Re: Changed topic: _Coasts of Bohemia_
> His death in an air crash in 1919 robbed Slovakia of its mostAs with history everywhere, the public at large isn't aware of and doesn't ponder intricacies much, while academia holds a range of views. The complexity shows up when we consider that there is never a single "national" view (Slovak, Czech, or American).
> powerful voice in Prague, but just how Slovak that voice would
> actually have been is open to question."
> How widely shared is the sentiment in the author's last sentence?
Stefanik was certainly pro-Czechoslovakia, but so was every political party that operated in Slovakia until 1939. They differed in their views, of course, but each represented a _Slovak_ view, a view its Slovak voters supported. It doesn't make much sense to say that the opinions of some Slovaks were more or less "Slovak" than those of other Slovaks.
Stefanik being described as "most powerful" makes sense at the time when Czecho-Slovakia was being created. But as Minister of Defense once the country was set up, he would have been substantially less powerful with regards to Slovakia than, e.g., Anton Stefanek (-e-, not -i-), Slovakia's first (kind-of) Governor and then Czechoslovakia's Minister of Education. Slovakia's most powerful voice later was Milan Hodza, Czechoslovakia's Prime Minister (a parallel to the U.S. presidents) in 1935-1938. You can't get more powerful than that in politics.
Stefanik's image was shunned by Slovakia's government during WW II, and used by those opposed to it as their symbol during that time. Then, the communist government banned him altogether.