How foreigners helped with the national revolt

Society

How foreigners helped with the national revolt

29. 08. 2019 05:00

On 29 August, 1944, the Slovak National Uprising broke out. It was an armed insurrection and a strong demonstration of the fact that Slovaks refuse fascist rule of the wartime Slovak state and Germany. 75 years later, we look on this important historical event from various angles.

Even though the name Slovak National Uprising evokes that it were Slovaks rising against the unfair rule, in fact there were people of 35 nations and nationalities taking part in the insurgency. Why? And in general, why has the Uprising become such a crucial milestone in the Slovak history? We discuss these questions with the historians Marián Uhrín and Stanislav Mičev.

UPRISING_part 1
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letci nad Slovenskom.jpg

During the later years of the World War II., several American fighter planes were shot down on the territory of the Slovak state. After 29 August, as the Uprising broke out, young Americans fled the prison camps and tried to get to the rebel territory. Following the ridge of the Little Carpathian mountain ridge, they made it all the way to the region of Brezová pod Bradlom.

UPRISING_part 2
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Ján Repta+Eugen R Hodge.jpg Shot-down American aviator Eugene Hodge visited the partisan leader Ján Repta in early 1990s.

snp-anglicka-a-americka-misia.jpg British and American intelligence officers at the Tri Duby airport. Major Sehmer is the one with the pipe.

In 1994, the town of Banská Bystrica awarded in memoriam Major John Sehmer, a British intelligence officer who lost his life after the Slovak National Uprising was suppressed. His story is tied to the Special Operations Executive operation Windproof. We have reached out to his son, Mr. James Sehmer, who followed his father's footsteps in Slovakia several decades later.

UPRISING_part 3
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Sehmerovci v Polomke.jpg James Sehmer and his two sons at the hut above Polomke, where Brits and Americans hid after the Uprising was supressed.

Zuzana Botiková, Photo: Múzeum SNP, J. Repta, P. Kaššák,P. Vitko

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