Slovaks condemn WWII Jews deportation to Nazi death camps

BRATISLAVA, Slovakia (AP) — Slovakia’s Parliament condemned on Friday the mass deportation of Jews from the country to Nazi death camps during World War II.

Marking the 80th anniversary of the first transport to Auschwitz, the lawmakers said they consider “particularly reprehensible the forced deportation of the citizens of the Jewish origin from the territory of what was then the Slovak republic between March 25, 1942, and Oct. 20, 1942.”

The Slovak authorities paid Nazi Germany for each Jewish citizen who was transported.

“We condemn such activities of the regime and express sorrow over the tragedy imposed on innocent victims,” the resolution approved by Parliament said.

The lawmakers also asked for the forgiveness of all those who survived and the relatives and descendants of the victims.

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.

A second wave of deportation took place between September 1944 and March 1945 when Slovakia was occupied by Nazi troops.

The members of the extreme far-right People’s Party Our Slovakia party, who openly back the legacy of the Slovak war state, didn’t participate in the vote on the resolution.

The lawmakers also observed a minute of silence to honor the victims.

Friday’s move came after the Slovak government apologized in September for the World War II legislation that stripped the country’s Jews of their human and civil rights.

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