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IN SHORT

Admirers of Tiso and his state decreasing

THE NUMBER of people who admire the World War II Slovak state is rapidly decreasing, according to a February 2005 public opinion poll by the MVK agency.

The poll reveals that twice as many Slovaks are critical of the wartime regime than are admirers of it, the daily SME reported. In contrast, a similar survey in 1992 revealed a majority of admirers of the World War II regime.

Slovak Academy of Sciences sociology researcher, Vladimír Krivý, says the 1992 rating was the result of a wave of nationalism in Slovakia around the time. He also pointed out that this was part of a pattern amongst states that had "reached a crossroads" and were looking to their pasts for an identity.

Most of the current admirers of Tiso are pensioners and blue-collar workers. Those with a higher education qualification represent the fewest, according to the poll.

However, one third of respondents expressed no opinion, which, according to Krivý, shows a large gap in the historical memory of the country.

The research shows that half of respondents believe that Tiso was personally responsible for deporting Slovak Jews. More than 20 percent believe that Tiso was not directly responsible for the deportations.

The 2005 poll reveals that 4.8 percent of respondents see the World War II Slovak state in a "very positive" light. In 1992 that figure was 8.0 percent.

The 2005 survey also shows that 19.5 percent of respondents see Tiso's regime in a "rather positive" light, compared to 18.2 percent in 1992.

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