Carlo Alberto de Vera d'Aragona on Measures Against the Jews in Slovakia in 1942

Metadata

zoom_in
3

Document Text

  1. English

Report of the 1st Secretary of the Legation, Carlo Alberto de Vera d’Aragona to the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Incoming telegram no. 2356 R.

By courier

Decoded by: SE – Cleartext

R. Legation Bratislava 27.3.42.XX

Bratislava, 6.4.42.XX

Copy modified in assigning

Assigned to A.G.

A.E.M.

Re: Measures against the Jews

014 - The new measures against the Jews that had been announced have all of a sudden seen a drastic implementation. Ten thousand Jews in towns and in villages had received personal summonses in order to be assembled in concentration camps.

Due to the ease with which one may convert to the evangelical Church and because many of those summoned were aware that public opinion was mostly opposed to the anti-Semitic campaign, and also because rumour had it that the President of the Republic, Monsignor Tiso, was indirectly opposed to such methods of persecution, many Jews did not comply with the orders given by Minister Mach . So in the night from 23rd to 24th March patrols formed by police and Guardsmen who had been joined by SS men arrived from over the nearby border, entered Jewish homes, seized three thousand women aged 18 to 35 years, and carried them swiftly on a lorry to the munitions factory in Bratislava and to the internment areas of Nitra, Žilina, Prešov, etc.

The Authorities closest to the President are denying or trying to downplay the extent of the events that have clearly shaken the public opinion here, although everyone knows that the originator of this undertaking is Minister Mach, Commander of the Hlinka Guard, who is being instigated by elements from beyond the border and by others who oppose the President, and who accuses the Jews themselves of being responsible for everything and deserving of the worst punishments.

It is well-known that the Minister of Interior, who is entirely subservient to the orders from beyond the Danube, intends to gradually carry out the concentration and mass deportation of all the Israelites of Slovakia, that is approximately 70 thousand souls, the older ones to the General Governorate of Poland (Lublin area) and the younger to Ukrainian locations, to be employed in farm labour and in the Organisation Todt. However, since at least for the time being they are mostly women still in the bloom of youth and of good social standing, no doubt their employ will be of an entirely different character and purpose, in the train of the German units operating in southern Russia.

The announcement of harsher anti-Semitic measures had already prompted the Holy See to deliver a note to the Minister of Slovakia, Mister Sidor; the persecutions that have since taken place have then given rise to repeated démarches on the part of the Apostolic Delegate, Monsignor Burzio, with Prime Minister Tuka. As things now stand, the events described above have caused a rift not yet made public but dangerous between Prime Minister Tuka and Minister Mach on the one side and President Tiso on the other. The consequences are easy to predict if the anti-Semitic persecution should continue in the manner reported above and the President of the Republic, being a cleric and a parish priest with the care of souls, should sooner or later be faced with a serious crisis of conscience.

De Vera

References

  • Updated 2 years ago
In March 1919, Benito Mussolini founded a movement called “Fasci di combattimento”, which became the Partito Nazionale Fascista (PNF) in November 1921. On 28 October 1922 he organised the “March on Rome”, following which King Vittorio Emanuele III of Savoy invited him to form a new government. Mussolini transformed the government into a dictatorship and then into a totalitarian state. After Italy left the League of Nations in 1937, the “Rome-Berlin Axis”, proclaimed in 1936, developed into a clo...

Archivio Storico Diplomatico del Ministero degli Affari Esteri

  • Archivio Storico Diplomatico della Farnesina
  • Historico-Diplomatic Archives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Italy
  • Piazzale della Farnesina, 1
  • Roma
  • Updated 2 years ago