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Jewish community protests award

PREŠOV regional councillors approved the granting of a posthumous award for Bishop Ján Vojtaššák, who was persecuted by the Communist regime and spent about 12 years in jail.

However, the Jewish Religious Community (ŽNO) sharply protests the decision, arguing that Vojtaššák was president of the State Council in the wartime fascist Slovak state, the SITA news agency wrote.

Jewish representatives say Bishop Vojtaššák's nomination is immoral.

ŽNO Deputy Chairman Imrich Šiovič stated that Vojtaššák was directly involved in the process of deporting Jews to death camps and did nothing to stop it.

Šiovič also pointed out that former Pope John Paul II did not beatify Bishop Vojtaššák, in spite of his nomination.

According to Šiovič, not even the Communist persecution of Vojtaššák can rid him of blame.

About 6,000 Jews were deported from Prešov during World War II and only 800 returned home.

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