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The Devín Castle in the 20th century

The twentieth century was very turbulent in Devín. In 1932, the Pálffy family as the last private owners of the castle surrendered it to the state of Czechoslovakia for former 1,000 crowns. The period between the two world wars brought enhancement of the symbolic importance of Devín; since the 20s, Slovak national processions and Cyril-Methodius celebrations reflecting the political development of those times had been held here.

After the Vienna Arbitration, Devín was a part of the German Empire from 1938 until the end of the World War II. Yet before its outbreak, several sessions were held here including the meeting of Imperial Germans with German minorities in May 1939. For this purpose, the functionalist building was built on the southern side of the castle hill the roof of which was used as a stage of the amphitheatre. The building was completed as late as in 1948 and then it was used for performances and concerts. But at the same time, the so-called Iron Curtain was formed under the castle.

During the Cold War, the castle site and its surroundings were watched by the border guard the role of which was to, at all costs, prevent citizens of Czechoslovakia from escaping to the West. Double barbed wire fence, barricades, and watchtowers were symbols of the totalitarian regime which has not been broken until 1989. In memory of the people killed during the escape, the Gate of Freedom Memorial was unveiled under the castle in 2005.