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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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Standing Up for the Truth, 1938–39

Standing Up for the Truth, 1938–39

Chapter Six Standing Up for the Truth, 1938–39
Priest, Politician, Collaborator

James Mace Ward

Cornell University Press

This chapter discusses Tiso's radical leadership of Slovakia from 1938–39. Never an inspired foreign-policy thinker, he let Realpolitik lead him into dependence on Nazi Germany. At first, no other state offered him more help against Hungarian irredentism. Later, Hitler used sticks and carrots to convince him to abandon the now renamed Czecho-Slovakia. Tiso placed his hopes for domestic stability, national progress, and social justice in his vision of “New Slovakia,” a polity that aimed to unify the nation, to make the Slovak “the master of his house,” and to return God to public life. By October 1939, Tiso had risen from prime minister of an autonomous province to president of an independent state. As Slovakia's leader, he accumulated ever more power, at times acting as though he suffered from a messiah complex. He often had a hard time squaring his conscience as a priest with his political agendas. Particularly during his subversion of Czecho-Slovakia, he showed an addiction to deniability.

Keywords:   Jozef Tiso, Slovakia, Realpolitik, Nazi Germany, Czecho-Slovakia

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