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Archbishop Zvolenský commemorated Holocaust victims in speech

Although the genocide of the Jewish people took place many decades ago, the impact is felt to this day, not only by Jews but also by Slovakia's inhabitants, including members of the Roman-Catholic Church, Conference of Slovak Bishops (KBS) chairman Stanislav Zvolenský said at the Holocaust Victims and Racial Violence Commemoration Day gathering held on Rybné Square in Bratislava on September 9. Zvolenský is the first high-level KBS representative to officially take part in the commemoration. He pointed out that inhabitants of Slovakia were violently taken away with the consent of the then government, with most of the victims perishing in the concentration camps.

Although the genocide of the Jewish people took place many decades ago, the impact is felt to this day, not only by Jews but also by Slovakia's inhabitants, including members of the Roman-Catholic Church, Conference of Slovak Bishops (KBS) chairman Stanislav Zvolenský said at the Holocaust Victims and Racial Violence Commemoration Day gathering held on Rybné Square in Bratislava on September 9. Zvolenský is the first high-level KBS representative to officially take part in the commemoration. He pointed out that inhabitants of Slovakia were violently taken away with the consent of the then government, with most of the victims perishing in the concentration camps.

“It is with deep sadness that we remember this tragedy and, therefore, we unequivocally reject any form of hatred, racism and the degradation of human dignity of any individual,” said Zvolenský, as quoted by the TASR newswire, adding that it is necessary to avoid any and all deeds that breed hatred. “Because there's only a fine line between hatred and violence,” he added.

On September 9, 1941, the government of the first Slovak Republic passed the so-called Jewish Code, a set of legal regulations under which the social and economic degradation of the Jewish population as well as deportations to concentration camps commenced.

Zvolenský stressed, according to the Sme daily, that it is also crucial to deepen the knowledge of wrongdoings by members of the (Roman-Catholic) church through which they deviated from the spirit of Jesus Christ and sent a negative testimony through their deeds. Sme commented, however, that Zvolenský stopped short of specifically naming Jozef Tiso, the Catholic priest who led the wartime Slovak state and was later sentenced and executed for his acts.

(Source: TASR, Sme)
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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