The cabinet of Eduard Heger (OĽaNO) has apologised for the Order on the Legal Status of Jews, also known as the Jewish Code, adopted by the Nazi-allied wartime Slovak state.
The legal norm, adopted exactly 80 years ago, stripped Jews of their human and civil rights, preventing their access to education and certain professions.
“The Slovak cabinet feels a moral duty to publicly express regret over the crimes committed by the ruling power of that time, especially over adopting a condemnable regulation restricting the fundamental human rights and freedoms of citizens of Jewish origin on September 9, 1941,” reads the official declaration adopted on September 8, 2021.
The Heger cabinet members condemned the actions of the then state power and expressed deep regret over the tragedy that struck the innocent victims. They are convinced that only a plural democratic society can guarantee adherence to fundamental human and civil rights. They consider the adopted statement to be the pledge of a free and democratic Slovakia to prevent the misuse of legislation to dehumanise the country’s citizens.
The ministers also paid homage to the people who risked their own lives and freedom by helping the Jews.
The Jewish Code
The government of the Nazi-allied wartime Slovak state issued the Order on Legal Status of Jews, also known as the Jewish Code, on September 9, 1941. It was one of the most extensive legal norms adopted by the Slovak state, with 270 paragraphs.
The code enshrined the anti-Jewish laws of the regime, limiting not only the civil, religions and societal rights of Jews, but also their property rights. The legislation established a new definition of a Jew based on the racial principle. As a consequence, Jewish citizens were transformed into a socially dependent group by the end of 1941. The regime attempted to get rid of Jews through deportations.
Since 2001, September 9 has been marked as a Memorial Day for Victims of the Holocaust and an appeal to fight against all forms of racism, hatred, xenophobia and discrimination.
The transport of the first thousand Jewish women was dispatched on March 25, 1942 from Poprad, the last transport on October 20 in the same year.
The Slovak government paid 500 Reich marks for the deportation of every Jew, as Nazi Germany required.
57 transports headed to the area of Lublin and Auschwitz, 58,000 Jews taken to concentration camps. Only several hundreds survived. The second wave of deportations in autumn 1944 impacted about 13,000 people.
9. Sep 2021 at 11:49 | Compiled by Spectator staff