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2009 | 2 | 54-65
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THE SLOVAK POPULATION AND POLISH-SLOVAK RELATIONS IN SPISZ AND ORAWA IN 1956-1960 (Ludnosc slowacka i stosunki polsko-slowackie na Spiszu i Orawie w latach 1956-1960)

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In 1957, after several months of efforts the Czechs and the Slovaks living in Poland managed to establish their own national social–cultural association. At the same time, the activity of the Slovak population produced a critical reaction on the part of the Polish intelligentsia. A group of Polish teachers issued a letter openly calling for the liquidation of Slovak schools. Other members of the Polish intelligentsia proposed the foundation of a Union of the Friends of Spisz and Orawa, going on the assumption that since the Slovak minority possessed its own association, the Polish population should enjoy similar privileges. The authorities did not concede, fearing that such a decision could further inflame national tension. Mutual relations were also affected by the use of the Slovak language in liturgy. The Society embarked upon suitable endeavours addressed to the Church authorities, but to no avail. The purpose of the Commission for National Questions, created in 1957 by the Central Committee of the Polish United Workers' Party, was to alleviate the existing prejudices and conflicts. Its activity, however, did not contribute to liquidating the tension between part of the Polish ad Slovak population, a target attained finally at the end of the 1950s thanks to, i. a. a number of steps aimed at the economic development of this region.
  • Julian Kwiek, Akademia Górniczo-Hutnicza w Krakowie, al. MIckiewicza 30, 30-059 Kraków, Poland
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