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Rudolf Vrba (right, in Bratislava, June/July 1944) was expelled from his Bratislava gymnasium (high school) in 1939 under the Slovak version of the Nuremberg Laws and was deported by Slovak authorities to the concentration camps. He and Arnost Rosin (left) escaped from the death camp at Auschwitz.

After World War I and the formation of Czechoslovakia on October 28, 1918, Bratislava was incorporated into the new nation despite its representatives' reluctance.[1] As the city was dominated by Hungarians and Germans, they tried to prevent annexation of Bratislava to Czechoslovakia and declared it a free city. The Czechoslovak Legions arrived in the city in January 1919, thereby making it part of Czechoslovakia.[2] The city immediately became the seat of Slovakia's political organs and organizations. It won over other candidates for Slovakia's capital (Martin and Nitra) because of its economic importance and the strategic position on the Danube.[3] On March 27, 1919, the name Bratislava was officially adopted for the first time.[4] Under the democracy and relative ethnic tolerance of the First Czechoslovak Republic the number of declared Slovaks doubled and Czech population increased, while German and especially Hungarian population fell considerably in the city, but the rise of fascist ideas in the late 1930s increased ethnic tensions.[5] In 1938 the Nazi leader Adolf Hitler annexed neighbouring Austria in the Anschluss; as part of this Germany annexed the still-independent Petržalka and Devín boroughs on ethnic grounds.[6][7] Bratislava was declared the capital of the first independent Slovak Republic on 14 March 1939. In 1941–1942 the new Slovak government expelled most of Bratislava's approximately 15,000 Jews. This policy was championed by the pro-Nazi wing of the Slovak People's Party, was approved by most of the population,[8][9] and was not in itself unusual for the city, as Bratislava Jews had been victims of riots and pogroms in 1882, 1848 and earlier.[10] Expulsions resumed in 1944–1945 when Bratislava was occupied by German troops. Most of the expelled Jews were sent to their deaths in concentration camps.[11] Bratislava was bombarded by the Allies and eventually liberated by the Soviet Red Army on April 4, 1945.[6][12] At the end of World War II, most Bratislava Germans were evacuated by German authorities; a few returned after the war, but were expelled under the Beneš decrees.[13] Expulsion of Hungarians was decreed as well, but this was not completed and a minority of the pre-war Hungarians remained.[14]

After the Communist Party seized power in Czechoslovakia in February 1948, the city became part of the Eastern Bloc, and hundreds of citizens were expelled during the communist repression of the 1950s, with the aim to replace "reactionary" people with the proletarian class.[11][5] For example, after the Soviets staged anti-Jewish riots in Bratislava in 1946 and 1948, most of the Jewish remnant departed.[15] The population rose significantly as the city became 90% Slovak and annexed new land, and large residential areas consisting of high-rise prefabricated panel buildings, for example in the Petržalka borough, were built. The city's 1970 population of 284,000 rose to about 444,000 by 1990.[16] The Communist government also built several new grandiose buildings, such as the Nový Most bridge and the Slovak Radio headquarters, sometimes at the expense of the historical cityscape.

In 1968, the city became the capital of the Slovak Socialist Republic, one of two states of the newly federalized Czechoslovakia. But the citizens of Bratislava also had to suffer the Soviet occupation after the Warsaw Pact troops invaded the country the very same year, ending the Czechoslovak attempt to liberalize the Communist regime. Bratislava's dissidents anticipated the fall of the Communism with the Bratislava candle demonstration in 1988 and the city became one of the foremost centres of the anti-Communist Velvet Revolution in 1989.[17]

In 1993, the city became the capital of the newly formed Slovak Republic following the Velvet Divorce.[18] In the 1990s and the early 21st century, the city's economy boomed because of foreign investment. The flourishing city also hosted several important cultural and political events, including the Slovakia Summit 2005 between George W. Bush and Vladimir Putin.



Terry Pratchett was born in 1948 in Beaconsfield to David and Eileen Pratchett, of Hay-on-Wye. Pratchett passed his eleven plus exam in 1959 and went to High Wycombe Technical High School. He credits his education to the Beaconsfield Public Library[19] and described himself as a "nondescript student."

At the age of 13, Pratchett published his first short story The Hades Business in the school magazine. He published it commercially at 15. Pratchett earned 5 O-levels and started 3 A-level courses in Art, English and History. Pratchett's first career choice was journalism and he left school at 17 in 1965 to start working for the Bucks Free Press. However, he finished his A-Level in English and took a proficiency course for journalists.[20]


Terry Pratchett at Worldcon 2005 in Glasgow, August 2005

Working as a journalist, Pratchett interviewed Peter Bander van Duren, co-director of a small publishing company. During the meeting, Pratchett mentioned he had written a manuscript, The Carpet People.[21] Bander van Duren and his business partner, Colin Smythe, which was also the name of the publishing house, published the book with illustrations from Pratchett in 1971. The book received a few but praising reviews. The book was followed by sci-fi novels The Dark Side of the Sun and Strata, published in 1976 and 1981, respectively.[20]

After various positions in journalism, in 1983, he became Press Officer for the Central Electricity Generating Board in an area which covered three nuclear power stations. He later joked that he had demonstrated impeccable timing by making this career change so soon after the Three Mile Island nuclear accident in Pennsylvania, USA, and that "he would write a book about his experiences, if he thought anyone would believe it."[22]

The first Discworld novel The Colour of Magic was published in 1983 by Colin Smythe in hardback and by New English Library in paperback. The publishing rights for paperback were soon taken by Corgi, imprint of Transworld, which has published Pratchett until today. Pratchett received further popularity after the BBC's Woman's Hour broadcast the novel as a serial in six parts and after publishing The Light Fantastic in 1986. Subsequently, rights for paperback were taken by a big publishing house Victor Gollancz, which also publishes Pratchett until today, and Smythe became Pratchett's agent.[20]

Pratchett gave up his work for the CEGB in 1987 after publishing the fourth Discworld novel Mort to fully focus on and make his living through writing. His sales increased quickly and many of his books occupied top places of the best-seller list. According to The Times, Pratchett was the top selling and highest earning UK author in 1996.[20] Some of his books were published by another Transworld's imprint Doubleday.

According to the Bookseller's Pocket Yearbook from 2005, in 2003 Pratchett's UK sales amounted to 3.4% of the fiction market by hardback sales and 3.8% by value, putting him in 2nd place behind J. K. Rowling (6% and 5.6% respectively), while in the paperback sales list Pratchett came 5th with 1.2% by sales and 1.3% by value (behind James Patterson (1.9% and 1.7%), Alexander McCall Smith, John Grisham and J. R. R. Tolkien).[23] In 2003 Pratchett firmly reinforced his credentials as one of Britain's most loved authors by joining Charles Dickens as the only author with five books in the BBC's Big Read top 100 (four of which were Discworld novels) and was the author with the most novels in the top 200 (fifteen).[24]

In 1998 Terry Pratchett was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to literature. Typically, his own tongue-in-cheek comment was "I suspect the 'services to literature' consisted of refraining from trying to write any."[25] He has been awarded honorary Doctorates of Literature, by the University of Warwick in 1999,[26] the University of Portsmouth in 2001,[27] the University of Bath in 2003[28] and the University of Bristol in 2004.[29]

Pratchett was one of the first authors to use the Internet to communicate with fans and has been a contributor to the Usenet newsgroup since 1992.[30]

Personal life[edit]

Terry Pratchett married his wife Lyn in 1968[20] and they moved to Rowberrow in Somerset. Their daughter Rhianna Pratchett was born there in 1976. In 1993, the family moved south west of Salisbury in Wiltshire, where they currently live. Rhianna is a journalist and "an accidental cat collector";[31] she has also written a fantasy novella titled Child of Chaos, distributed with the computer role-playing game Beyond Divinity. She is working on the scripts and storyline for the PS3 game Heavenly Sword, the Xbox 360/PC game Overlord, and several others. She is a member of the Writers' Guild of Great Britain.[32]

Pratchett lists his recreations as "writing, walking, computers, life".[33] He is also well known for his penchant for wearing large, black hats, as seen on the inside back covers of most of his books. Terry Pratchett is a Distinguished Supporter of the British Humanist Association.[34]

On 31 July 2005, Pratchett criticised media coverage of Harry Potter author J. K. Rowling, commenting that certain members of the media seemed to think that "the continued elevation of J. K. Rowling can only be achieved at the expense of other writers".[35][36]

Pratchett's interest in orangutans is reflected on one of his most popular fictional characters the Librarian and his work as a trustee for the Orangutan Foundation UK.[37] His activities include visiting Borneo with a Channel 4 film crew to make an episode of "Jungle Quest" in 1995, seeing orangutans in their natural habitat.[38] Following Pratchett's lead, fan events such as the Discworld Conventions have adopted the Orangutan Foundation as their nominated charity.[39] If Pratchett is attending, there is often an auction in which fans can bid money to have their name included in the next Discworld book, and all proceeds go to the Orangutan Foundation.[citation needed]


Johnny and the Dead and 14 Discworld novels have been adapted as plays by Stephen Briggs and published in book form:


I must confess the the activities of the UK governments for the past couple of years have been watched with frank admiration and amazement by Lord Vetinari. Outright theft as a policy had never occured to him.



The 15 highest peaks of the High Tatras - all located in Slovakia - are:[40]


Early history[edit]

Even though Bratislava is one of the youngest capital cities in Europe (since 1993), the territory has a rich history connected to many tribes and nations. The first known permanent settlement began with the Linear Pottery Culture 5000 BC in the Neolithic era. About 200 BC, the Celtic Boii tribe founded the first important settlement, a fortified town called an oppidum. The Celts also established a mint, which produced silver coins known as biatecs.[41] The area fell under Roman influence from the 1st century AD until the 4th century AD and formed a part of the Limes Romanus, a border defence system. Gerulata, a Roman military camp, was built in Rusovce. The Romans introduced wine growing and began a tradition of winemaking which survives to the present.[42] After the Roman military abandoned the borders at the end of the 4th century, various tribes (e.g. Heruli and Goths) settled there temporarily in the 5th century.

Middle ages[edit]

Bratislava in the 16th century

The Slavic people arrived between the 5th and 6th century during the Migration Period (Migration of Nations). As a response to onslaughts by Avars, the local Slavic tribes rebelled and established Samo's Empire (623-658), the first known Slavic political entity.[43] In the 9th century, the castles at Bratislava and Devín were important centres for the Principality of Nitra and later Great Moravia. The first written reference to Bratislava (as Brezalauspurc) dates to 907.[44]

Around 1000, the territory of Bratislava was annexed into the Kingdom of Hungary and became a key economic and administrative centre at the kingdom's frontier.[45] This also destined the city to be a site of frequent attacks and battles. Bratislava was granted its first known town privileges in 1291 by Andrew III (Ondrej III.).[44] In 1405, it was declared a free royal town by King Sigismund of Luxemburg, who also entitled Bratislava to use its own coat of arms in 1436.[44]

At the Battle of Mohács in 1526, forces of the Kingdom of Hungary led by King Louis II (Ľudovít II.) were defeated by forces of the Ottoman Empire, who also later captured Buda in 1541. The Turks besieged Bratislava and damaged it, but failed to conquer the city. In 1536, Bratislava became the new capital of Hungary, which became part of the Habsburg (Austrian) monarchy, marking the beginning of a new era. Bratislava became a coronation town and seat of kings, archbishops (1543), the nobility and all major organizations and offices. Between 1536 and 1830, 11 kings and queens were crowned at St. Martin's Cathedral.[46]

Eighteenth and nineteenth century[edit]

In the 18th century, during the reign of Maria Theresa of Austria, Bratislava flourished and became the largest and most important town in Slovakia and all of Hungary. The population tripled; many new mansions, palaces, monasteries, and streets were built, and Bratislava was the centre of social and cultural life. However, in 1783, under the reign of Joseph II (Jozef II.), the crown jewels were taken to Vienna and many central offices moved to Buda, with a large segment of the nobility following along.[47] The Treaty of Pressburg was signed in Bratislava in 1805. Devín castle was brought to ruin by Napoleon's troops in 1809 and Bratislava Castle was destroyed by fire in 1811.

Also in 1783, the first newspaper in Slovak, Presspurske Nowiny (Bratislava Newspaper), and the first Slovak novel were published.[48] Bratislava became the centre of the Slovak national movement, especially the General Seminary founded in 1784. One of the seminarians was Anton Bernolák, codifier of the first Slovak language standard. The Czech-Slovak Society (Spoločnosť česko-slovenská) was founded in 1829 at the Evangelic Lutheran Lyceum. Ľudovít Štúr came to study there and became a member and later the vice-chairman. On February 2, 1843, Štúr and his companions decided to codify the present-day Slovak language standard in Bratislava.[49] Slovenskje národňje novini (Slovak National Newspaper) was published between 1845 and 1848. As a reaction to the 1848 Revolution, Ferdinand V signed the so-called March laws, which included the abolition of serfdom.[50]

Economy and industry grew rapidly in the 19th century. The first (horse) railway in Slovakia and Hungary, from Bratislava to Svätý Jur, was built in 1840.[51] A new line to Vienna using steam locomotives was opened in 1848.[52] Many new factories (e.g. Dynamit Nobel, Stollwerck, Apollo (today's Slovnaft), Siemens-Schuckert, and Matador), financial (first bank in Slovakia in 1842) and other institutions were founded. The infrastructure was improved: electricity distribution, the sewer system, the water supply network, and other public services were established. The first permanent bridge over the Danube in Slovakia, Starý most (Old Bridge), was built in 1891.

Twentieth century[edit]

After World War I and the formation of Czechoslovakia on October 28, 1918, Bratislava was incorporated into the new nation despite its representatives' reluctance. Therefore, the Czechoslovak Legions arrived on January 1, 1919, and Bratislava was factually annexed to Czechoslovakia. On March 27, 1919, the name Bratislava was officially adopted.[53] On March 14, 1939, Bratislava became the capital city of the first Slovak Republic. It became the seat of the president, the parliament and the government. However, the boroughs of Petržalka and Devín were annexed by Nazi Germany. At the end of WWII, many citizens fled Bratislava to participate in the Slovak National Uprising. Bratislava was occupied by German troops, bombarded by the Allies and eventually liberated by the Soviet Red Army on April 4, 1945.[54] Subsequently, many citizens of German and Hungarian origin were moved from Bratislava. After the the Communist Party seized power in Czechoslovakia in February 1948, the city became part of the Eastern Bloc. During the communist repression of the 1950s, hundreds of citizens were expelled from the city.[55] The population rose significantly as new areas were annexed by the city, and large residential areas consisting of high-rise prefabricated panel buildings, such as Petržalka, were built. The following boroughs were (re)attached to Bratislava during the 20th century: Karlova Ves (1944), Rača, Vajnory, Dúbravka, Lamač, Devín, Petržalka (1946), Čunovo, Jarovce, Rusovce, Devínska Nová Ves, Podunajské Biskupice, Vrakuňa, and Záhorská Bystrica (1972). Bratislava had 284,000 inhabitants in 1970 and the population rose to about 444,000 in 1990.[56] In 1993, Bratislava was declared the capital city of the newly formed Slovak Republic following the Velvet Divorce.[57]

Notable events held in Bratislava[edit]

Slovak regions, counties...[edit]

We need to tackle the issues with all these confusing articles about the KoH counties and traditional Slovak regions and current Slovak regions - official and tourist.

Already covered - Regions of Slovakia[edit]

  1. Bratislavský kraj (Bratislava Region) (capital Bratislava)
  2. Trnavský kraj (Trnava Region) (capital Trnava)
  3. Trenčiansky kraj (Trenčín Region) (capital Trenčín)
  4. Nitriansky kraj (Nitra Region) (capital Nitra)
  5. Žilinský kraj (Žilina Region) (capital Žilina)
  6. Banskobystrický kraj (Banská Bystrica Region) (capital Banská Bystrica)
  7. Prešovský kraj (Prešov Region) (capital Prešov)
  8. Košický kraj (Košice Region) (capital Košice)

Mess - counties of the Kingdom of Hungary, historic and current tourist regions[edit]

Some of these have their own articles (current mess with edits), which are often of lower quality and need to be improved. Some of these are covered in the List of traditional regions of Slovakia and the List of tourism regions of Slovakia, which need to be improved and rewritten somewhat.

We need to differentiate between the KoH counties and other regions.


Every former county of the KoH should have a name that reads "Name county" or "Name (county)" or "Name (Kingdom of Hungary county)" to avoid confusion and for consistency's sake.

KoH counties: All the counties that were incorporated into Czechoslovakia and are currently part of Slovakia and still informally or formally bear the historic/traditional Slovak name should have names in Slovak, or names widely recognized and used in English.

Therefore, we should have:

Counties which area is currently in Slovakia and Hungary (or Slovakia and Ukraine in case of Uh/Ung) should have both Slovak and Hungarian names:

Or we can use Latin or German names alternatively.

Traditional and current regions should just have the Slovak name, e.g.:


So I'm commenting on this proposal and I must say that at first that it is sometimes hard to tell which one should be used. The state of the historical counties was set after the 1880s AFAIK, and the template shows Counties of the KoH (1896), so if we should follow by this rule, Hungarian name should be used. If we are to follow history from the 11th century, Latin or in some cases German should be used. And finally, if the rule should be based on the contemporary countries, this will be bit harder to apply, as some counties were split between the two or even three countries. There should apply either the capital of the county or the size of it in the relative counties - so Liptó will change to Liptov, as it is wholly in Slovakia - but determining Abov or Zemplín is more difficult.

Current administrative regions don't need any discussion. Though the tourist and traditional regions are for longer discussion, as some follow wholly or in large part borders of the traditional counties, but some don't (like Bratislava county or Nitra county). MarkBA t/c/@ 12:35, 30 May 2007 (UTC)

The whole system of articles of the KoH counties is flawed from the beginning. We certainly don't need separate articles for those counties between circa 1850-1920 and therefore this period should not command the principal features of those articles. Even during that period, there is no reason to use Hungarian names. Again, official names do not matter; names used/recognized in English do.--Svetovid 13:13, 30 May 2007 (UTC)
So, how do you want to make the county articles look like? Not understanding properly right now. For the English usage, I think we should run Google test or query the recognized English sources or encyclopaedias, if possible. MarkBA t/c/@ 13:18, 30 May 2007 (UTC)
    • ^ Lacika, "Bratislava", p. 42 (Slovak)
    • ^ Lacika, "Bratislava", p. 42 (Slovak)
    • ^ Tibenský, Ján; et al. (1971). Slovensko: Dejiny. Bratislava: Obzor. 
    • ^ "History - First Czechoslovak Republic". City of Bratislava. 2005. Retrieved May 15.  Unknown parameter |accessyear= ignored (|access-date= suggested) (help); Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
    • ^ a b Cite error: The named reference Czechreview was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
    • ^ a b "History - Wartime Bratislava". City of Bratislava. 2005. Retrieved May 15.  Unknown parameter |accessyear= ignored (|access-date= suggested) (help); Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
    • ^ Kováč et al., "Bratislava 1939–1945", pp. 16–17
    • ^ Lacika, "Bratislava", p. 43 (Slovak)
    • ^ Kováč et al., "Bratislava 1939–1945, pp. 174–177
    • ^ Earlier anti-Jewish riots and pogroms:
    • John W. Boyer (1995). Political Radicalism in Late Imperial Vienna: Origins of the Christian Social Movement, 1848–1897. University of Chicago Press. p. 89. ISBN 0226069567. September 1882 saw riots in Pressburg over the Tísza-Eszlár ritual murder trial. 
    • Yehoshua Robert Buchler, Gila Fatran (2003). "A brief history of Slovakian Jewry". In Yehoshua Robert Buchler, Ruth Shachak. Encyclopaedia of Jewish Communities: Slovakia. Yad Vashem. ISBN 965-308-178-0. Retrieved 2007-08-09. In March 1848 riots broke out in Pressburg (Bratislava) and nearby localities and spread to other regions. In many Jewish communities, especially in western Slovakia, houses were plundered and community institutions were destroyed; in some places there were casualties.