Ďurčanský; Ďurčanský bust in Slovakia by the Forward

Nazi collaborator monuments in Slovakia

There are hundreds of statues and monuments in the United States and around the world to people who abetted or took part in the murder of Jews and other minorities during the Holocaust. The Forward has, for the first time, documented them in this collection of articles. For a guide to each country’s memorials click here.

Čakajovce — A statue of Jozef Tiso (1887–1947), the Slovakian priest hanged for war crimes due to his eager deportation of tens of thousands of Slovakian Jews who were slaughtered by the Nazis. Today, Tiso is venerated by Slovakia’s far-right.

See The New York Times report on the surge of neo-fascism across Europe. (Thank you to Jozef Jakubco of the SME daily for the statue photo.)

Bytča and five other towns — A plaque honoring Tiso in his birthplace (story in The New York Times). Tiso also has plaques in Hlboké nad Váhom, Oščadnica, Rajec and Žilina (below left, Google translation here) as well as a street in Varín (below right). See report in the Slovak Spectator and coverage of the effort to rename Tiso Street in My Žilina (Google translation here).

Above left, Tiso meeting with Hitler in Berlin, October 1, 1941. At a minimum estimate, 68,000 out of Slovakia’s 89,000 Jews were murdered in the Holocaust, mostly via deportations to concentration camps. (Thanks to Michal Filek of My Žilinské noviny for the Varín street photo.)

Rajec — A bust of nationalist leader Ferdinand Ďurčanský (1906–1974), erected in 2011. Ďurčanský, who was deemed complicit in the death of Jews by the UN, escaped to Argentina and was then admitted into Canada. See report in the Slovak Spectator. Above left, Ďurčanský (center right) with Jozef Tiso and others.

Ďurčanský, like so many ex-Nazi allies, enjoyed the post-war protection of Western intelligence. The U.S. State Department allowed him to freely travel in the U.S.; according to the Anti-Defamation League, the State Department’s rationale for granting Ďurčanský an immigrant visa was: “Membership in or affiliation with the defunct Nazi Party in itself no longer constitutes a ground of ineligibility.”

Below, supporters of the neo-Nazi People’s Party Our Slovakia (LSNS), at an anti-refugee rally in 2015; the party’s name and logo (on the green banner) are based on Tiso’s Slovak People’s Party. In 2016, LSNS founder, the openly neo-Nazi Marian Kotleba shocked Europe when he was elected to parliament; in 2019, LSNS increased their representation in parliament. “Slovakia Is Not Africa” reads the LSNS banner.

Nazi collaborator monuments around the world

Authors

Lev Golinkin

Lev Golinkin

Lev Golinkin is the author of A Backpack, a Bear, and Eight Crates of Vodka, Amazon’s Debut of the Month, a Barnes & Noble’s Discover Great New Writers program selection, and winner of the Premio Salerno Libro d’Europa. Mr. Golinkin, a graduate of Boston College, came to the US as a child refugee from the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkov (now called Kharkiv) in 1990. His writing on the Ukraine crisis, Russia, the far right, and immigrant and refugee identity has appeared in The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, CNN, NBC, The Boston Globe, Politico Europe, and Time.com, among others; he has been interviewed by MSNBC, NPR, ABC Radio, WSJ Live and HuffPost Live.

Nazi collaborator monuments around the world

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Nazi collaborator monuments in Slovakia

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