Prekmurje Slovenes

Prekmurje Slovenes

Notable Prekmurje Slovenes
József Borovnyák, Ferenc Ivanóczy, József Klekl the Old, Ágoston Pável, Miško Kranjec, Vilko Novak, Jožef Smej, Milan Kučan, Vlado Kreslin, Feri Lainšček
Total population
Regions with significant populations
Prekmurje c. 80-90,000
Vendvidék c. 3000
Somogy unknown
Prekmurje Slovene, Slovene
Roman Catholic
some Calvinist

The Prekmurje Slovenes (Slovene: Prekmurci,Prekmürci, Prekmörci, Prekmörge) are Slovenes from Prekmurje in Slovenia and Vendvidék and Somogy in Hungary. The Prekmurje Slovenes speak the Prekmurje Slovene and have a common culture.[1] The Hungarian Slovenes (Porabski Slovenci) and Somogy Slovenes also speak the Prekmurje Slovene.[2]


Prekmurje Slovenes are descendants of the Slovenes of Lower Pannonia (Slovene Spodnja Panonija, Prekmurje dialect Spoudnja Panonija, Hungarian: Alsó-Pannónia), who in the 9th century were vassals of the Frankish Empire. The Magyars conquered Lower Pannonia in 900, and many of the Slovenes were assimilated. However, the Prekmurje Slovenes in the vicinity of the Mura River maintained their identity.

Middle Ages

The language spoken by the Prekmurje Slovenes, in the absence of contacts with other Slovenes, began to diverge from the standard Slovene (Carniolan) dialect. Nevertheless, contacts were maintained with other Slovene areas such as Lower Styria, Maribor, and Ljutomer. In the Middle Ages the Bishopric of Győr applied the name "Tótság" to the Slovene parishes in Vas County and this name was later also applied to the Slovene areas in Zala county. At that time the Slovene territory extended to Burgenland and Őrség. In the 12th to 13th centuries a Slovene community lived near Szentgotthárd Abbey.[3]

From the Protestant Reformation to the 19th century

In the 16th century Protestantism spread among the Hungarian Slovenes. The Protestant Slovenes were the first to publish in their mother tongue. In the 18th century they already had their own identity (Vogrszki szlovenszki), as István Küzmics expressed it in the Predgovor (Foreword) of Nouvi Zákon. The Catholic translator and writer Miklós Küzmics also demonstrated that the Slavic people of Carniola, Styria, Tótság and Somogy are Slovenes too, but Hungarian Slovenes with their own language:[4] Who will disallow those Slovenes who live between the Mura and the Raba the right to translate these holy books into the language, in which they understand God talking to them through prophets and apostles' letters? God tells them too to read these books in order to get prepared for salvation in the faith of Jesus Christ. But they cannot receive this from Trubar's, Dalmatin's, Francel's, or other translations (versio). The language of our Hungarian Slovenes is different from other languages and unique in its own characteristics. Already in the aforementioned translations there are differences. Therefore, a man had to come who would translate the Bible and bring praise for God and salvation for his nation. God encouraged István Küzmics for this work, a priest from Surd, who translated – with the help of the Holy Spirit and with great diligence – the whole New Testament from Greek into the language you are reading and hearing. With the help (and expenses) of many religious souls, the Holy Bible was printed and given to you for the same reason Küzmics prepared Vöre Krsztsánszke krátki návuk, which was printed in 1754.[5]

In the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries some of the Mura Slovenes moved to Somogy county.

19th century and Magyarization

In the 19th century part of the policy of Magyarization was to raise the national identity-consciousness of the Prekmurje Slovenes, but by means of the Non-Slovene theory (the Wendish question). The theory, which was supported by Hungarians, was that the Wends (Prekmurje Slovenes) are a "Slavic-Magyar people", and in the long run the support for the Prekmurje dialect and culture is unnecessary as these "Slavic-Magyars" would become entirely Magyarized.


By the Treaty of Trianon of 1920, two-thirds of the Slovene population of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire became part of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes. Catholic Slovene politicians from Prekmurje, such as József Klekl, welcomed the Treaty. Later Klekl became disappointed with the lack of democracy in the new state, the constraints on the use of the Slovene language, and the failure to implement land reform. As a result, he became an advocate for the Slovene language and Slovene national identity.[6] An opposite position was taken by another Prekmurje politician, Miško Kranjec, who later became a member of Slovene Communist Party.

After 1945 the Yugoslav government tried to suppress József Klekl's ideas. In Hungary too not only the Prekmurje Slovene identity was suppressed, but Slovene national identity in general.

The theories of Sándor Mikola

After World War I the "Wendish-Celtic" and "Wendish-Magyar" theories were elaborated by Sándor Mikola. These were based on a falsification of the history of Prekmurje. Slovene sources have said that Mikola claimed that the Prekmurje Slovenes (Wends) are a separate nation, but in fact Mikola denied that there is such a thing as a Prekmurje Slovene identity. In his opinion the Prekmurje Slovenes are a Hungarian group and they "will become Hungarians."

The Mura Republic and Slovenska krajina

Main article: Republic of Prekmurje

In 1918 Klekl sought to establish an autonomous territory, the "Slovenska krajina" (or Slovene March) within Hungary.[7] However, there was little support in Ljubljana for this idea and he later proposed that the Slovene March become an independent state, confederated with Yugoslavia. Later Klekl regretted, that the idea of the Slovene krajina was not pursued. On 29 May 1919 Vilmos Tkálecz declared the Mura Republic (Murska republika, Respublika Mürska)in Murska Sobota, but this had little impact as well.

Since 1991

After 1991 the writer Feri Lainšček[8][9] and others[10] championed the concept of a Prekmurje Slovene identity[11] (panonskoslovenska identiteta).[12] Another advocate of a Prekmurje Slovene identity, Evald Flisar, has written: The homeland regards Prekmurje not as a part of Slovenia but something peculiar within its borders… It is unthinkable for two people from Prekmurje to speak with each other in anything but the Prekmurje dialect. I used to meet the former President of the Republic Milan Kučan at public events quite often. We always spoke the local dialect, it would have felt odd to use standard Slovenian, since he is from Prekmurje too. Others joked about us, asking why are we so secretive. When I met a compatriot in Australia, Africa or America, we immediately started to talk in our own language. This is our language.[13]


  1. Matija Slavič: Prekmurje, 1921.
  2. Marija Kozar: Etnološki slovar slovencev na Madžarskem, Monošter-Szombathely 1996. ISBN 963-7206-62-0
  3. Mukicsné Kozár Mária/Marija Kozar Mukič: Etnološka topografija slovenskega etničnega ozemlja – 20. stoletje; Slovensko Porabje/A szlovén etnikai terület néprajzi topográfiája – 20. század; Szlovénvidék, Ljubljana-Szombathely 1984. 85. pg.
  4. Predgovor, Nouvi Zákon 2008. 72. pg.
  5. Predgovor. Nouvi Zákon Stevan Küzmics, Pokrajinska in študijska knjižnica Murska Sobota 2008. Edit: Franc Kuzmič; Translations: in English Peter Lamovec; in Hungarian: Gabriella Bence; in Slovene: Mihael Kuzmič ISBN 978-961-6579-04-9
  6. Göncz László: Muravidék 1919
  7. Tengely Adrienn: Az egyházak és a nemzetiségi kérdés 1918-ban
  8. Feri Lainšček: V resnici zelo malo pišem (
  9. Feri Lainšček, pisatelj in pesnik (
  10. "Zame prekmurščina ni narečje, temveč jezik" (
  11. Ábrahám Barna: Magyar-németek, tótok, szlovjákok, magyar oroszok, vendek – népnév és identitás a 19. században
  12. Dane podatke o življenju in delu Ferija Lainščka uredi v smiselno besedilo
  13. Nagy Világ, 2007. október
This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 11/16/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.