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Imrich Karvaš

Imrich Karvaš(*25 February 1903 in Varšany – †22 February 1981 in Bratislava)

He worked at the Faculty of Law in Bratislava, where he was awarded the title of associate professor in 1930, he became special professor in 1934 and he was appointed professor of national economy in 1940. He held several official functions: he was secretary of the Association of Slovak Banks, secretary general of the National Institute of Economics of Slovakia and Sub-Carpathian Ruthenia and vice president of the Export Institute in Prague. He was a minister in one of the last Czechoslovak governments.

In April 1939 he was appointed governor of Slovenská národná banka. He actively advocated maintaining as much independence as possible in Slovak economic policy. Specific safeguards included the introduction of different clearing accounts in Slovak-German goods relations with different exchange rates of the Reichsmark, compulsory registration of enterprises’ shares in Slovakia and maintaining duty-free relations between Slovakia and the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia. He took crucial action in support of the Slovak National Uprising in August 1944 including the transfer of banknotes and coins to the branches of Slovenská národná banka in Ružomberok and Banská Bystrica and, in his capacity as head of the Supreme Office for Supplies, the allocation of motor fuel in favour of the uprising and the distribution of supplies to the population for three months in advance. When these actions came to light, he was arrested by the Gestapo.

After 1945 he never again played a leading role in Slovak or Czechoslovak banking. He devoted himself to work at the Faculty of Law (in 1947 – 1948 as its dean) and was also chairman of the International Executive Committee for Spas. After February 1948 he was persecuted and several times imprisoned. In the late 1960s he was legally rehabilitated. In 1940 he was a co-founder of the University of Economics in Bratislava and editor-in-chief of the monthly magazine Hospodárske rozhľady (Economic Views). Karvaš wrote more than 50 peer-reviewed articles and he is also the author of an extensive book, Základy hospodárskej vedy (The Basics of Economic Science).

Last updated: Wednesday, November 13, 2019