President Kiska Attends Days of Milan Hodža

July 22, 2014

The recently-elected president of Slovakia, Andrej Kiska, participated in the Days of Milan Hodža for 2014. Read More »

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Tenth Annual Days of Milan Hodža Held in Slovakia, Prize of Milan Hodža Awarded

July 22, 2014

June 26th through 29th saw an especially celebratory tenth iteration of celebrations in honor of my grandfather that have been held in Slovakia every year since 2005, known as the Days of Milan Hodža. Read More »

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Book Welcomed at Slovak Embassy in London

July 21, 2014

On June 19th, 2014, a presentation of My Slovakia, My Family was enthusiastically received at the Embassy of Slovakia in London by an unusually large crowd, mostly of Slovak and Czech heritage. The event was co-hosted by the embassy and by the British Czech and Slovak Association, BCSA. Read More »

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Book Events in London and Cedar Rapids

May 14, 2014

Following enthusiastically received presentations at the Consulate-General of Slovakia in New York City, the Embassy of Slovakia in Washington, D.C., and the Slovak Studies Program at the University of Pittsburgh, My Slovakia, My Family will be presented at the Embassy of Slovakia in London (June 19, 2014) and the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library in Cedar Rapids, Iowa (October 30th, 2014). Look for further news about these events.

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Prize of Milan Hodža 2013 Awarded

November 5, 2013

The annual Prize of Milan Hodža, awarded in the name of the prime minister of the Slovak Republic, was awarded in 2013 to two eminent historians, Jozef Kiss in Slovakia and Susan Mikula in the United States.  Read More »

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Book Presented at Slovak Consulate-General and Slovak Embassy

November 4, 2013

My Slovakia, My Family was recently presented at two important venues, the Consulate-General of Slovakia in New York and the Embassy of Slovakia in Washington, D.C. Both events drew large audiences for whom the content of the book was personally meaningful. Please enjoy the pictures! Read More »

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Madeleine Albright Gives Glowing Endorsement

August 27, 2013

Madeleine Albright, the Czech-born former Secretary of State, has offered this endorsement: “My Slovakia, My Family is a heartfelt tale of a nation’s struggle to exist and of a family’s pivotal role in influencing its destiny. This is a superb memoir and a valuable contribution to our knowledge of twentieth century Europe.”

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Book Introduced at Slovak Embassy

February 7, 2013

On January 31st, 2013, the Slovak embassy in Washington D.C. prepared a festive program to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the birth of Slovakia as an independent state. Ambassador Peter Kmec was kind enough to introduce My Slovakia, My Family to the capacity crowd that gathered to hear brief remarks and splendid concert, and to allow me to sell the book as well. Thank you, Mr. Ambassador!

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American Edition Launched

November 25, 2012

On November 18, 2012, the American edition of My Slovakia, My Family was launched with a celebration at the Whidbey Institute, located near our home on Whidbey Island near Seattle. A hundred people turned out on a rainy Sunday afternoon to enjoy refreshments, a slide show, singing Slovak folk songs, listening to readings from the book, and watching a closing video. At the end the audience burst into a standing ovation. Read More »

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Endorsements for the American Edition

October 25, 2012

Professor Palka’s book My Slovakia, My Family is a fascinating and superbly documented biography of the Hodža and Pálka families’ significant role in Slovak history. It includes dramatic accounts of his family’s escape first from Nazi occupied Europe and then from Communist controlled Czechoslovakia to a new life in America. It provides vivid portraits of courage and love of freedom and country that will resonate with anyone interested in Slovak history and Slovaks in America. Theodore E. Russell, U. S. Ambassador to Slovakia, 1993-1996 Read More »


John Palka, scion of one of the most distinguished families in the history of Slovakia, has written a beautiful account of the history of his family within the context of developments in his ancestral homeland.  Incorporating social, cultural, and political history, Palka interweaves a sweeping account of Slovakia over the past several centuries with the story of a family situated at the heart of the major developments and events of that history. . . .

Palka has given us an account of Slovakia’s history that engages the reader by making it personalJames Ramon Felak, Professor of History, University of Washington Read More »


This is a unique book, in which the grand sweep of international history intersects with the personal, in which dramatic milestones of the 19th and 20th centuries alternate with the moving destinies of Slovak families and individuals who changed the face of Slovakia, Czechoslovakia, and Central Europe. . . . Martin Bútora, Slovak ambassador to the United States, 1999-2003 Read More »


While the book’s focus always remains on the family level, the author’s command of the general historical sources is impeccable. This permits him to make important contributions especially to Czechoslovak history in the fateful 1930s and 40s . . .  The book will especially appeal to Slovak-Americans who are seeking to understand their own cultural background on the family level. Diethelm Prowe, Laird Bell Professor of History, Carleton College Read More »

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