In connection with International Holocaust Remembrance Day, January 27
Between 1939 and 1944, thousands of ordinary people wrote to then President Jozef Tiso of the Slovak State about the so-called “Jewish question.” Some wanted mercy from anti-Jewish persecution, others coveted Jewish property. Why did these individuals write to Tiso? How did the President’s Office process the letters? What fates awaited the Jews who wrote to him? In her talk, Madeline Vadkerty will respond to these questions and describe her research at the Slovak National Archive. She will also read some letters to Tiso and discuss their outcomes, as well as discuss the fates of the letter writers. She will describe what the contents of the letters reveal about the scope and nature of anti-Jewish persecution in the Slovak wartime state. Immediately following Madeline's talk and the Q&A, Jeff Edelstein will discuss "Czech Records in the JDC Archives Names Index".
Madeline is a Samuel P. Mandell Fellow in the Holocaust and Genocide Studies Program at Gratz College in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where she is pursuing her PhD. She is the author of the book Slovutný pán president: Listy Jozefovi Tisovi (Your Honor Mr. President: Letters to Jozef Tiso) published in March 2020. She is from the United States but is currently living in Bratislava in order to carry out her research. Her work has appeared in several Slovak and US journals and her book is currently in its second printing.