Historical Background

Deportation of the Jews of SlovakiaDeportation of the Jews of Slovakia

After the dismemberment of Czechoslovakia in 1939, an independent Slovak state was established under the leadership of Jozef Tiso, a Catholic priest. Slovakia collaborated closely with Nazi Germany and became the first Axis partner to consent to the deportation of its Jews. Between March and October 1942, the Slovak authorities concentrated some 58,000 Slovak Jews in labor and concentration camps from which they were deported to the extermination camps in Poland. The deportations stopped in autumn 1942, but this was only a respite for the 24,000 remaining Jews.

In the end of August 1944, as the Red Army was advancing, the Slovak underground rose against the Tiso regime and the Germans moved in to quell the resistance. The deportations of the Jews resumed, and another 12,600 Jews were sent to the camps. 69,500 out of Slovakia's close to 90,000 Jews were killed during the Holocaust.