ARPÁD Tarnóczy, the chairman of the Anti-Communist Resistance Association, was elected to the board of trustees of the Nation’s Memory Institute (ÚPN) by the Slovak parliament on April 24.
Tarnóczy, a pensioner without a university degree, was nominated by the Slovak National Party (SNS), and elected with the votes of 73 MPs in a secret ballot among 128 deputies present in parliament, the SITA newswire reported. The Nation’s Memory Institute (ÚPN) is responsible for documenting Slovakia’s periods of twentieth-century totalitarian rule.
In 2006, the SNS failed in a bid to have Tarnóczy elected chairman of the ÚPN. On that occasion, Tarnóczy withdrew after opposition parties’ criticised his nomination and said they would not support him. The non-parliamentary Civil Conservative Party (OKS) pointed out at the time that Tarnóczy had unveiled a memorial plaque to Jozef Kirschbaum, a senior official in the fascist wartime Slovak State. According to the party, Kirschbaum openly advocated creating a totalitarian regime in Slovakia modelled on Hitler’s Germany before the war, SITA wrote.
In 2002, parliament adopted a law on the access of Slovak citizens to the documents kept by intelligence services on them between 1939 and 1989 and a bill establishing the ÚPN. The law granted Slovakia’s citizens access to communist secret service files concerning them or their families. The institute collects, archives, and makes available information not only from the communist period (1948-1989) but also from 1939-1945, when Slovakia was a Nazi puppet state.