Why did Czechoslovakia split and what effect did it have on people?

The Czechoslovakia’s split and its effects on people are some of the topics we covered in the interview we took to Dr. Michal Pullman:

“This is a very complicated, hard and complex topic and we need […] long time to explain precisely post war period when the Slovak political representation hoped to have some kind of autonomy even though they did not agree with the split of Czechoslovakia in the 1938 and then especially in 1939.

They hoped to keep some kind of autonomy they were not successful at the time between 1948 and 1968 did not recognise any special rights for Slovakia then the federation came.  Federation was one of the most important things taken from the Slovak perspective.  October 1968 the introduction of the federation, of some rights in Education and culture was perceived positively. that was one of the reasons why the normalisation regime was so much more accepted in Slovakia than in the Czech land.

This of course had radicalised after 1989 when the public space was opened, not only for democratic forces but also for regressive movements such as the national one.  And the Czech Neo Liberal ruling elite was able to take part or to do some kind of agreement with the Slovak political Elite and to split the republic because this was somehow attractive for both side.

The Czech were not limited in their attempt to introduce neo liberal system in the Czech land and the Slovaks political elite were not limited in the introduction of their Nationalist Populist national; it was a kind of deal between these two elites in 1991/92 and they suddenly realised it was attractive for both sides so they just did.

At the same time I just want to add just one idea (not resisting the split) it was unconstitutional, I have to say it openly because there was no poll about that, because it is written in the constitution that when the sovereignty of the state changes there must be some kind of referendum but this political elite I was talking about it in 1991/92 knew that majority would reject that so they did not do any kind of popular decision making they just decided.  But with that I do not want to be under thin eyes because it is difficult to talk about these things, today the Czechs and Slovaks approve of this because they see somehow it brought bad things but also good things and best thing was there was no war. The Elite knew, the popular rejection of the split would come which led them to do split technocratic ally, from that point of view, the split even though its acceptable now has a big deal of internal legitimacy problem. ”

Marina Gogeanu

Interview Transcribed by Rose Muzvondiwa

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