VANDALS spray-painted the gravestone of Slovakia's wartime president, Jozef Tiso, in the Martinský cemetery in Bratislava, the Nový Cas daily reported on February 27. They painted a Star of David on the gravestone, along with the slogan 'Stop Fascism'.
About Sk5,000 of damage was committed, Nový Čas estimated. The paper quoted Miloslav Hrádek, director of undertaking firm Marianum, saying: "It was probably meant as a provocation. Slovaks have still to come to terms with their past."
Many historians attribute to Tiso a share of the blame for the wartime deportation of tens of thousands of Slovak Jews, most of whom as a result died in Nazi concentration camps. By contrast, some consider him the father of Slovak statehood and a martyr.
Tiso's gravestone was erected last April at what is believed to be the former president and Catholic priest's final resting place. However, in the absence of DNA test results on any remains, it's yet to be confirmed whether Tiso is actually buried at the site.
Attacks on Slovak cemeteries by vandals occur relatively frequently. Jewish graveyards often suffer minor acts of vandalism, but nor are other resting places immune from attack.
10. Mar 2008 at 0:00 | Compiled by Jana Liptáková from press reports