th Anniversary of the Establishment of Czecho-Slovakia Issue number
Date of issue
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1.90 €
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1.90 €

The Slovaks and Czechs, two close Slavic nations, had developed as parts of different nations from the end of the 10th century; however, they still had a cultural influence on each other throughout the whole period. From 1526, the territories inhabited by these two nationalities were part of the Habsburg Monarchy, yet with different constitutional positions. Slovakia was part of the Kingdom of Hungary (from 1000), and the Czech lands were part of the Holy Roman Empire inherited by the Habsburgs. From the late 18th century, the oppression of non-German and non-Hungarian nationalities in the Habsburg Empire gradually increased, peaking after the Austro-Hungarian Compromise of 1867. From the late 19th century, the efforts of Slovaks and Czechs to escape oppression led to a deepening of the cooperation between them in order to achieve national liberation for both nations. These efforts reached their peak during the First World War, when Slovaks and Czechs began to fight for national liberation - first abroad and later at home. Led by a Czech, T. G. Masaryk, and a Slovak, M. R. Štefánik, the Czecho-Slovak National Council was created in exile along with international legions that helped persuade the Triple Entente of the effectiveness of the creation of a Czecho-Slovak state. That state came into existence on October 28, 1918 in Prague, and the Slovaks joined through the Declaration of the Slovak Nation on October 30, 1918. The Versailles peace treaties of 1919 and 1920 acknowledged the new state under the name of the Czechoslovak Republic.
     The stamp is an artistic interpretation of a photograph of a Slovak girl in her national folk costume, and was taken by the Czech folklorist, K. Plicko. It symbolises the hope that the new state would become a genuine home for both nations. This unfortunately did not happen as the state ceased to exist between 1939 and1945 and was finally dissolved in 1993. Nonetheless, it was an important historical part of the journey towards the Slovak Republic of today. The FDC depicts the Tatra banka building in Martin, where the Declaration of the Slovak Nation was adopted. The decorative frame of the Declaration also frames that building. 

                                                                                                                                                                                            Anton Hrnko

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