Jozef Tiso

Jozef Tiso born in Veľká Bytča on 13-10-1887, graduated from the Pasmaneum college in Vienna, in 1910, as a theologian. He worked as a Catholic curate in several towns, teaching Slovak spelling, organizing theater performances, and doing cultural work. At the beginning of World War I, Tiso served as a military chaplain. In 1915, he became the dire

ctor of the local minor seminary at Nitra and a teacher at the Piarist high school in the same town. From 1921 to 1924, Tiso served as the secretary of the local bishop and a teacher at the seminary of divinity at Nitra. In 1924, he became the seminary's dean and parish priest of the town of Bánovce nad Bebravou. Tiso was a Roman Catholic priest and a famous Nazi collaborator as president of Slovakia during World War II. After serving as a Catholic educator, he rose to leadership in the nationalist Slovak People's Party and became a deputy of the Czechoslova parliament. He went on to serve as a member of the Czechoslovak government and finally became prime minister. After briefly losing power in 1939, he obtained the support of Adolf Hitler and became the president of the Independent Slovak Republic from 1939-1945, allied with Nazi Germany. Tiso's role in the treatment of Slovak Jews during the war has been a source of constant controversy. It is undisputed that he personally held anti-semitic views and that his government enacted harsh anti-Jewish legislation similar to that passed earlier in Nazi Germany. His administration also cooperated with the Nazi plan to deport tens of thousands of Jews to concentration camps However, his defenders point out that Tiso's government halted the deportation of Jews to Auschwitz when it became clear that Jews were being executed in large numbers there. Others claim that Tiso played a major part in the extermination process and was Hitler's willing tool.

When the country was freed from Nazi occupation at the end of World War II, Tiso was found guilty of treason and collaboration with the Nazis by pro-Soviet Czechoslovak authorities. Tiso was hanged on 18-04-1947, age 59 and is buried on the Martinsky Cintorin Cemetery. Bratislava, Slowakia.