On September 9 Slovakia commemorated the Day of Victims of the Holocaust and of Racial Persecution

Monday, 21 September, 2015

Since 2000 Slovakia has commemorated the victims of the Holocaust and of racial persecution on 9 September. This specific day was chosen because of its symbolism: indeed on 9 September 1941 the government of the war-time Slovak Republic (1939 – 1945) issued Regulation No. 198/1941 Sl. z. on the Legal Status of Jews, commonly known also as the Jewish Code.

The Jewish Code

The Jewish Code, adopted by the totalitarian regime of Hlinka´s Slovak People´s Party after years of systematic persecution of Jews, was the most extensive legal norm of war-time Slovakia. By integrating all previously issued anti-Jewish laws into one regulation, and by introducing a racial-definition of the term "Jew" into Slovak law, it effectively finished a major part of the process of stripping the Jewish population of Slovakia of their civil and human rights. A few months after the adoption of the Jewish Code, in March 1942, deportations of Jews to Nazi death camps began.

Anniversary of the Victims of the Holocaust and of Racial Violence

This year, the Holocaust Documentation Center, the Museum of Jewish Culture and the Jewish communities organised a series of events to commemorate the anniversary of the Victims of the Holocaust and of Racial Violence. One of the central events took place in Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia, where prominent figures of Slovak cultural and public life such as actress Emilia Vášaryová, the president of the Federation of Jewish Communities in Slovakia Igor Rintel, as well as historian Ivan Kamenec read out the names of Slovak victims of the Holocaust.

More information on this year’s commemorations can be found here.

Jan Hlavinka - Jan Hlavinka works for the Holocaust Documentation Center or Dokumentačné stredisko holokaustu in Bratislava, Slowakia. Since May 2015, the Bratislava Holocaust Documentation Center is one of the eleven new partners in EHRI.

Photo: Actress Emília Vášáryová  is reading names of Slovak victims of the Holocaust. © Viera Kamenická