Slovakia Leader Robert Fico Wins Jewish Tolerance Prize

Premier Boosts Heritage in Central Europe Nation

getty images

By JTA

Published October 05, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share

European Jewish groups will honor the prime minister of Slovakia for his “commitment to tolerance.”

Premier Robert Fico is expected in Brussels later this month to receive the European Jewish Prize for Tolerance at an event organized by 17 Jewish groups, including the Rabbinical Centre of Europe and the European Jewish Community Centre, according to an announcement released Wednesday by the EJCC.

In March, a delegation of rabbis from the EJCC and the Brussels-based European Jewish Association lobby group met with Fico in Bratislava and thanked him for his role in designating Sept. 9 Slovakian Jewish Holocaust Memorial day.

“Preserving historical Jewish sites in Slovakia, including synagogues and cemeteries, is integral to the country’s heritage,” the EJCC quoted Fico as saying.

During the most recent Sept. 9 commemoration, the head of Slovakia’s Catholic Church for the first time acknowledged “wrongdoing” by church officials during the country’s main Holocaust memorial ceremony.

It is “important to deepen the consciousness of wrongdoing, which in the past [caused] sons and daughters to move away from the spirit of Jesus Christ and the message of the Word of God,” Stanislav Zvolensky, the chairman of the Conference of Bishops of Slovakia, was quoted as saying by the Slovak news site TA3.

Nearly 70,000 of Slovakia’s Jews were killed during World War II. Slovak authorities collaborated closely with Nazi Germany, concentrating Slovak Jews in labor and concentration camps, from which they were deported to extermination camps, according to Yad Vashem.

Approximately 3,000 Jews live in Slovakia today, according to the European Jewish Congress.

Read more: http://www.jta.org/2013/10/04/news-opinion/world/jewish-groups-laud-slovak-premiers-holocaust-memorial-efforts#ixzz2gqr62Hji


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • "'What’s this, mommy?' she asked, while pulling at the purple sleeve to unwrap this mysterious little gift mom keeps hidden in the inside pocket of her bag. Oh boy, how do I answer?"
  • "I fear that we are witnessing the end of politics in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I see no possibility for resolution right now. I look into the future and see only a void." What do you think?
  • Not a gazillionaire? Take the "poor door."
  • "We will do what we must to protect our people. We have that right. We are not less deserving of life and quiet than anyone else. No more apologies."
  • "Woody Allen should have quit while he was ahead." Ezra Glinter's review of "Magic in the Moonlight": http://jd.fo/f4Q1Q
  • Jon Stewart responds to his critics: “Look, obviously there are many strong opinions on this. But just merely mentioning Israel or questioning in any way the effectiveness or humanity of Israel’s policies is not the same thing as being pro-Hamas.”
  • "My bat mitzvah party took place in our living room. There were only a few Jewish kids there, and only one from my Sunday school class. She sat in the corner, wearing the right clothes, asking her mom when they could go." The latest in our Promised Lands series — what state should we visit next?
  • Former Israeli National Security Advisor Yaakov Amidror: “A cease-fire will mean that anytime Hamas wants to fight it can. Occupation of Gaza will bring longer-term quiet, but the price will be very high.” What do you think?
  • Should couples sign a pre-pregnancy contract, outlining how caring for the infant will be equally divided between the two parties involved? Just think of it as a ketubah for expectant parents:
  • Many #Israelis can't make it to bomb shelters in time. One of them is Amos Oz.
  • According to Israeli professor Mordechai Kedar, “the only thing that can deter terrorists, like those who kidnapped the children and killed them, is the knowledge that their sister or their mother will be raped."
  • Why does ultra-Orthodox group Agudath Israel of America receive its largest donation from the majority owners of Walmart? Find out here: http://jd.fo/q4XfI
  • Woody Allen on the situation in #Gaza: It's “a terrible, tragic thing. Innocent lives are lost left and right, and it’s a horrible situation that eventually has to right itself.”
  • "Mark your calendars: It was on Sunday, July 20, that the momentum turned against Israel." J.J. Goldberg's latest analysis on Israel's ground operation in Gaza:
  • What do you think?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.