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"I respect Tiso, in a way"

An interview with Ivan Petranský, chairman of the Nation's Memory Institute's board of directors.

An interview with Ivan Petranský, chairman of the Nation's Memory Institute's board of directors.

The Slovak Spectator (TSS): What does the Nation's Memory Institute expect it will have to deal with when documenting the wartime Slovak State (1939-1945)? You have said in the media that you admire Jozef Tiso, the president of the [wartime] Slovak State. Will this admiration not prevent you from making these materials public?

Ivan Petranský (IP): I have not said that I admire Tiso. I do respect him in a way, but that is something different. I respect him in a way, but he does need to be blamed for certain things.

TSS: Can you be more specific? For what do you respect him and for what do you not?

IP:I would rather not discuss this. One of the Institute's priorities is to examine Slovakia's authoritarian period from 1939 to 1989. There is no change in this goal whatsoever. On the contrary, from the viewpoint of studying the [wartime] Slovak State, Institute's work has been increased. Work continues on all projects that have been begun. We will surely work on other projects focussing on this period as well. Only objective and impartial research can help us come to terms with this period [of Slovak history].

TSS: Will you also deal with the forced resettlement of the Hungarian minority to outside of Slovakia that took place shortly after the war?

IP: Of course. This was also a grave violation of human rights.

TSS: Is any political pressure being put on you?

IP: No. None.

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