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Bratislava, the capital and its inhabitants in 1919-1920

The exhibition is devoted to the integration of Bratislava into the Czechoslovak Republic and to settlement of the official name for the capital, Bratislava. In 2009 we commemorate the 90th anniversary of these events.
Author: Elena Kurincová
Place: Primaciálny palác
From 25th April to 28th June 2009
Bratislava, Capital of the Slovak Republic
Bratislava City Museum
Slovak National Archive
Slovak Film Institute


The way by which Bratislava became the capital of Slovakia was not straightforward. A combination of geopolitical, political as well as many practical considerations constituted the main factors. Even after the Austrian–“Hungarian” partition, in addition to its regional political functions and thanks to advancing industrialisation, Pressburg, Pozsony, the municipality and county town, retained its significant economic, transport and commercial position.

It was the largest urban agglomeration in Slovakia which was about to become a part of the newly-established state. The inclusion of Bratislava into the Czechoslovak Republic on 1st January 1919 was the final stage of the military operations culminating in the occupation of Slovakia by military units. In 1919 Bratislava became the unofficial administrative and political, economic and gradually the cultural centre of a Slovakia inhabited by three million people. This fact, which was conditioned on the establishment of the Czech –Slovak state, became the driving force for significant changes to the “city on the Danube”. Changes were initiated in the social structure of individual nations, in the ethnic affiliation of a proportion of the inhabitants and opportunities for immigration spread from Bratislava across the whole of Slovakia. In tandem with the urban reconstruction of the town came the industrial boom and developments in the education system and culture.


Chronology of the most important events:

27th October 1918: Bratislava – establishment of the Slovak National Council for Prešporok and its environs

members: Samuel Zoch, Ferdiš Juriga, Štefan Krčméry, Emanuel Lehocký and others

28th October 1918: Praha – proclamation by the National Committee of the common state of the Czechs and Slovaks

30th October 1918: Martin –the Slovak National Council expressed in the Declaration of the Slovak Nation its agreement to the new state

31st October 1918: Bratislava – meeting of inhabitants, establishment of Hungarian-German National Council (Committee) for Prešporok, members: Zoltán Jankó, Pavol Wittich, Marcel Jankovics and others

4th November 1918: “Interim Slovak government” established with its seat in Skalica

7th November 1918: Bratislava - Zoltán Jankó appointed Chief County Administrator and Governmental Commissioner of the Bratislava County and Town of Bratislava

9th November 1918: – members of the Executive Committee of the Prešporok (Hungarian-German) National Council Max Fejér, Pavol Wittich, August Massar leave for Vienna to negotiate on Bratislava remaining a part of Hungary

13th November 1918: Belgrade Truce – defence of Bratislava handed over to Captain Viktor Heltay

14th November 1918: Bratislava – meeting of the radical party; Max Fejér demands the establishment of the autonomous republic in Bratislava

14th November 1918: Prague – the Czechoslovak State declared as Republic

6th December 1918: Budapest – provisional line of demarcation between Slovakia and Hungary agreed by Milan Hodža, Bratislava and so-called Corn Island (Žitný ostrov)

10th December 1918: - Vavro Šrobár as Plenipotentiary for Administering Slovakia

12th December 1918: – arrival of Šrobár’s Ministry to Žilina

15th December 1918:  Samuel Zoch appointed Bratislava Chief County Administrator; start of negotiations between Samuel Zoch and Zoltán Jankó on peaceful handover of the town

24th December 1918: decision of the Supreme Council of the Allied Armies on the line of demarcation between Slovakia and Hungary; Bratislava part of the Czechoslovak Republic

31st December 1918: Bratislava – administration assumed by the People’s Commissioner Pavol Wittich

30th December 1918: – 1st January 1919 Bratislava – occupation of the town by the 33rd Regiment of Italian Legions, by order of the Commander-in-Chief of the Czechoslovak Army in Slovakia, Luigi .G. Piccione

4th January 1919: Bratislava – declaration by Samuel Zoch on handover of power in Bratislava County and the Town of Bratislava by the Czech-Slovak state administration

18th January 1919: Bratislava declared the capital of the Slovak Republic

18th January 1919: Paris – opening of the Peace Conference

28th January 1919: BratislavaHungarian Elizabethan University closed

3rd February 1919: Bratislava – strike by railway workers, post office and power workers

4th - 5thFebruary 1919: the Office of the Plenipotentiary for Administering Slovakia transfers to Bratislava

12th February 1919: Bratislava – protest meeting of town’s residents in front of the market hall

25th February 1919: – monetary separation of Czech – Slovakia from the Monarchy

1st March 1919: – Hungarian Republic of Councils declared

25th March 1919: – declaration of martial law in Slovakia

27th March 1919: – Official News of the Prešporok County No. 13 publishes decision on settlement of use of the name Bratislava

4th May 1919: Ivanka pri Bratislave – tragic death of the Minister of War, General M. R. Štefánik

10th May 1919: Bratislava – ceremony for taking leave of General M. R. Štefánik

12th May 1919: Paris – decision in the peace negotiations determining the border between Slovakia and Hungary as the middle of the Danube

24th June 1919: Paris – decision of the Supreme Military Council on the truce between the Czechoslovak Army and the Hungarian Red Army

25th June – 1st July 1919: negotiation in Reduta on truce between General Eugéne Mittelhausser and People’s Commissioner Peter Ágoston

11th July 1919: Bratislava – start of activity leading to establishment of the Czechoslovak State University (as per the Act of the National Assembly of the Czech-Slovak Republic of 27th June 1919)

14th August 1919: – demand for recognition of the true right bank of the Danube as the bridgehead and the inclusion of Petržalka into Bratislava accepted



Responsible: Beáta Husová
Created / changed: 6.4.2009 / 6.4.2009


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