Il Ponte – a student periodical based at bratislava international school of liberal arts (bisla)

Dark history reminder: 80th anniversary of the creation of the so-called Slovak state

Dark history reminder: 80th anniversary of the creation of the so-called Slovak state

Photo: Jozef Tiso with his delegation visiting Adolf Hitler.  Photo credit: MINISTERSTVO VNÚTRA SR, SLOVENSKÝ NÁRODNÝ ARCHÍV, fond STK - 04025-3)

Photo: Jozef Tiso with his delegation visiting Adolf Hitler.

Photo credit: MINISTERSTVO VNÚTRA SR, SLOVENSKÝ NÁRODNÝ ARCHÍV, fond STK - 04025-3)

Jonáš Jánsky / March 14, 2019

( 1 min read )

On March 14th, 1939 the Slovak State declared its independence from Czechoslovakia. Since its inception, the Slovak State was tied to Nazi Germany by a ‘treaty of protection’ that allowed Germans to control all strategic industries as well as provided them with control of the Slovak foreign policy.

This state was a dictatorship controlled by Hlinka’s Slovak People’s Party that was led by the Catholic priest Jozef Tiso. Even though he represented the ‘moderate’ (read ‘not completely Nazi fanboy’) wing of the party, his government passed a restriction on human rights for Jews that lived in Slovakia that was more strict than in Nazi Germany itself and right after the creation of the state, the process of ‘Arization’ started.

During this process, ethnic Slovaks were allowed to acquire the property of the Jewish citizens. What is more, this puppet state paid for and actively helped with the murder of many of its citizens during the holocaust. This systematic murder was aimed at Jews, homosexuals and Roma. The most symbolic evidence of ‘independence’ of this state is the picture of Jozef Tiso awarding medals to Wehrmacht troops that fought against Slovak National Uprising and during which, they massacred the populations of whole Slovak villages.

These crimes offer enough reasons not to forget this day. But what is worse, at present, there still exists a group of apologists that try to defend or even celebrate the existence of this state. Some of them even sit in Slovak parliament. There is only one way to change this. Slovakia needs to face its dark past and its citizens can never forget the crimes committed during this period."

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