In the aftermath of Munich, Slovak politicians from the
democratic parties (Republican Party of Farmers and Peasants,
Czechoslovak Social Democratic Party, and Czechoslovak National
Socialist Party) organized a resistance movement. Individual
underground cells sprang up in towns and villages throughout
Slovakia. A campaign of "whispering" propaganda was initiated to
alert the acquiescent Slovak population to the true nature of the
Tiso regime. The goal of the democratic resistance was the
restoration of the Czechoslovak Republic, but with greater
participation for Slovakia. In the spring of 1939, the "Zeta"
headquarters was established in Bratislava to coordinate with the
Czech resistance and to transmit intelligence information to the
liberation movement abroad. Party Communists remaining in
Slovakia formed the underground Communist of Slovakia
(Komunisticka strana Slovenska--KSS) and until 1943 favored the
creation of an independent "Soviet Slovakia."
The shortage of qualified personnel enabled resistance
members to infiltrate all levels of the Tiso administration,
where they promoted economic sabotage. Mutiny within the Slovak
army (marshaled by the Axis powers for combat against Poland and,
later, the Soviet Union) was encouraged and became commonplace.
At Kremnica, on September 15, 1939, approximately 3,500 Slovak
soldiers abandoned their transport train and marched into the
city. Members of the underground Slovak Revolutionary Youth set
fire to machinery in factories, emptied the fuel tanks of
locomotives, and exploded munitions in warehouses. Slovak youth
turned increasingly against the Tiso regime.
In his Christmas broadcast of 1942, Benes called for
resistance groups in Slovakia to increase their activity in
preparation for a seizure of power. The groups worked to unify
their efforts. The following November, negotiations between
democratic and communist resistance leaders culminated in the
signing of the Christmas Agreement of 1943. The agreement called
for the creation of the Slovak National Council to represent the
political will of the Slovak nation. The Slovak National Council
would act in concert with the Czechoslovak government and
liberation movement abroad. The postwar Czechoslovak state would
be democratic and organized on the basis of national equality.
The Christmas Agreement provided also for a close association
with the Soviet Union in foreign policy and military affairs.
Benes endorsed the agreement on March 27, 1944.
The Allied powers agreed that Slovakia would be liberated by
Soviet armies. In March 1944, with Benes's approval, the Slovak
National Council authorized Lieutenant-Colonel Jan Golian to
prepare for a national coup to be coordinated with the arrival of
Soviet troops. Golian organized a secret military center at
Banska Bystrica and created Slovak partisan units composed of
escaped prisoners of war and army deserters. The Slovak National
Uprising of August 29, however, was premature. The Soviet
government, regarding the Slovak resistance as politically
suspect, failed to inform the Slovaks of a change in Soviet
strategy. Despite American efforts to assist the uprising, the
German Wehrmacht occupied Slovakia, and Banska Bystrica fell on
October 27. Nonetheless, local partisan warfare continued up to
Data as of August 1987