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Reader feedback: Political motives

Re: Žilina remembers the horrors of Auschwitz, Sep 20-26, Vol 10, No 36

Yes, that story was wonderful news. şmy weife's grandfather is supposed to have hidden some of his Jewish employees in his chata for the duration of the war. My boss's father escaped to Britain, flew for the RAF and is regularly invited to parties by the British embassy.

But we also have a duty to tell the story of what these heroes were saving people from and unfortunately, it was not only evil Germans but people from their own side who chose to collaborate.

It is difficult for me to write on this theme. My country was never occupied and I never had to choose. But history fascinates me and I try to understand. I think we would go mad if we tried to collect every fact and only then make judgements so I have some hypotheses, which I think are strong, and some anecdotal evidence and I'd like to test it.

Likewise, someone should check out Tiso's political motives. He spent all his life in HSLS (ex SLS), whose objective was Slovak autonomy. Hitler is supposed to have offered him the choice of declaring independence or seeing the country partitioned. He may have seen himself as the shield of Slovakia, or he may have seen it as a chance to make his dreams come true, but I doubt he thought much about the moral question of collaborating with the Nazis.

When I am better at Slovak I will try to read a proper biography of Tiso. I may have to refine my hypotheses. But the reason I keep banging on about Tiso is this: I don't want another dictator to come along who says, "Look I will give you your beautiful nation state, just overlook these little things me and my friends get up to..."

Žilina, Slovakia

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