Český etnograf Jan Húsek a jeho výskumná cesta po slovensko-rusínskom pomedzí v 20. rokoch 20. storočia
When Czechoslovakia was established in 1918 and incoporated Subcarpathian Rus’ in September 1919, the questions of Rusyn autonomy and the border between Subcarpathian Rus’ and Slovakia emerged. Rusyns requested that the territory of Eastern Slovakia – the historic counties of Spiš, Šariš and Zemplín – where many of them also lived, be included in Subcarpathian Rus’. The Slovak side refused it point-blank, which was apparent considered these counties to be Slovak, with Slovak majority populations, as it was apparent in the censuses taken in pre-1918 Hungary and Czechoslovakia in 1919, 1921 and 1930. There was therefore a danger of confl ict between the two Slavic nations forming the new state. The Czech ethnographer Jan Húsek was one of experts trying to prevent the confl ict from happening. In the 1920s, he took research trips to Eastern Slovakia to fi nd out where the ethnographic border between Slovaks and Rusyns lay. He planned, based on his fi ndings, to suggest to the Czechoslovak government where a fair internal border between Slovakia and Subcarpathian Rus’ should be placed. He published his research
in a voluminous monograph Národopisná hranice mezi Slováky a Karpatorusy (The Ethnological Border between Slovaks and Carpathian Rusyns, 1925). The conclusion of his work was, however, tentative. It was impossible to determine the ethnographic border between Slovaks and Rusyns in Eastern Slovakia, as Slovak and Rusyn inhabitants did not live in separate settlements; on the contrary, they were intermixed not only from the geographical viewpoint, but also regarding their family and work life, as well as in confession, culture, customs, etc. In the end, the border between Slovakia and Subcarpathian Rus’ maintained of the shape that was approved at the Paris Peace Conference and, for the entire interwar period, served as a permanent source of tension in Slovak-Rusyn relations.