Clero-Fascism in Slovakia (1938-1945)

Late Christopher Hitchens used to mention in his books and speeches name “Jozef Tiso”, head of Slovak Republic during WWII, who was also a priest.
Because i am from Slovakia, I was astonished that someone from UK/USA is aware of Monsigor Tiso, yet Mr. Hitchens never elaborated details about his life and role in collaboration with nazi Germany. Clero-Fascism as a term was coined after the war by the communist rule, yet its the best term to describe the regime, its functioning and dogmas. Figure of Tiso is still very divisive in Slovakia, in a very similar term as might be generals or politicians of the Confederate army in USA. The main difference is that Tiso was a convicted war criminal.
At the start of the topic i would like to ask if people in USA are at leat marginally aware of this figure, and what kind of knowledge they have about him.

I would guess that around the time of Jesus that area had high ethics of Asians that were being wiped out by the plagues. My understanding is that this was the area where the Jewish religion as we know it today was formed after Islamic religion was born.
I looked up some data to refresh my understanding. The conversion of Turks, Iranians and Mongols to the Jewish religion caused a large Jewish population said to reach 8M. The other European religions were afraid of this religion because of how fast it was growing and spreading. The Mongols drove all the Jewish population out of the area to Europe in the 13th century. Today there are no Jewish population in the area. By the religious history one can assume the population is made up of many ethics.
My understanding is that Tiso was part of this ongoing religious war that today is being blamed on Adolf. When in fact history shows us that this is just part of an ongoing three thousand-year of religious wars in the area.
So, what is your goal? Are you wanting to make Tiso another Adolf? Or as the title of your post is “Clero-Fascism". Are you wanting to go down that road? If so, boy, did you pick the right spot. Slovakia is the poster child for Clerical Fascism.
To answer your question. I don’t think you are going to find people in (edited misspelling) the USA that know much about Tiso.

I really did not want to examine where the jews come from to the region. At the time of year zero there was Celtic settlement, and Slavs and Hungarians yet have to settle the area of current Slovakia.
Mr. Hitchens mentioned Jozef Tiso as an example of connection between fascism and catholics at that time.
In pre-war Czechoslovakia was most clear that peace is reaching its end. Germany and later Hungary were allowed to rebuild their armies, some parts of Czechoslovakia were given to Germany by the Munich agreement. Politicians in Czechoslovakia felt the threat from both Germany and Hungary, while France and Great Britain were still making politics of appeasement. In addition to that, religious circles were perceiving Soviet Union, and bolshevism as another threat, to christianity in general and to catholicism in particular.
But before i continue with the story, I would like to get back to my original question, what people in USA/UK do know about this figure. That is my goal.

So because nobody posted any opinion in last three days i guess the information about Tiso is not very widely know. I will break it down into some paragraphs.

History and Backgroud of HSLS

Unlike many other fascist parties in Europe, Slovak Peoples Party was established before 1st World War and was involved in politics even during Austro-Hungarian empire. During this time happened Massacre in Černová.Černová_massacre
Article is accurate, but its important to note that slovaks at that time had different criteria to consider other to be slovaks not just ethnicity. Main reason for refusal of person as a “true” slovak was acceptance of hungarian language. Slovak citizens often accepted hungarian variant of their name in written form, and hungarian language as their main language. For these people was used term “maarón” (magyaron). For the purposes of national and cultural purity, those were no longer considered to be members of slovak nation.
Massacre in Černová, along with cultural puritanism were elements which formed ideology of Slovak People’s Party, and helped to form certain political, national and partially religious myths. The most important one is that Slovaks suffered under Hungarian oppression for 1000 years and that Slovak nation is somehow “chosen by the God to be free”. This explains the religiosity (catholic in particular) of many slovak nationalists since the beginning of the 20th century until today, even when the core of the National Emancipation movement (1848, Ludovit Stur) were protestants. Nationalist politicians were therefore usually convinced in their belief that Slovak nation is a catholic one, consisting only from ethnic slovaks - monocultural if you want. They were never disturbed by sheer facts, that slovakia is inhabitated by non-slovak ethincs, by protestants and other religious groups, by facts that Jozef Tiso himself adopted hungarian name “Tiszó József”, or by fact that real hungarian oppresion took 50 years, but not 1000.
Slovenská Ľudová Strana - Slovak People’s Party in this way represents what Christopher Hitchens calls “Party of God”.
Members of this party never claimed to have a logical opinions about politics. Their doctrines were usually revealed to the authorities within the party, and were not discussed because were accepted as “self-evident truths”. But even in this situation, when party was unable to grasp concepts of democracy and was relying on the feeling of unity, the party was not yet leaned to any sort of authoritarianism. The original leader of the party - Andrej Hlinka was a very pious figure.
The element of puritanism took its toll in 1928. Member of the Czechoslovak parliament Vojtech Tuka (later prime minister under Tiso) claimed that central government in Prague lost its mandate over Slovakia, claiming that “Czechoslovak declaration of independence” had a secret part which gave mandate to czech-driven government for 10 years. This claim was completely fabricated, yet according to laws it was crime of grand treason. He was found guilty and sentenced to jail. This, along with long-term relations between Czech and Slovak nations sparked wave of anti-czech emotions within the party.
In 1938 Andrej Hlinka dies, and party is renamed in his honor to Hlinkova Slovenská Ľudová Strana - HSLS. Jozef Tiso became the chairman of the party. Same year Slovakia gains autonomy within Czechoslovakia, while Tiso orchestrates rigged elections in which his party wins. International situation however is getting grim. Germany and Hungary were allowed to rebuild their armies and central government in Prague gets under pressure from each side, while losing important allies in France and Great Britain.
On 13th march Tiso meets with Hitler upon his request. Hitler insists that Hungarian army is waiting at the borders. He offered Tiso a that he can declare independence of Slovakia. Tiso himself was reluctant to this proposal because he thought that independent Slovakia would be too weak against Hungarian army. When Hitler assured that he will guarantee the independence of Slovakia if it declares independece, but he cannot protect Slovakia from Hungarian invasion otherwise.
Tiso accepts. on 14th march he calls Slovak Diet (or parliament). Head of german party in Slovakia repeats the threat about hungarian invasion, and Slovakia declares independence.
Tiso is convinced that this way he prevented war, and saved Slovak nation from war. Many of his supporters (even today) claim that there was no other choice. Fact is that 1st Czechoslovak republic was dissolved this way, and newly created states did not have any agreements. Trianon Treaty was formally void, and its sponsors - mainly France - were no longer bound to declare war against either Germany or Hungary upon invading Czechoslovakia. It is certain that Tiso did not realized this consequence.
Later, border between newly formed Slovakia and Kingdom of Hungary became rewritten again, while Slovakia was giving to Hungary about 1/3 of its land, including Košice - second biggest city. At this time Tiso was already President. He attempted to “ŕeallocate” all jewish citizens to the parts of Slovakia which would be given to Hungary. In response Hungary closed its borders, not allowing anyone to get through. A rumour was spread that Slovakia may forge hungarian passports, therefore hungarian border patrol didnt allowed anyone back.
Due this my grandparents - hungarian citizens - got stuck in Bratislava after a brief visit of relatives, and they never returned.

Life in Slovak State (1939-1945)

Even current supporters of war Slovak State claim that it was the first state by the slovak nation. What they tend to overlook that it was a german client state with a puppet government. Its really not hard to prove that Tiso and members of his government were only puppets to Germany, for a simple reason. Since 1940 Germany sent “beräter” - advisors to the regime. One of them was SS Captain Dieter Wisliceny, direct subordinate to Adolf Eichmann. It became clear that Slovakia “required” their own version of Nuremberg laws. Wisliceny directly cooperated with Vojtech Tuka on Constutional Law 210 - slovak version of nuremberg laws.
More info here:
At this time was HSLS still sure that the real danger lies to the east, in bolshevik Soviet Union.
HSLS was at that time split into two wings. Radicals were advocating for “ethnical” version of the laws. Tiso himself was advocating for “confessional” sense. In both cases jews would become citizens of 2nd grade, yet version advocated by Tiso would allow jews to convert to christianity and avoid persecution this way. Radical wing, along with support of German advisors suceeded.
The “Jewish codex” removed all civil rights from jews, and allowed “arizations” - a process in which is jewish business transferred to the slovak owner. This of course indicate the naivity of the regime, as it became clear that most of the slovak politicians were not aware what Hitler believed about slavic nations.
In late 1941 Germany asked for workforce and Slovakia offered their jews. Officially jews would be relocated to Poland and will work there. When Slovak government found out that Germany would split jewish families, they offered to pay all additional expenses, because splitting the families would be “un-christian”. In March 1942 Slovak government started with deportations of Slovak jews. For every deported jew Slovakia paid 500 german marks, and deportations were managed by Hlinka Guard.
Tiso, Tuka, Mach and other chiefs of the state advocated the deportations in public speeches, but in october 1942 were deportations halted. There are various accounts why this happened. Minister of economy Imrich Karvaš (Member of undeground opposition, later joined Slovak national uprising against Tiso) claimed in his memoirs that he received a letter from a kardinal mentioned that deported jews were murdered. Government was reluctant to accept this statement, but when they asked Germany to visit the relocated jews, Germany refused. At this time 57 000 jews were already deported, and Slovak government found itself being a part in ongoing genocide. Again this event is folded into set of myths. Its said that it was directly Tiso who stopped the deportations, but in fact it was Tuka.
In april 1944 slovak jews Rudolf Vrba and Alfred Wetzler escaped from Auschwitz and provided testimony about the Holocaust, which exposed the scale of the mass murder for the first time. Later Imrich Karvaš defacto financed the uprising. Few months before it took place he relocated 3 000 0000 000 from central bank in Bratislava to Banska Bystrica where the uprising took place. On 29th of august 1944 Slovak national uprising broke up, and Tiso defacto lost all power. Slovakia became occupied by Germany and deportations began again in september 1944.
Jozef Tiso was tried for the crimes against humanity found guilty and executed in 1947.
During its rule HSLS, party of god with priest Tiso as a president advocated for theft - arizations, for confessional and ethnical hatred and discrimination, cultural and lingual purism. In his memoirs Alexander Mach (head of the Hlinka Guard, died 1980) mentioned that they wanted to purify Slovakia from foreign elements, but not at a price of life. Tiso is often described by its followers as a martyr to communism. Fact is that he was tried and executed before communists took rule in Czechoslovakia.

Some on the topic. A party which openly admired Jozef Tiso lost elections in Slovakia. More info here: