National Slovak Society

50th Anniversary
of the 19th Regular Convention
Youngstown, Mahoning County, Ohio
August 5-10, 1946

HEJ, SLOVACI!

The Slovak Anthem

Around the year 1839, a young Slovak student, Samo Tomasik, went to Prague to study. One day, returning to his lodging house discouraged and unhappy, he found consolation in writing the stirring and inspiring "Hej, Slovaci". Its high merit was not recognized till some years later, when it was set to music. It soon gained popularity among the Slovaks. For generations, its great appeal to the emotions and power to awaken patriotic response caused anxiety to the rulers, not only of the Slovaks, but of the Slavs, as well. The Magyars prohibited its singing for many years. In the course of time, it became the Slovak national anthem. (This was written in 1946 and there was no Slovak Republic. It should more properly read the anthem of the Slovak people. The national anthem of the Slovak Republic is Nad Tatrou sa blyska.)

The words of this Slovak epic -- memorializing a people of unconquerable ideals -- written over a hundred years ago, follow:

Hej, Slovaci, este nasa slovenska rec zije,
Dokial' nase verne srdce za nas narod bije.
Zije, zije, duch slovensky, bude zit' na veky,
Hrom a peklo, marne vase proti nam su vzteky!

Jazyka dar sveril nam Boh, Boh nas hromovladny,
Nesmie nam ho teda vyrvat' na tom svete ziadny;
I nechze ie kol'ko l'udi, tol'ko certov v svete;
Boh je s nami: kto proti nam, toho parom zmetie.

I nechze sa aj nad nami hrozna bura vznesie,
Skala puka, dub sa lame a zem nech sa trasie;
My stojime stale pevne, ako mury hradne
Cierna zem pohltni toho, kto odstupi zradne!

Its brave defiance and military spirit, though somewhat lost in translation, may yet be felt in the following translation by Dr. Pisek:

Ho, ye Slovaks! our beloved language still surviveth;
While the faithful heart within us for our nation striveth;
Yes, the Slovak spirit liveth; it will live forever
Hell and thunder, 'gainst us raging, vain is your endeavor.

God to us our tongue entrusted, God, who sways the thunder;
Who on earth then shall presume this gift from us to sunder!
Though the earth were filled with demons, our rights assailing,
We defy them. God is with us, His strong arm prevailing.

Though about us storms are raging, bringing devastation,
Rocks disrupting, oaks uprooting, shaking earth's foundation,
Yet we stand like castle walls, our vested rights asserting;
May the earth engulf the traitor from our ranks deserting.

A few years after its writing, Samo Tomasik, its author, was ordained a Lutheran minister and was called to a church in Prague, where he served for years.

He was ever an ardent advocate of Slovak nationalism. This great patriot energized the Slovak people with a renewed ardor for political and intellectual freedom, as well as for religious liberty. His inspiration, his faith, his indomitable enthusiasm infected the whole people.

Este nasa slovenska rec zije!"

Hrom a peklo, marne vase proti nam su vzteky!

The National Slovak Society is very active in America today. For the latest information on the National Slovak Society visit the official National Slovak Society Web Site "Where Fraternal Benefits And Financial Security Have Met Since 1890".

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