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Priest, Politician, CollaboratorJozef Tiso and the Making of Fascist Slovakia$
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James Mace Ward

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780801449888

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801449888.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
Priest, Politician, Collaborator

James Mace Ward

Cornell University Press

This introductory chapter provides an overview of the book's main themes. This book follows Josef Tiso's life through the changing contexts that defined it. It offers an account of this significant life from a perspective that is not a Slovak nationalist and Catholic one. Yet it takes Tiso's devotion to nationalism and Catholicism seriously. Unlike his past biographers, this book employs a rigorously chronological approach rather than a thematic one, a technique that reveals surprises such as Tiso's tenacious resistance to the temptations of antisemitic politics in the twilight hours of the 1918–38 First Czechoslovak Republic. At the same time, it contextualizes his involvement in the Holocaust within lifelong patterns of political behavior, what is called his habits of deniability. Within scholarship on Tiso, the book makes the strongest argument not only for his support for the despoiling and expulsion of Slovak Jews, but also for his probable involvement in initiating the 1942 deportations. It also provides a clearer analysis than previously available for Tiso's perplexing behavior during the short-lived 1938–39 Second Czecho-Slovak Republic.

Keywords:   Jozef Tiso, biography, Catholics, Czechoslovakia, Holocaust, Slovak Jews, Czecho-Slovak Republic, nationalism

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