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17189Re: reply to Martin Votruba

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  • amiak27
    Nov 26, 2006

      I haven't had a chance to read the article yet, as I am busy
      preparing to fly to Europe in three weeks so I can spend Christmas
      in Slovakia with family. Part of that trip will be to continue
      informal research and meet people to gather more history of the
      area. I have not found the history of Sulin and the Stara Lubovna
      area that I would like to read, so I plan on writing it myself. I
      had a chance to read a few paragraphs and glance at other parts, but
      I copied and saved it in Word so I can read it offline, perhaps as I
      travel. I also included the URL where you posted it so I can easily
      return in the future.

      With Martin's post, I appended that to the end of your article.
      Since his commentary was substantially shorter, I read it through
      completely and found his comments to agree with my readings in
      Slovak history over the last 36 years. I haven't examined either
      critically to specify precise points of agreement or disagreement
      with what either of you have said. I have found the old histories
      often quite biased in presentation, and the tone in the last 15
      years has changed quite a bit. Even the Hungarian histories seem to
      have come up to western `objective' standards in this time, and I
      consider the Hungarians absolutely charming scoundrels. I have
      always read our neighbor's history as well as ours, since it would
      reveal aspects of our history that they wish to skip over.
      Education is one of the points most often described from a
      nationalistic (or ethnic) perspective. Read any Carpathian-German
      history and the Hungarians and Slovaks hardly existed or
      precipitated any history; commentary about schooling is limited to
      German language schooling. Nothing is mentioned about schooling in
      other languages unless it is to point out oppression.

      I found Martin's commentary correct in tone and scope, and do not
      feel it was lacking for not encompassing a review of the full
      article. Given the length of the article, I expect that is
      impossible to expect on this forum. Even this commentary is
      dragging too long! I picture my style as similar to yours with
      plenty of sources referenced at the end of the body. My approach
      will be to cover the life of the community and not my family
      exclusively. That is why its scope expanded from the village to the
      town area, because of all of the surrounding activities that changed
      life in the village. I will be trying to present the flow of daily
      life to some degree, the relationships of the different peoples and
      classes, and how these changed over the centuries. I appreciate
      Martin's comments being addressed to the forum, as we need to share
      perspectives in order to reach what we may consider reasonable in
      our own eyes, and you did introduce it publicly.

      On this forum I have sometimes taken exception to what people said
      because it may fly in the face of human nature. This judgment has
      to be tempered with consideration of the culture and atmosphere of
      the times. The relationship between Hungarians and Slovaks also
      varied with time and circumstance. The value of cleanliness and
      literacy changed with time as well, at times being looked down upon
      rather than respected as they are today. To imagine how fluid these
      relationships were over hundreds of years we only need look at the
      many changes in US alliances and policies in the last 100 years. If
      we took a snapshot of time we could be quite in error, depending
      upon choice of Wilson's presidency, FDR's, or Reagan's.

      All of that is the long way of stating that I found Martin's
      comments proper and worth considering.

      I hope we all get to read additional comments as people have a
      chance to read what you have posted - thanks for sharing it!

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