Rodobrana (literally Home Defense/Nation's Defense) was a Slovak paramilitary organization of the Slovak People's Party. The organization existed, officially, from 1923 to 1927 in Czechoslovakia, when the authorities ordered its dissolution, though many of its members continued to function in other party organizations. It was a predecessor of the Hlinka Guard. According to Beneš decree No. 16/1945 Coll., membership of Rodobrana was punishable by 5-20 years of imprisonment, or life in prison in case of aggravated circumstances.

Further reading

  • Jelinek, Yeshayahu (1971). "Storm-Troopers in Slovakia: The Rodobrana and the Hlinka Guard". Journal of Contemporary History. 6 (3): 97–119. doi:10.1177/002200947100600307. JSTOR 259881.
Alexander Mach

Alexander Mach (11 October 1902 in Slovenský Meder (today Palárikovo) – 15 October 1980 in Bratislava) was a Slovak nationalist politician. Mach was associated with the far right wing of Slovak nationalism and became noted for his strong support of Nazism and Germany.

Beneš decrees

The Decrees of the President of the Republic (Czech: Dekrety presidenta republiky, Slovak: Dekréty prezidenta republiky) and the Constitutional Decrees of the President of the Republic (Czech: Ústavní dekrety presidenta republiky, Slovak: Ústavné dekréty prezidenta republiky), commonly known as the Beneš decrees, were a series of laws drafted by the Czechoslovak government-in-exile in the absence of the Czechoslovak parliament during the German occupation of Czechoslovakia in World War II. They were issued by President Edvard Beneš from 21 July 1940 to 27 October 1945 and retroactively ratified by the Interim National Assembly of Czechoslovakia on 6 March 1946.

The decrees dealt with various aspects of the restoration of Czechoslovakia and its legal system, denazification, and reconstruction of the country. In journalism and political history, the term "Beneš decrees" refer to the decrees of the president and the ordinances of the Slovak National Council (SNR) concerning the status of ethnic Germans, Hungarians and others in postwar Czechoslovakia and represented Czechoslovakia's legal framework for the expulsion of Germans from Czechoslovakia. As a result, many ethnic Germans and Hungarians who had lived in Czechoslovakia for centuries prior to World War II or those who had settled there during the German occupation of Czechoslovakia lost their Czechoslovakian citizenship and property, and in some cases even died during the expulsion process which took place during the late 1940s. The Beneš decrees were enforced differently in different parts of the country with some decrees only being valid in Bohemia and Moravia, while the ordinances of SNR were enforced in Slovakia.

The decrees remain politically controversial in both the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

Ferdinand Ďurčanský

Ferdinand Ďurčanský (December 18, 1906 – March 15, 1974) was a Slovak nationalist leader who for a time served with as a minister in the government of the Axis-aligned Slovak State in 1939 and 1940. He was known for spreading virulent antisemitic propaganda, although he left the government before the Holocaust in Slovakia was fully implemented. After the war, he joined the Gehlen Organization.

Hlinka Guard

The Hlinka Guard (Slovak: Hlinkova garda; German: Hlinka-Garde; abbreviated as HG) was the militia maintained by the Slovak People's Party in the period from 1938 to 1945; it was named after Andrej Hlinka.The Hlinka Guard was preceded by the Rodobrana (Home Defense/Nation's Defense) organization, which existed from 1923 to 1927, when the Czechoslovak authorities ordered its dissolution. During the crisis caused by Hitler's demand for the Sudetenland (in the summer of 1938), the Hlinka Guard emerged spontaneously, and on October 8 of that year, a week after Hitler's demand had been accepted at the Munich conference, the guard was officially set up, with Karol Sidor (1901–1953) as its first commander.

The Hlinka Guard was known for its participation in the Holocaust in Slovakia; its members appropriated Jewish property and rounded up Jews for deportation in 1942. Under one of the Beneš decrees, No. 16/1945 Coll., membership of the Hlinka Guard was punishable by 5 to 20 years' imprisonment.

Jozef Tiso

Jozef Tiso (Slovak pronunciation: [ˈjɔzɛf ˈtisɔ]; 13 October 1887 –18 April 1947) was a Slovak politician and Roman Catholic priest who governed the Slovak Republic, a client state of Nazi Germany during World War II, from 1939 to 1945. After the war, he was executed in 1947 for war crimes and crimes against humanity in Bratislava.

Born in 1887 to Slovak parents in Bytča, then part of Austria-Hungary, Tiso studied several languages during his school career, including Hebrew and German. He was introduced to priesthood from an early age and helped combat local poverty and alcoholism in what is now Slovakia. He joined the Slovak People's Party (Slovenská ľudová strana) in 1918 and became party leader in 1938 following the death of Andrej Hlinka. When Nazi Germany seized Czechoslovakia in 1938, the German authorities founded the Slovak Republic out of Czechoslovakia, while the Czech portion became the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia. Tiso became the Republic's President in 1939.

Tiso collaborated with Germany in deportations of Jews, deporting many Slovak Jews to extermination and concentration camps in Germany, while some Jews in Slovakia were murdered outright. An anti-fascist partisan insurgency was waged against Tiso, culminating in the Slovak National Uprising in 1944, which was suppressed by German authorities with many of its leaders executed.

When the Soviet Red Army overran the last parts of western Slovakia in April 1945, Tiso fled to Austria and then Germany where American troops arrested him and then had him extradited back to the reformed Czechoslovakia, where he was convicted of treason against the state, treason against the uprising and collaboration, and then executed by hanging in 1947 and buried in Bratislava.

Ján Režňák

Ján Režňák (14 April, 1919 in Jablonica, Czechoslovakia – 19 September, 2007 in Martin, Slovakia) was the top Slovakian fighter ace in the Slovak Air Force during the Second World War. He accumulated 32 kills on the Eastern Front against the Soviet Union.

National Fascist Community

The National Fascist Community (Czech: Národní obec fašistická, NOF, sometimes translated as National Fascist League) was a Czechoslovak Fascist movement led by Radola Gajda, and based on the Fascism of Benito Mussolini.

Roman salute

The Roman salute (Italian: saluto romano) is a gesture in which the arm is fully extended, facing forward, with palm down and fingers touching. In some versions, the arm is raised upward at an angle; in others, it is held out parallel to the ground. In contemporary times, the former is widely considered a symbol of fascism that is commonly perceived to be based on a custom in ancient Rome. However, no Roman text gives this description, and the Roman works of art that display salutational gestures bear little resemblance to the modern Roman salute.Beginning with Jacques-Louis David's painting The Oath of the Horatii (1784), an association of the gesture with Roman republican and imperial culture emerged. The gesture and its identification with Roman culture were further developed in other neoclassic artworks. This was further elaborated upon in popular culture during the late 19th and early 20th centuries in plays and films that portrayed the salute as an ancient Roman custom. These included a 1914 Italian film called Cabiria based upon a screenplay by the nationalist poet Gabriele d'Annunzio. In 1919, d'Annunzio adopted the cinematographically depicted salute as a neo-imperial ritual when he led the occupation of Fiume.

Through d'Annunzio's influence, the gesture soon became part of the rising Italian Fascist movement's symbolic repertoire. In 1923 the salute was gradually adopted by the Italian Fascist regime. It was then adopted and made compulsory within the Nazi Party in 1926, and gained nationwide prominence in the German state when the Nazis took power in 1933. It was also adopted by other fascist movements.

Since the end of World War II, displaying the Nazi variant of the salute has been a criminal offence in Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Poland. Legal restrictions on its use in Italy are more nuanced, and use there has generated controversy. The gesture and its variations continue to be used in neo-fascist, neo-Nazi and Falangist contexts.

Slovak People's Party

Hlinka's Slovak People's Party (Slovak: Hlinkova slovenská ľudová strana, HSĽS), also known as simply the Slovak People's Party (Slovenská ľudová strana, SĽS) or the Hlinka Party, was a right-wing conservative political party in Slovakia with strong Christian and nationalist orientation. Its members were called Ľudaks.

The party arose at a time when Slovakia was still part of Austria-Hungary and fought both for democratic freedoms and Slovak national rights, and against liberalism. After the formation of Czechoslovakia, the party preserved its conservative character, opposing ethnic Czechoslovakism and demanding Slovak autonomy. In the second half of the 1930s, the rise of totalitarian regimes in Europe and the party's inability to achieve long-term political objectives caused a loss of faith in democracy and saw the party turn to more radical ideas. After a merger with other parties in November 1938 to form the Hlinka Slovak People's Party – Party of Slovak National Unity, it became the dominant party of World War II Slovakia. In addition to adoption of a totalitarian vision of the state, it included an openly pro-Nazi wing, which dominated Slovak policy between 1940 and 1942.

The party chairmen were the Slovak priests Andrej Hlinka (1913–38) and later Jozef Tiso (1939–45), and its main newspapers were Slovenské ľudové noviny (Slovak People's Newspaper, 1910–30), Slovák (The Slovak, 1919–45) and Slovenská pravda (The Slovak Truth, 1936–45).

Vojtech Tuka

Vojtech Lázar "Béla" Tuka (4 July 1880 – 20 August 1946) was the Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the First Slovak Republic between 1939 and 1945. Tuka was one of the main forces behind the deportation of Slovak Jews to Nazi concentration camps in German occupied Poland. He was the leader of the radical wing of the Slovak People's Party.

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