History and Myth-Making: Sketches about the “First” Slovakian Co-Operative  Cover Image

Történelem és mítoszteremtés. Karcolat a „legelső” szlovák szövetkezetről
History and Myth-Making: Sketches about the “First” Slovakian Co-Operative

Author(s): István Gaucsík
Subject(s): History
Published by: KORALL Társadalomtörténeti Egyesület

Summary/Abstract: The study deals with the nation-centred nature of the Slovakian historiography of co-operatives. As an example for Slovakian myth-making, the author discusses the interpretations of the penny co-operative founded in 1845 in Ószombat (present-day Sobotište in Slovakia). While this association comprised an organic part of the Hungarian community of associations, Slovakian historians consider it not only the first “ethnically Slovakian” credit union, but the first credit union in the Monarchy and the Continent. Contrary to historians’ charges, this association, which was founded to encourage self-help and savings and regulate the members’ self-improvement and lifestyle, did not discontinue due to discriminative Hungarian minority policies, but as a result of a natural process and adhering to the regulations laid down in its founding charter. The study focuses on the twentieth-century development of myth-making and the diminishing role of historical fact and archival research in the history of this particular association, as well as the foundation of actual associations in Ószombat in 1898 and 1902. It also addresses the nation-building concepts of Slovakian political elite. For Slovakian historiography the penny co-operative is not merely a subject of social historical research in the context of the local milieu of Ószombat. Slovakian historians also disregard the possibility of Habán (Anabaptist)-Slovak cultural interactions and have established a persistent historical construct to strengthen the Slovakian “small nation” identity.

  • Issue Year: 2012
  • Issue No: 47
  • Page Range: 42-60
  • Page Count: 19
  • Language: Hungarian