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From the two apparent alternatives – the division of Slovakia between Poland, Hungary and the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, and the creation of an independent state – the political leadership of the time pursued the latter. This led to the establishment of an independent Slovak state, the six-year-long existence of which continues to be a controversial and unresolved chapter in the history of the country to the present day. During this period Bratislava became the capital of an independent Slovakia for the first time. The city was the seat of the president, parliament, the government and all state administrative authorities. It lost part of its territory, however: the districts of Petržalka and Devín were annexed by Germany. Towards the end of the war, as the capital of a state allied to Hitler’s Germany, Bratislava was bombed by Allied air forces. The city was liberated by the Soviet Red Army on 4 April, 1945.
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