Jews being deported from Stropkov, Slovakia on May 23, 1942

Slovakia government apologizes for WWII anti-Jewish laws

Marking 80th anniversary of adoption of code considered one of Europe's toughest against Jews during WWII, Bratislava says 'feels a moral obligation today to publicly express sorrow over the crimes committed by the past regime'

Associated Press |
Published: 09.08.21, 21:26
Slovakia's government apologized on Wednesday for World War II legislation that stripped the country's Jews of their human and civil rights.
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  • Marking the 80th anniversary of the "Jewish Code" adopted on Sept 9, 1941, the government said in a statement that it "feels a moral obligation today to publicly express sorrow over the crimes committed by the past regime."
    3 צפייה בגלריה
    Jews being deported from Stropkov, Slovakia on May 23, 1942
    Jews being deported from Stropkov, Slovakia on May 23, 1942
    Jews being deported from Stropkov, Slovakia on May 23, 1942
    (Photo: Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum)
    The code also prevented access of the Jews to education and authorized the transfer of their property to non-Jewish owners.
    The government said the anniversary is an opportunity to remember the crimes against Slovak Jews.
    Slovakia was a Nazi puppet state during World War II. It sent over 70,000 of its Jewish citizens to Nazi concentration camps, where most of them perished.
    The code is considered one of the toughest anti-Jew laws adopted in Europe during the war.
    3 צפייה בגלריה
    סלובקיה ניצול שואה עומד לקבל חיסון ב מרכז של הקהילה היהודית ב ברטיסלבה קורונה
    סלובקיה ניצול שואה עומד לקבל חיסון ב מרכז של הקהילה היהודית ב ברטיסלבה קורונה
    A holocaust survivor prepares to receive a dose of a COVID-19 vaccine at Bratislava's Jewish community center, in Bratislava, Slovakia, on Jan 27, 2021
    (Photo: Reuters)
    The Eastern European country has fostered close diplomatic and military ties with Israel in recent years.
    Slovak Foreign Minister Ivan Korčok arrived in Israel in May at the invitation of then-foreign minister Gabi Ashkenazi alongside other European diplomats in a show of solidarity with the Jewish state amidst its last war with Gaza Strip terrorist factions.
    Ashkenazi hosted a tour for the diplomats at a site where rockets fell in Petah Tikva in the center of the country to see “the reality for residents of Israel in the center of the country this last week and for residents of the south for much longer.”
    Korčok then stated that Slovakia recognized Israel’s right to protect its citizens against attacks of Hamas and other militant groups.
    3 צפייה בגלריה
    גבי אשכנזי ושרי החוץ של גרמניה, צ'כיה וסלובקיה מבקרים בבניין בו פגעה רקטה
    גבי אשכנזי ושרי החוץ של גרמניה, צ'כיה וסלובקיה מבקרים בבניין בו פגעה רקטה
    Then-foreign minister Gabi Ashkenazi visiting crash site of Gaza rocket alongside European counterparts, May 20, 2021
    (Photo: Hadar Yoavian)
    In April, Bratislava agreed to purchase 17 Israeli-made radar systems for NIS 500 million as part of a defense export agreement with Jerusalem.
    Defense Minister Benny Gantz hailed the move and called it "evidence of the deepening cooperation with NATO countries."

    Yoav Zitun and TPS contributed to this story.
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