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Re: Tiso I and Tiso II

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  • Martin Votruba
    ... I agree with what you say about the book, Noreen. The dispute is about the phrase as best he could . Those who defend him say he couldn t do anything
    Message 1 of 2 , Jun 23, 2007
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      > Jozef Tiso is somewhat portrayed as a man who tried as best
      > he could (while outwardly seeming to be working with the
      > Germans) to shield as many Jews as he could by classifying
      > them as "other" than Jews, or as Jews who were necessary to
      > Slovakia in their professions.

      I agree with what you say about the book, Noreen. The dispute is
      about the phrase "as best he could". Those who defend him say he
      couldn't do anything more, those who criticize him say no Jews needed
      to be deported.

      As to classifying people as non-Jews, that was a bill passed by
      Parliament, not Tiso's decree. Slovakia did not classify as Jews
      people who were/used to be members of the Jewish religion but were
      married (prior to a certain date) to non-Jews, and children of such
      couples. (There were additional clauses, but they applied to just a
      minuscule number of people.)

      As to preventing the deportation of Jews once they began, Tiso signed
      waivers for (exactly) 1,111 Jews. Because with each person the whole
      family was exempt from deportation, we can multiply that number by
      what we assume was the average size of a family then (the actual
      number has not been determined; parents/grandparents living with the
      exempted person were typically exempted, too).

      More Jews received waivers from various government departments that
      declared them necessary for Slovakia's economy, etc. Personal
      favoritism and bribery helped secure some of the waivers, too.

      After all the waivers, about 58,000 people were deported in 1942.

      > I seem to be forming the opinion that there
      > were much worse than he.

      Historians agree on that, although "how much" is a matter of dispute
      (the main point of contention is whether/to what degree the
      President+Prime Minister of an authoritarian and totalitarian country
      under German domination can be not-responsible for his government's
      actions). Like Hungary and Italy, Slovakia's government had a more
      radical pro-German/Nazi wing. Those people became more prominent/took
      over in all three countries towards the end WWII. The 1944 uprising
      was a specific trigger in Slovakia, but German intervention was a
      factor in that in all three countries.


      votruba "at" pitt "dot" edu
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