Poland is demanding reparations from Germany and it even would like to demand reparations from Russia. Both countries have invaded Poland in 1939, but Germany and Russia (USSR) were not the only countries participating in that invasion. There was also a Slovak invasion.

So has Poland ever demanded reparations from Slovakia?


2 Answers 2


Your own link provides a good idea of why asking reparations would be unreasonable.

The Slovak invasion of Poland occurred during Nazi Germany's invasion of Poland in September 1939. The recently-created Slovak Republic joined the attack, and Field Army Bernolák contributed over 50,000 soldiers in three divisions.

What's this Slovak Republic?

The (First) Slovak Republic (Slovak: [Prvá] Slovenská republika), otherwise known as the Slovak State (Slovenský štát), was a partially-recognized client state of Nazi Germany which existed between 14 March 1939 and 4 April 1945. The Slovak part of Czechoslovakia declared independence with German support one day before the German occupation of Bohemia and Moravia.

The Nazis invade Sept 1, 1939. Russia invades two weeks later.

What's interesting is that Czechoslovakia ceases to be independent in March 1939, 6 months after being sold out by the UK and France during Munich (in the USSR's vague credit it, IIRC, supposedly did attempt to support Czechoslovakia but Poland did not trust it to move troops in via its territory).

Point is, Czechoslovakia, or its components, is a client state subjugated by Nazi Germany by this point.

Germany and USSR? Fully autonomous perpetrators of that invasion.

Timeline of WW2 events

p.s. None of this denies that taking shots at Germany and Russia is a politically savvy move in Poland, but even basic research of WW2 history shows the flaws with treating Slovakia the same way.

p.p.s. Around Munich 1938 timeline Poland also annexed part of Czechoslovakia - with some coordination with Nazi Germany - shady behavior indeed, best kept forgotten.

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    Meh. Romania, Bulgaria, and Hungary were also client states of Nazi Germany during the War. And they paid reparations to the USSR, for invading it together with the Nazi May 9, 2023 at 23:41
  • They were in the Warsaw Pact at the time, I guess? So, for USSR to decide, really. Plus they were more allies than Czechoslovakia was, having had some freewill in joining Hitler. Which Czechoslovakia certainly did not have. Anyway, that's not what the question was asking about, was it? May 9, 2023 at 23:43
  • en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slovakia_during_World_War_II (are we exchanging mindless links?) May 9, 2023 at 23:50
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    What could be stated more clearly is that Poland was a participant and a beneficiary of partitioning Czechoslovakia. Indeed, Poland was the first European state to recognize the Nazi government and make a non-aggression treaty with it - acting pretty much in the same way as the USSR acted later. Putin has made allusions to this in some of his statements regarding Molotiv-Ribbentrop agreement, so no wonder that Poland does not want to rehash this story. May 10, 2023 at 9:02

I'm not aware of any [high-profile] requests. The reasons for the lack of these are probably two-fold, although I'm inclined to give more weight to the 2nd of these:

  • The chunks that Slovakia took out of Poland during WWII were relatively small in comparison with those under German or Soviet occupation. Also, some of those territories (like Lesnica) had been annexed by Poland only a year before (in 1938), after the First Vienna Award, although in 1939 Slovakia also took territories it had lost in 1920-1924 (somewhat more fairly at the Spa Conference and the League of Nations). Some Polish sources describe these 1938 border adjustments with Slovakia as bilateral and entirely voluntary [and due to the "unfairness" of the 1920-24 treaties], but I'm not sure what the Slovak point of view is. I suspect that (on some level) Poland making such a reparations demand from Slovakia for 1939 might open them on counterclaims by Czechia and Slovakia for what happened in 1938. Actually, even that Polish source concedes that their 1938 move opened a can of worms in Slovakia:

    The decisions made by the Polish authorities led to the outbreak of anti-Polish campaign in Slovakia, which consisted in propagating negative press reports about Poland and organizing demonstrations and manifestations in the borderland areas. It all resulted in a substantial propaganda success on the part of Slovaks (Kowalski, 2016, pp. 165–188)

    That Polish source emphasizes however that Poland lost a lot more territory and population to Slovakia in 1939 (770 sq.km, 34K inhabitants) than what had happened vice-versa in 1938 (216 sq.km, 2.5K inhabitants). So on that basis/level, Poland could still demand some reparations. But as one can see in the final passages in that paper, that Polish political scientist doesn't see a lot moral high ground that Poland could claim in that context, relative to Slovakia:

    Even though Poland benefited [in 1938] from some facilitation of traffic and possessing borderland areas attractive to tourists, it lost its political influences in the nascent Slovak State [of 1939] pushing it into orbit around German influences as well as arousing deep animosity of Slovak population towards the Polish state. [...] Finally, the active participation of Slovakia in the German aggression against Poland in September 1939 constituted a tragic epilogue of complicated Polish-Slovak relationships in the interwar period.

  • However, nowadays, Slovakia is one of Poland's closest allies in the EU. They're in Visegrád (V4) etc. Both have a 'sovereigntist' approach to the EU, although Slovakia's is more muted, e.g. after they lost the ECJ case on Syrian refugees (together with Hungary), Slovakia took in a token number. But, by and large, Slovakia avoids criticizing Poland, e.g. from 2015 to 2018 their government made zero comments on the 'rule of law' issue in Poland, the proposed EU measures against Poland on that, etc.

There is actually a far-right party in Slovakia that probably also agitates for the rights of the Slovak minority in Poland, but what is better known is that it has tried to rehabilitate the WWII-era Slovak clerical-fascist leader Tiso [who annexed those regions]. This party also happens to have close ties with Putin's Russia. But as long as they don't come to power in Slovakia, I'm not seeing Poland hitting back Slovakia with a commission looking for reparations etc.

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    Returning your dv. This answer does not indicate that Czechoslovakia had very limited agency in its actions from 1939 to 1945, which seems to put it on the same ethical footing as Germany and the USSR, albeit for relatively small territories. It would also benefit from clearly indicating that the territories were returned to their 1920 border after WW2 ended. May 10, 2023 at 1:53
  • Although some European newspapers expressed fear at the spectre of a SMER-LSNS coalition government, that has yet to happen; although SMER is anti- a bunch of things, LSNS is anti- a buch a lot more things, which makes the gap between them probably harder to bridge than in, say, neighboring Austria for the purposes of a broad right-wing coalition. May 10, 2023 at 5:55

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