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|30 December 1938 – 18 March 1939|
|Status|| Autonomous region of Czecho-Slovakia |
and largest city
|Historical era||Interwar period|
|30 December 1938|
|15 March 1939|
|18 March 1939|
|1939||13,352 km2 (5,155 sq mi)|
|Today part of||Ukraine|
Carpatho-Ukraine or Carpathian Ukraine (Ukrainian : Карпа́тська Украї́на, romanized: Karpats’ka Ukrayina, IPA: [kɐrˈpɑtsʲkɐ ʊkrɐˈjinɐ] ) was an autonomous region within the Second Czechoslovak Republic, created in December 1938 by renaming Subcarpathian Rus' whose full administrative and political autonomy was confirmed by the Constitutional law of 22 November 1938. After the breakup of the Second Czechoslovak Republic, it was proclaimed an independent republic on 15 March 1939, headed by president Avgustyn Voloshyn, who appealed to Hitler for recognition and support. Nazi Germany did not reply, and the short-lived state was returned to the Kingdom of Hungary, crushing all local resistance by 18 March 1939.
The region remained under Hungarian control until the End of World War II in Europe, after which it was occupied and annexed by the Soviet Union. The territory is now administered as the Ukrainian Zakarpattia Oblast.
Soon after the implementation of the Munich Agreement, signed of 30 September 1938, by which Czechoslovakia lost much of its border region to Nazi Germany, a series of political reforms were initiated, leading to creation of the Second Czechoslovak Republic, consisting of three autonomous political entities, including autonomous Slovakia, and autonomous Subcarpathian Rus' (Rusyn: Підкарпатьска Русь). First local Government of autonomous Subcarpathian Rus' was appointed on 11 October 1938, headed by prime-minister Andrej Bródy. In following days, a crisis occurred between two local fractions, pro-Rusyn and pro-Ukrainian, leading to the resignation of Bródy's government on 26 October. New regional government, headed by Avgustyn Voloshyn, adopted a pro-Ukrainian course and initiated the change of regional name, from Subcarpathian Rus' to Carpathian Ukraine.
That proposal opened a new political debate. On 22 November 1938, authorities of the Second Czechoslovak Republic decided to adopt the Constitutional Law on the Autonomy of Subcarpathian Rus' (Czech: Ústavní zákon o autonomii Podkarpatské Rusi), officially reaffirming the self-determination rights of the Rusyn people (preamble), and also confirming full administrative and political autonomy of Subcarpathian Rus', with its own assembly and government. Such terminology was seen as a demonstration of state support for the pro-Rusyn fraction, and on 30 December 1938, local government responded by issuing a provisional decree that proclaimed the change of regional name to Carpathian Ukraine. That led to the creation of a particular terminological duality. In constitutional system of the Second Czechoslovak Republic the region continued to be formally known as the Subcarpathian Rus', while local institutions continued to promote the use of term Carpathian Ukraine.
In late September 1938, Hungary was ready to mobilize between 200,000 and 350,000 men on the Czechoslovak borders in case the Czechoslovak question could not be solved on diplomatic level, in favor of the Hungarian territorial claims. After the Munich Agreement the Hungarian Army had remained poised threateningly on the Czechoslovak border. They reportedly had artillery ammunition for only 36 hours of operations, and were clearly engaged in a bluff, but it was a bluff the Germans had encouraged, and one that they would have been obliged to support militarily if the much larger, better trained and better equipped Czechoslovak Army chose to fight. The Czechoslovak army had built 2,000 small concrete emplacements along the border in places where rivers did not serve as natural obstacles.
The Hungarian minister of the interior, Miklós Kozma, had been born in Subcarpathia, and in mid-1938 his ministry armed the Rongyos Gárda ('Ragged Guard'), which began to infiltrate guerillas along the southern borders of Czechoslovakia, into Slovakia and Subcarpathia. The situation was now verging on open war, which might set the whole of Europe ablaze again. The appendix of the Munich Agreement concluded Czechoslovakia and Hungary should arrange their disputes by mutual negotiations, which could not achieve a final agreement, so the Hungarian and the Czechoslovak governments accepted the German-Italian Arbitration of Vienna as France and the United Kingdom rejected participation of no interest. This led to the First Vienna Award.
On 2 November 1938, this found largely in favor of the Hungarians and obliged the Prague government to cede 11,833 km2 of Slovakia and Carpathian Ruthenia to Hungary. Not only did this transfer the homes of about 590,000 Hungarians to Hungary, but 290,000 Slovaks and 37,000 Rusyns as well. In addition, it cost Slovakia its second-largest city, Košice, and left the capital, Bratislava, vulnerable to further Hungarian pressure. As a consequence, the Slovak end of the Czechoslovak Army had to be reorganized. It had lost its natural defensive positions on the Danube River, almost the entire belt of fortifications along the Hungarian border and several major depots.
On 8 November 1938, the Slovak National Unity Party received 97.5 percent of the Slovak votes, and a one-party state was instituted. Slovak autonomy was formalized by the Prague parliament on 19 November, and to symbolize this new Slovak assertiveness, the country's name was then altered to Czecho-Slovakia. Carpatho-Ukraine was also given autonomy.
The Arbitration of Vienna fully satisfied nobody, and there followed 22 border clashes between 2 November 1938 and 12 January 1939, during which five Czechoslovaks were killed and six were wounded. The Slovak national militia Hlinka Guard participated in these clashes. The ineffectiveness of the Prague government in protecting their interests stirred Slovak and Ukrainian nationalism further. On 6 January 1939 Czechoslovak troops ordered by general Lev Prchala performed a surprise attack on the city of Munkács (now Mukacheve), in which the Carpathian Sich were as well involved, but the Rongyos Gárda with the help of the local police pushed them back. After this incident Döme Sztójay, the Hungarian ambassador in Berlin transferred a message to the German government in case of the German occupation of the Czech lands and the declaration of Slovak independence Hungary will occupy the rest of Carpathian Ruthenia, regardless of German approval. On March 11, the German ambassador in Budapest outlined in the German Government's response if Hungary will maintain and uphold the economic contracts with Germany, respect the rights of the local Germans and would not persecute the members of the Volosin Cabinet, then in case of the proclamation of an independent Carpatho-Ukraine would be acquiescent regarding the Hungarian plans.
Part of a series on the
|History of Ukraine|
Slovak and Ukrainian nationalism grew more intense. On 10 March, the Hlinka Guard and Volksdeutsche demonstrated, demanding independence from Czecho-Slovakia.[ citation needed ] In the evening of 13 March, Slovak leader Jozef Tiso and Ďurčanský met Adolf Hitler, Joachim von Ribbentrop, and Generals Walther von Brauchitsch and Wilhelm Keitel in Berlin.
Hitler made it absolutely clear: Slovakia could either declare independence immediately and associate itself with the Reich, or he would allow the Hungarians to take over the country – whom Ribbentrop reported were massing at the border.[ citation needed ] During the afternoon and night of 14 March, the Slovak parliament proclaimed independence from Czecho-Slovakia, and at 05:00 on 15 March 1939, Hitler declared the unrest in Czecho-Slovakia to be a threat to German national security. He sent his troops into Bohemia and Moravia, meeting virtually no resistance.
Following the Slovak proclamation of independence on March 14 and the Nazis' seizure of Czech lands on 15 March, Carpatho-Ukraine declared its independence as the Republic of Carpatho-Ukraine, with the Reverend Avgustyn Voloshyn as head of state.[ citation needed ]. Voloshin was now supported by the population of Subcarpathia. The First Constitutional Law of Carpatho-Ukraine of 15 March 1939 defined the new country as follows:
The proclaimed Carpatho-Ukrainian government was headed by President Avgustyn Voloshyn, [ citation needed ] The head of the Soim was Avhustyn Shtephan, his deputies were Fedir Révaý and Stepan Rosokha.[ citation needed ] The Slovak declaration of independence caused law and order to break down immediately. The Hungarians had learned that the Germans would not object to a Hungarian takeover of Carpatho-Ukraine on the same day.Prime Minister Julian Révaý, Minister of Defence Stepan Klochurak, and Minister of Internal Affairs Yuriy Perevuznyk.
|Hungarian invasion of Carpatho-Ukraine|
|Commanders and leaders|
| 12th Division |
Border Security (StOS)
| Carpathian Group |
| ± 2,000 |
| > 40,000 |
|Casualties and losses|
| 72 deaths, 164 wounded, 3 missing and 2 prisoners (official Hungarian statistics) |
± 200 killed and several hundred wounded (Czech and Ukrainian estimates)
| Czechoslovak forces lost 40 killed, 150 injured and 17 missing |
± 27,000 civilians killed
The Chief of General Staff of Hungary Henrik Werth was asking for at least a week to prepare for the invasion, instead the Royal Council gave him only 12 hours to occupy Carpathian Ruthenia before declaration of Slovak independence.Responsible for preparation to the assault was appointed chief of Munkacs garrison Lajos Béldi who commanded 1st Mountain Brigade, while Lieutenant General Ferenc Szombathelyi (commander of the 8th Corps in Kassa) was placed in charge of the Carpathian Group as an expeditionary force.
The available Hungarian forces consisted of an infantry regiment, two cavalry regiments, three infantry battalions on bicycles, one motorized battalion, two border guard battalions, one artillery battalion and two armored trains. These forces were counting for more than two World War II divisions. They were supported by Fiat CR.32 fighter aircraft amounting to one regiment. In addition to regular units, Hungarians were also aided by several irregular formations such as the Rongyos Gárda and black-shirt guards of István Fenczik, who has been accused earlier as a Magyaron by the Volosin-cabinet.
The Hungarian Border Guard units stationed around Munkács, after throwing back the attacking Czecho-Slovak units on 14 March 1939, pressed forward in turn, and took the town of Őrhegyalja (today Pidhoriany as part of Mukacheve).
On 15 March 1939, the Hungarian Army regular troops invaded Carpatho-Ukraine and by nightfall reached Szolyva. The Carpatho-Ukrainian irregular troops, the Carpathian Sich, without additional support, were quickly routed.The greatest battle between the Hungarian army and several hundreds Ukrainian soldiers (armed with light machine guns, rifles, hand grenades and pistols) took place near Khust. About 230 Ukrainians died in the battle.
Czecho-Slovak resistance in Carpatho-Ukraine was negligible, and the advancing Hungarian troops did not have to face a well-organized and centralized resistance. The Hungarian Army also had the advantage of the First Vienna Award, which made it possible for the Hungarians to take possession of the area where the Czechs built their permanent fortifications against Hungary.
On 16 March 1939, Hungary formally annexed the territory. Prime Minister Yulian Révaý had resisted the Hungarians until then. In the night to 17 March, the last Czecho-Slovak troops left Khust and retreated to Romanian borders. They and the one-day president of Carpatho-Ukraine, Voloshyn, fled to Romania.
The Hungarian Army continued their advance, pushing forward at top speed, and reached the Polish border on 17 March.Those Sich members who came from the province of Galicia as Polish citizens were captured by Hungarians and handed over to Polish soldiers for illegally crossing the border, while some 500-600 were executed by Polish soldiers. The last resistance in the Carpathian mountains was taken out on 18 March.
The invasion campaign was a success, but it also proved that the Hungarian Army was not yet ready for full war. The handicaps imposed by the Trianon Treaty were clearly visible, but the morale and nationalist spirit of the soldiers and the civilian populations were high [ citation needed ], which was also important in building a strong national army.
The Hungarian invasion was followed by a few weeks of terror in which more than 27,000 people were shot dead without trial and investigation.Over 75,000 Ukrainians decided to seek asylum in the USSR; of those almost 60,000 of them died in Gulag prison-camps.
In total between 1939 and 1944 80,000 Carpathian Ukrainians perished.
Following the German occupation of Hungary in March 1944, Adolf Eichmann oversaw the deportation of almost the entire Hungarian Jewish population; few survived the Holocaust. At the conclusion of the Battle of the Dukla Pass on 28 October 1944, the Soviet Union had driven the Germans and Hungarians back and liberated Carpathian Ruthenia and the rest of western Ukraine. Control of Carpathian Ruthenia thus "nominally" reverted to Czechoslovakia. The delegation of the Czechoslovak government-in-exile, led by minister František Němec, arrived in Khust to establish the provisional Czechoslovak administration, according to the treaties between the Soviet and Czechoslovak government that year.
However, after just a few weeks, for reasons that remain unclear, the Red Army and the People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs started to obstruct the delegation's work and finally a puppet "National Committee of Transcarpatho-Ukraine" was set up in Mukachevo under the protection of the Red Army. On 26 November this committee, led by Ivan Ivanovich Turyanitsa, a Rusyn who had deserted from the Czechoslovak army,[ citation needed ] proclaimed the "will of Ukrainian people" to separate from Czechoslovakia and to join the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic. After two months of conflict and unsuccessful negotiations the Czechoslovak government delegation departed Khust on 1 February 1945, leaving Carpatho-Ukraine under Soviet control.
The Soviet Union exerted pressure on Czechoslovakia, and on 29 June 1945, the two countries signed a treaty, officially ceding Carpatho-Ruthenia to the USSR. In 1946, the area became part of the Ukrainian SSR as the Zakarpattia Oblast.
The Soim of Carpatho-Ukraine was established on 12 February 1939 by the Czechoslovakian constitutional act of 22 November 1938. It consisted of 32 representatives with 29 Ukrainians and three of national minorities. There was only a single session of the parliament that took place on 15 March 1939 in Khust.
At the session the parliament approved the proclamation of the sovereignty of Carpatho-Ukraine, adopted its Constitution, elected the president, and confirmed the new government of Julian Révaý. The head of the Soim became Augustin Štefan with his deputies, Fedir Révaý and Stepan Rosokha. The presidium of the Soim emigrated out of the country following the invasion of Carpatho-Ukraine by the Hungarian Armed Forces.
Czechoslovakia, or Czecho-Slovakia, was a sovereign state in Central Europe that existed from October 1918, when it declared its independence from the Austro-Hungarian Empire, until its peaceful dissolution into the Czech Republic and Slovakia on 1 January 1993.
Ruthenia is an exonym, originally used in Medieval Latin as one of several designations for East Slavic regions, and most commonly as a designation for the lands of Rus'. During the early modern period, the term also acquired several specific meanings. Ancient land of Rus was ruled by Rurikid dynasty. Last of Rurikids ruled as Tsars of all Rus/Russia until 16th century.
Ruthenians and Ruthenes are Latin exonyms formerly used in Western Europe for the ancestors of modern East Slavic peoples, especially the Rus' people with an Eastern Orthodox or Ruthenian Greek Catholic religious background. The corresponding word in the Polish language is "rusini" and in Ukrainian language is "русини" (rusyny).
Rusyns and Ukrainians in Czechoslovakia during the period from 1918 to 1938, were ethnic Rusyns and ethnic Ukrainians of the First Czechoslovak Republic, representing two main ethnic communities in the most eastern region of Czechoslovakia, known during that period as the Subcarpathian Rus.
The German occupation of Czechoslovakia (1938–1945) began with the German annexation of Sudetenland in 1938, continued with the March 1939 invasion of the Czech lands and creation of the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, and by the end of 1944 extended to all parts of the former Czechoslovakia.
Carpathian Ruthenia, Carpatho-Ukraine or Zakarpattia is a historic region in the border between Central and Eastern Europe, mostly located in western Ukraine's Zakarpattia Oblast, with smaller parts in easternmost Slovakia and Lemkivshchyna in Poland. In the Middle Ages it was part of Kievan Rus'. Before World War I most of this region was part of the Kingdom of Hungary. In the interwar period, it was part of the First and Second Czechoslovak Republic. During World War II, the region was annexed by the Kingdom of Hungary once again. After the war, it was occupied by the USSR and became part of Soviet Ukraine.
Jews settled in Transcarpathia as early as the 15th century. Local rulers allowed Jewish citizens to own land and practice many trades that were precluded to them in other locations. Jews settled in The region over timeand established communities that built great synagogues, schools, printing houses, businesses, and vineyards. By the end of the 19th century there were as many as 150,000 Jews living in the region.
The Zakarpatska Oblast is an administrative oblast (province) located in southwestern Ukraine, coterminous with the historical region of Carpathian Ruthenia. Its administrative centre is the city of Uzhhorod. Other major cities within the oblast include Mukachevo, Khust, Berehove and Chop which is home to railroad transport infrastructure.
Rusyns, sometimes referred to as Rusnaks, also known as Ruthenians, Carpatho-Ruthenians or Carpatho-Russians, are an East Slavic people who speak the Rusyn language. They descend from an East Slavic population which inhabited the northern regions of the Eastern Carpathians from the Early Middle Ages. Together with other East Slavs from neighboring regions, they were often labeled by the common exonym Ruthenians, or by the regionally more specific designation Carpathian Ruthenians, with sub-group designations such as Dolinyans, Boykos, Hutsuls and Lemkos. Unlike their neighbors to the east, who adopted the use of the ethnonym Ukrainians in the early 20th century, Rusyns kept and preserved their original name. As residents of northeastern regions of the Carpathian Mountains, Rusyns are closely connected to, and also sometimes associated with, other Slavic communities in the region, like the West Slavic highlander community of Gorals. The use of Rusyn ethnonym is highly politicized, particularly due to the irredentist thought in modern Russia that considers Ruthenian nation part of the nation of Great Russians.
The First Vienna Award was a treaty signed on November 2, 1938, as a result of the Vienna Arbitration. The Arbitration took place at Vienna's Belvedere Palace. The Arbitration and Award were direct consequences of the Munich Agreement the previous month and decided the partitioning of Czechoslovakia.
Rev. Avgustyn Ivanovych Voloshyn was a Carpatho-Ukrainian politician, teacher, essayist, priest of the Mukacheve eparchy in Czechoslovakia of the Greek Catholic Church. He was president of the independent Carpatho-Ukraine, which existed for one day on March 15, 1939.
Khust is a city located on the Khustets River in Zakarpattia Oblast (province) in western Ukraine. It is near the сonfluence of the Tisa and Rika Rivers. Serving as the administrative center of Khust Raion (district), the city itself does not belong to the raion and is designated as a city of oblast significance, with the status equal to that of a raion. Population: 28,448 (2016 est.)
Carpathian Ruthenia was a region in the easternmost part of Czechoslovakia that became autonomous within that country in September 1938, declared its independence as the "Republic of Carpatho-Ukraine” in March 1939, was immediately occupied and annexed by Hungary, invaded by the Soviet Red Army in 1944 and incorporated into the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic in 1946. In total between 1939 and 1944 80,000 Carpathian Ukrainians perished.
"Pole and Hungarian brothers be" and "Pole and Hungarian, two good friends" are English translations of a popular saying about the traditional kinship, brotherhood, and camaraderie between Poles and Hungarians.
Gregory Ignatius Zhatkovich was an American lawyer and political activist for Rusyns in the United States and Europe.
The Second Czechoslovak Republic existed for 169 days, between 30 September 1938 and 15 March 1939. It was composed of Bohemia, Moravia, Silesia and the autonomous regions of Slovakia and Subcarpathian Rus', the latter being renamed on 30 December 1938 to Carpathian Ukraine.
Hungary–Poland relations are the foreign relations between Hungary and Poland. Relations between the two nations date back to the Middle Ages. The two Central European peoples have traditionally enjoyed a very close friendship, brotherhood and camaraderie rooted in a deep history of shared rulers, cultures, and faith. Both countries commemorate their fraternal relationship on March 23.
The Carpathian Sich were irregular soldiers of the short-lived state of Carpatho-Ukraine.
Elections for deputies to the Czechoslovak parliament from the Užhorod electoral district were held on 16 March 1924. Nine members of the Chamber of Deputies and four senators were elected.
The Soim was the parliament of the short-lived Republic of Carpatho-Ukraine. The assembly had its seat in Khust.
| Bohemia |
|Austrian Empire||First Republic a||Sudetenland b||Third Republic||Czechoslovak Republice|
| Czechoslovak Socialist Republic f|
| Czech and Slovak Federative Republic |
| Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia |
|Slovakia||Kingdom of Hungary|| Slovak Republic |
|Southern Slovakia and Carpathian Ukraine d|
|Subcarpathian Ruthenia|| Zakarpattia Oblast g|
1944 /1946 –1991
| Zakarpattia Oblast h|
a ČSR; boundaries and government established by the 1920 constitution.
e ČSR; declared a "people's democracy" (without a formal name change) under the Ninth-of-May Constitution following the 1948 coup.