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Dignitaries honored the only member of the Slovak Parliament who voted against the deportation of Jews under the Nazi-era regime. Representatives of the Hungarian and Polish embassies in the Czech Republic, as well as leaders of Hungarian minorities of the Czech Republic and Slovakia, laid wreaths on a symbolic tomb of Janos Esterhazy that stands next to the cemetery in Mirov where he died in prison in 1957. Esterhazy, who sought to keep the Jews from being persecuted, was the only Hungarian member of the Slovak Parliament when the Slovak state was a puppet Nazi government run by fascist priest Jozef Tiso. The Slovak parliament voted to deport Jews to concentration camps in 1942; Slovakia was the only country in Europe that paid Germany for the deportation of each Jew. Of the 90,000 Slovak Jews, as many as 75,000 were murdered by the Nazis. After the war, when Czechoslovakia was reunited, the new communist government sent Esterhazy to a Moscow prison for his advocacy on behalf of the Hungarian minority and he was sentenced to death in absentia. After two years of hard labor, his sentence was reduced to life in prison, and he spent the rest of his life imprisoned in Czechoslovakia. Esterhazy has never been politically rehabilitated in Slovakia despite numerous pleas from Hungarian politicians.

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