Six more Slovaks were awarded the title 'Righteous Among the Nations', which is given by Israel to non-Jews who helped save the lives of Jewish people during World War II. On Wednesday, January 30, they joined 550 Slovaks and 24,000 other people that have received the award.
"When many closed their minds to humanity and shut their hearts from the suffering that could have easily befallen them, there the righteous acted in a humane way. The aid and support they provided to their fellow Jewish citizens at the time of their greatest need and their own motives were the combination of two utter opposites: a help taken as a given when the life of a human being is at stake and an act of exceptional bravery," said Israeli Ambassador to Slovakia Alexander Ben-Zvi.
"The state that collaborated with fascist Germany doesn't meet my ideas of humanism. It's quite evident today that [Slovakia’s wartime] president Jozef Tiso knew about everything, closely co-operated with the German fascist system and that's why I reject this way of state governing," said Prime Minister Robert Fico, as quoted by the TASR newswire. He added that Slovakia should never forget the life story of a single persecuted Jew.
One of those awarded was shoemaker Alexander Režný, who came to the rescue of the Neurath family and, together with his wife Katarína, let the refugee family stay in their own flat. As the danger grew too great, the Neuraths were moved to the shoemaker's workshop, where they stayed until the liberation of Bratislava in 1945. The award was also bestowed upon Ján and Anna Mackovjaks and Jozef and Mária Chladnýs.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.