November 07, 2011
...I complain about the American style that nothing succeeds like success. That’s a very primitive way of looking at history, as between winners and losers. Sure, there are crackpot rickety states, but who’s interested in them? What they are really interested in is the successful cultures, the big civilisations, the mighty powers and so on. That gives a very false view of the panorama of the past. The past is full of everything. Great powers, obscure powers – which may have other achievements to their name. There are powers which last for centuries, but I found a republic which lasted for one day.Norman Davies at Five Books.
Goodness me. Which day?
March 15, 1939. The republic of Subcarpathian Ruthenia. It was the day that Hitler marched into Prague. The Germans swallowed Bohemia and Moravia, formed a protectorate and Slovakia became a client statelet of the Reich. And the third part of Czechoslovakia, this Subcarpathian Ruthenia, was left with nobody to tell it what to do. So it declared its independence at around 10 o’clock in the morning. And by the evening the Hungarian army arrived and swallowed it up.