Hundreds of people gathered at a Bratislava cemetery on April 18 to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the execution of Jozef Tiso, and unveil a new headstone for the leader of the Second World War Slovak state.
Tiso was president of the Slovak state, a satellite of Hitler's Germany, from 1939 to 1945. He was executed for treason and collaboration with Nazis on April 18, 1947.
Hundreds gathered at Martinský Cemetery in Bratislava at the site of a new headstone commissioned by Slovak nationalist groups. The headstone cost Sk200,000.
The organizers of the event believe Tiso is buried in the grave where the new headstone was placed, but no one knows for sure. One week before the anniversary, a DNA test was conducted on the remains found in the grave. The test results are not yet known.
Under Tiso, 70,000 Slovak Jews were transported to concentration camps.
Many historians currently agree that Tiso's execution was a mistake, and it just contributed to his glorification in the eyes of his admirers.
"Tiso's trial was really a political trial, and in my opinion, it was not perfect from the legal point of view," said historian Dušan Kováč. "This does not mean that Tiso is innocent. By no means. I think, however, that in a proper trial, more of his crimes would have been disclosed...
"The split of the state became prominent, which can hardly be considered a felony. Meanwhile, the fact that Slovakia was embroiled in the war of strange and foreign interests and the deportations were not mentioned adequately."
23. Apr 2007 at 0:00 | Ľuba Lesná