The Slovak community in Poland is in comparison with other Slovak minorities living abroad not created by expatriates. There we can speak about native inhabitants who used to live in the northern part of Spiš region and in the upper part of Orava. These areas were after the First World War and after the dissolution of the Austrian-Hungarian Monarchy affiliated to Poland following border modifications between Czechoslovakia and Poland on 28 July, 1920.
Following the decision of the Council of Ambassadors 14 Slovak villages in Spiš and 12 in Orava were despite large objections incorporated in the state of Poland. Slovak ethnic groups lived here in severe existential conditions. In September 1939 the territories of north Spiš and upper Orava were returned to Slovakia but they were part of Slovakia only during the Slovak Republic of 1939-1945. In accordance with “Prague Protocol” of 20 May 1945 this area was again affiliated to Poland.
The after-war life in Poland did not shape easily. Those people who reported Slovak nationality became subjects of victimization and persecution.
It was not before 1951 when Polish authorities allowed the founding of the first Slovak grammar school in Jablonka. This school is the first and until today the only general secondary school in this area. The year 1957 was a breakthrough year in the stirred history of Polish Slovaks, when on the occasion of a congress of the Organization of Slovaks in Poland, where the Social and Cultural Society of Czechs and Slovaks in Poland led by Adam Chalupec was founded, a mimeo newsletter with the title Krajanský život (Compatriotic life) was issued and in June 1958 there appeared the first issue of Život (The Life) monthly in Warsaw. This magazine has been a cultural and literary organ of Slovaks in Poland for fifty years.
In 1989 the situation of Slovaks living in Poland changed. Nowadays local Slovaks have their own building and printing works in Krakow which enable them to deal with literary activities more vigorously, particularly on the pages of Život magazine. In 1995 the compatriotic association was reorganised and the Social and Cultural Society of Czechs and Slovaks in Poland changed into the Slovak Union in Poland.