PARIS (Jan. 2)
A Slovak minister has agreed to seek the removal of a plaque recently dedicated to the memory of Father Josef Tiso, the Roman Catholic priest whom Adolf Hitler installed as leader of the Slovak puppet state created by the Nazis when they occupied Czechoslovakia in 1939.
Tiso deported 72,000 Jews from Slovakia between 1942 and 1944. He was hanged as a war criminal after the war.
The plaque was put up in his hometown, Bytca, by the Hlinka Youth Party, a direct descendant of Tiso’s fascist Slovak Nationalist Party.
The European director of the Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center, Shimon Samuels, met in Bratislava with the Slovak minister of culture, Ladislav Snopko, to protest the honoring of a war criminal.
Snopko, founder of the Public Committee Against Violence, the Slovak branch of the Czech Civic Forum Party, agreed the plaque was a disturbing challenge to the democratization of Czechoslovakia.
He promised to do what he could to have it taken down.