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SNS wants Tiso supporter to head ÚPN

HISTORIAN Peter Mulík of Matica Slovenská, a nationalist institution set up to promote Slovak culture and history, has been suggested as a candidate to head the Nation's Memory Institute (ÚPN). The candidacy of Mulík, who was proposed by the ruling coalition’s far-right Slovak National Party (SNS), has been labelled scandalous by the Slovak Jewish community, while historians have also said it is inappropriate.

According to historian Dušan Kováč, Mulík works for an institution, Matica Slovenská, that openly supports the Slovak wartime state and its former president, Jozef Tiso. During the Second World War, Slovakia operated as a Nazi puppet state and was responsible for the deportations of around 70,000 Slovak Jews and Roma to Nazi death camps.

The official nominations for the ÚPN's top post should be submitted to parliament by January 15.

Jaroslav Franek, spokesman for the Slovak Jewish community, told the Sme daily that Mulík is a firm defender of the wartime Slovak state and that he was also involved in the non-parliamentary extremist Slovak People's Party, which put Marián Kotleba, head of the banned neo-fascist Slovenská Pospolitosť party, on its list of candidates for the June 2006 general elections.

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