Cover Osteuropa 12/2009

In Osteuropa 12/2009

Hungarian, Slav, Goral, Slovak
Jánošík as Mythic Folk Hero

Ute Raßloff

Deutsche Fassung


Legends are the storehouse of the history of ideas. The development of the Slavic idea in Slovakia, for example, can be derived from the figure of the Carpathian thief Juraj Jánošík. The historical Jánošík took part in the uprisings of the Hungarian nobility in the 18th century and was later executed as a thief. The fathers of Pan-Slavism made him a Slavic epic hero. On the eve of the Revolution of 1848, poets declared Jánošík a Slovak national hero. But only in Neo-Slavism were ethnic traits attributed to the figure. These did not disappear either, when the figure was stylized into a social rebel in the 20th century and a partisan in the communist era. Today, the figure is an icon of pop culture that is exploited commercially and politically.

(Osteuropa 12/2009, pp. 53–76)