Peter Gregus, Literary Magazine, 24-th of August 1990.
"The directive of a people's party is the people, but only on paper. The people is the beginning and the end. I see a popular party as democratic, because I feel that it can make people develop themselves. I am always and everywhere acting for the people. My attachment to the people doesn't only culminate in rejecting and inveighing political adversaries, or fight the idle criticism of the enemy. I want to guide the people in a positive way. I work everywhere from the standpoint of my people and for the goals of the same. I am a son of that people. I have been born from it. I work and fight, cry and laugh together with my people. I am always and everywhere taking part in the work for the wellbeing of the people."
Placard from 1901, when Andrej Hlinka announced his breaking up from the Ugrian people's party.
"I know that you'll want to seize me and throw me in prison, or take me to the madhouse. You'll want to humiliate me and deprive me from all goods. It will not be easy for you to do that. All Europe is seeing our injuries today, and hearing our moans and the cracking of your whips on our wounded shoulders. The great Norwegian Björnson is showing it to all sensible and thoughtful people, and so does the old wise patriarch Nicolajevic Tolstoj. We have now the sympathy of the whole world. You can't exterminate us any more. We are here, and we want to stay there on the Tatra mountains, not as rough mob, but as an educated people. All for the honour of our Creator and for our dear fatherland."
Andrej Hlinka, Popular newspaper (taken from the Magazine for Radio and Television, 1990 nr 43).
Andrej Hlinka in a letter from prison. 11-3-1920
"I am not an enemy of the Jews. The political party that I am leading is not antisemitic. Antisemitism is not in our program ... In my past, I have always been excluding any antisemitic agitation. You know that I used my influence and popularity when the monarchy was breaking down, to protect the Jews whenever their lives or goods were in danger - and I have been risking quite a lot."
Andrej Hlinka, expressing himself during a meeting with the president of the Jewish party in Czechoslovakia, doctor Mateja Weiner. This has been published in the Prague Jewish magazine Selbstwehr, 7-th of August 1936.
"With God's help, I have managed to become seventy years of age. Life brought me always blood, sweat and tears. I always served as a priest in the church. As a Slovak, I have been working all of my life for the happiness of the Slovak nation. I have done nothing for my glory in this world, but everything for the love of God and my people. I consider working for the nation as my duty, and therefore I don't consider it anyway as a merit. I have only done what my conscience and my belief in Slovakia ordered me to do. When the nation suffered, I suffered too, and when the nation was happy, I was happy as well.
God provided that I would live in the history of my Slovak people through moments of sorrow, but also through moments of joy. When I see today as a seventy years old man the grief of the Slovak nation in the past, I only wish that these times will never come back again and that they will be a warning for future generations in Slovakia.
The revolution of the state in 1918 was the most joyful event in my life. The genesis of the Czechoslovak republic fulfilled my desire and revived the hope of the nation. Let history judge that I helped a bit, with my modest powers, to form the Czechoslovak state. In the same way as I have been working to form the Czechoslovak state after the World War, in a revolutionary moment of history, I will work today to guarantee its future. The Czechoslovak state originated with united efforts, with united work of Czechs and Slovaks both abroad and at home. It was the expression of the will of both the Czech and the Slovak peoples. Therefore I sincerely hope that it will always be the fatherland of the Slovak nation.
But in the same way as I resolutely stand up for the Czechoslovak republic and against a change of its frontiers, I desire a revision of the relation between Czechs and Slovaks. The understanding between Czechs and Slovaks is not only a Slovak interest, but it is important for the whole state. I proclaim that I was never against a sincere mutual understanding. But at the same time, I publicly declare that this agreement is only possible if the individuality of the Slovak people will be acknowledged and respected, and if the natural rights of the Slovaks are guaranteed.
In the same way as we see that the real Slovaks are not those who stand up against any Czechoslovak state whatsoever, we can also see, according to my opinion, that the faithful and devoted citizens of the Czechoslovak state are not those who deny the natural right of the Slovak people to have autonomy. I solemnly declare that we Slovaks will never give up our own national individuality. The peace treaties have been designed on the base of any people's right to determine its own future; therefore, when we sincerely want that the treaties will be fulfilled and respected, we have to adjust our relation with the Czechs in such a way that it will really meet the spirit of these peace agreements.
I think that it is the historical mission of the Czechoslovak republic to find a secure way of co-existence for the Czech and Slovak peoples. Whoever doesn't observe that historical fact and sticks to a different line of politics, turns against the state, because he will be undermining the base for its future.
Today's centralistic politics don't satisfy the Slovaks and they are inflicting damage on Slovakia and the Czechoslovak state, because they don't respect the rightful Slovak demands. These politics are not only anti-Slovak, but in their consequences they will eventually turn out to be anti-Czech as well.
I think that we shouldn't seek the causes of today's bad relations with the state outside Slovakia only, but also in Slovakia itself. The decline of behaviour and the Slovak discord are hampering my seventy years old heart more than anything else. Whoever doesn't observe the interests of the whole state, can't be responsible for the history of our nation, for he has already been initiating a class struggle in Slovak politics. Such a class struggle has already been crushing the unity of the nation and demoralizing people by its own behaviour, and it has also been weakening the influence of Slovakia in the politics of the republic. Therefore, this is a warning for future generations of the Slovak nation.
The Czechs have been obtaining votes and representatives for a class struggle in Slovakia, but they didn't obtain Slovak spirit. So that is again a warning, but now for the Czechs themselves.
It is my strong belief, that any Slovak national politics, while respecting both the interests of the state and the legitimate rights of the national minorities, must save the own nation from destruction and guarantee the existence of every son of the nation.
The Slovak right to live its own national life is the natural and historical right of the Slovak nation. And for that very reason, we won't anyway give up neither the Pittsburgh agreement nor Slovak autonomy.
For the future of the Slovak nation and its politics, I think that it is important to emphasize the essential need of national education in both culture and politics. Culture is an elementary and fundamental condition for the development of the whole nation. It is an important element of the politics of both the nation and the state. My opinion is that Slovak people should be conscious of being Slovaks, and grown-up in culture and politics. That is the one and only guarantee to have a development of Slovak politics and future. And now I would like to take the liberty of saying some sincere words to our young Slovak intellectuals. People say that the intellectuals are the spiritual leaders of the nation. The people follow their leaders, and the leaders follow the intellectuals. Young Slovak intellectuals are predestined to be the future leaders of the nation, in the fields of economics, culture and politics. If there are not enough leaders everywhere, then national life will fall to pieces. I don't say this to boost the egoes of young Slovak intellectuals, but to make Slovak youth conscious and to let them, now already, seriously and consciously prepare for this task. It is not enough to have an ideal. The ideal must be brought to practice and action. I wish that young Slovak intellectuals will be conscious that leadership is a power, but also that any power is subordinate to suitable responsibility. If the intellectuals have no feeling for responsibility, that is a disaster for the nation. Therefore, young people of Slovakia, think always of your duty first, and only after that you may think of your rights. And always be conscious of your own great responsibility. The more responsibility we will have ourselves, the less we will have to call for foreign responsibility. And the more consciously we will fulfil our duties, the less we will be dependent on foreign help.
Dear Slovak people, I came from You, and all my life was with You and for You. I am happy that I haven't been living and suffering in vain, and I am sure that my work will now be crowned with the success that the Slovak people has been desiring every day. Knowing that, I have the more strength for our national struggle. It gives me satisfaction and the best hope for the future. I have always been a faithful servant of Christ, and I will always be so. If God allows it, I will forever be faithful to the nation, remaining a loyal and dutiful fighter for my people. I have a strong belief in the victory of truth, right and justice. I thank God for all his welldoing, and I bow deeply to the majesty of my nation. And I recommend you, my dear people, to the protection of the patroness of the Slovak region, our Lady Mary of the Seven Sorrows.
Andrej Hlinka on the occasion of his seventieth birthday: MY MESSAGE TO THE SLOVAK PEOPLE.
"Here comes an end to Andrej Hlinka's life, full of efforts, work without fatigue, and moving events of both political and personal description. After a constant struggle, rewarded by so many supporters with a life of loyalty to him, he entered through a peaceful decease into his eternal rest. I remember him with much emotion, thinking of my last visit to Cernova and of all personal and political surviving relatives."
Dr Eduard Benes, president of the republic, telegram to Kristim Hlinka (niece of Andrej Hlinka) and to Andrej Mederlym, mayor of Ruzomberok.
"The Slovak nation is deeply bereaved. It is mourning over its son, who entered history as a very important person. Facing his death, all clamour of fight must cease; the rising waves of passion collapse; and sorrow is seizing both his relatives and strangers, both friends and enemies of this exceptionally valuable person, who deeply influenced the course of events.
We, Jews, should not stand aloof. His public activities often reached our ranks, and gave us the opportunity to establish our attitude towards him. He spent the years of his youth in Ruzomberok in an atmosphere which had in it both the spite of various political groups and many friendly people of good will, Christians and Jews alike. The contact between him and the Jews was sincere and cordial. He respected and esteemed his Jewish fellow citizens, and as a parish priest he preached religious tolerance. His bright vision recognized the spiritual value of Ruzomberok Jewish intellectuals, who he gladly would entertain contact with. His confidence was brought to the full light in the memorable Ruzomberok trial of 1906, when he chose the Jewish lawyers dr Izak Biheller and dr Bernat Hiller to defend himself. And in 1909, when the Ruzomberok people sent a petition to the monarch, demanding that Hlinka would be set free from Segedin prison, all Ruzomberok Jews signed the petition.
Hlinka's attitude toward the Jews didn't change after the revolution. He kept preaching religious tolerance. The course that one side of his comrades acclimatized to during his last years, which became the general picture in the press, wasn't his will and he didn't approve it. He gave a clear expression of that in a talk with the vice president of the Jewish party in the Czechoslovak republic, dr Mateja Weiner, with whom he rejected any kind of religious or racial hatred, and emphasized the necessity of peaceful coexistence of Christian and Jewish inhabitants. When we are now bowing for the commemoration of this man, and participate in the sorrow of the Slovak nation, we thereby bring honour to the honest mentality that he has been showing towards us. May that be an example for them who are called to continue his work."
Jewish News, 19-th of August 1938.
"The first republic was primarily a Czech state, it was extremely centralistic. Its ethnic politics formed one of the important factors that were making it instable. From the beginning, the Czechs were helping the poor miserable Slovaks, wasting the moment that Slovakia presented its rightful claim of autonomy. The outcome of the twenty year long coexistence of both nations in a common state was disappointing for Slovakia too. Its spokesman was Andrej Hlinka, who turned out to be a man with a noble character. It is a pity that he found so little understanding with the Czechs, and today he is still unknown here in Czechia .."
Petr Pithart, prime minister of the Czech republic, radio program LIVING WORDS, 7-th of October 1990.
"From what I know about Andrej Hlinka, I conclude that he was an eminent representative of the Slovak nation and its ambition. If one connects him with what was happening here in the second world war, that can't be justified, because we know that he died before the war."
Vaclav Havel during a visit in Ruzomberok, answer after a question of a student in the city gymnasium: what was the opinion of the president about the character of Andrej Hlinka? Work, 17-th of May 1990.