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August 20, 2022



Slovak Government apologizes for anti-Jewish measures during WWII

20.9.2021 7:23
The deportation of Jewish people from Slovakia to the Auschwitz death camp. (PHOTO:  Yad Vashem)
The deportation of Jewish people from Slovakia to the Auschwitz death camp. (PHOTO: Yad Vashem)

The Government of Slovakia has apologized for the anti-Jewish measures that were adopted in 1941 to curtail Jewish people's rights; the cabinet of Slovak Prime Minister Eduard Heger chose to do so on the occasion of the 80th anniversary of the adoption of what was called the "Jewish Codex", which happened on 9 September 1941. On the basis of that government regulation, Jewish people were stripped of most of their political rights during the Second World War and their freedom of movement and right to own property were limited. 

The adoption of such anti-Jewish measures preceded the deportation of about 70 000 Jewish people from Slovak territory to the concentration camps established by the Nazis. "The Government of the Republic of Slovakia today feels a moral obligation to publicly express our sorrow over the crimes committed by the state powers at that time, especially for the fact that on 9 September 1941 a shameful statute was adopted to limit the fundamental human rights and freedoms of citizens of Jewish origin," reads the statement, which the press department of the Office of the Government of Slovakia has sent to the Czech News Agency. 

The day on which the "Jewish Codex" was adopted is among the dark chapters in the history of Slovakia, and the country marks it as the Day of Victims of the Holocaust and Racial Violence. The Interior Ministry there approached the 80th anniversary by producing an exhibition of documents from that era, and other commemorative events have also been organized.

What was called the Slovak State at the time was allied with Nazi Germany during the war. Of the current parties seated in Parliament in Slovakia, the opposition ultra-right "People's Party Our Slovakia-Kotleba" makes no secret of its sympathies for the Slovak State as it existed during WWII.

ryz, ČTK, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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