14. maj 2015
Priest, Politician, Collaborator
Jozef Tiso and the Making of Fascist Slovakia
James Mace Ward
Cornell University Press
Forlaget Cornell University Press skriver:
In Priest, Politician, Collaborator, James Mace Ward offers the first comprehensive and scholarly English-language biography of the Catholic priest and Slovak nationalist Jozef Tiso (1887–1947). The first president of an independent Slovakia, established as a satellite of Nazi Germany, Tiso was ultimately hanged for treason and (in effect) crimes against humanity by a postwar reunified Czechoslovakia. Drawing on extensive archival research, Ward portrays Tiso as a devoutly religious man who came to privilege the maintenance of a Slovak state over all other concerns, helping thus to condemn Slovak Jewry to destruction. Ward, however, refuses to reduce Tiso to a mere opportunist, portraying him also as a man of principle and a victim of international circumstances. This potent mix, combined with an almost epic ability to deny the consequences of his own actions, ultimately led to Tiso's undoing.
Tiso began his career as a fervent priest seeking to defend the church and pursue social justice within the Kingdom of Hungary. With the breakup of Austria-Hungary in 1918 and the creation of a Czechoslovak Republic, these missions then fused with a parochial Slovak nationalist agenda, a complex process that is the core narrative of the book. Ward presents the strongest case yet for Tiso's heavy responsibility in the Holocaust, crimes that he investigates as an outcome of the interplay between Tiso's lifelong pattern of collaboration and the murderous international politics of Hitler’s Europe. To this day memories of Tiso divide opinion within Slovakia, burdening the country’s efforts to come to terms with its own history. As portrayed in this masterful biography, Tiso’s life not only illuminates the history of a small state but also supplies a missing piece of the larger puzzle that was interwar and wartime Europe.
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"This is a brilliant, mature work from a young scholar. Its maturity derives from the balance that it brings to a charged subject . . ., from the intelligence of the argument that Ward melds with this disconcerting biography, and from the unpretentious clarity with which it is written. . . . Ward depicts Tiso as defined by dualities—conviction and convenience, faith and politics, Christianity and Nazism—and embodying the complexity, hopes, and tragedies of the Czechs and the Slovaks during the 1930s."
— Robert Legvold, Foreign Affairs
"Ward's biography is an essential resource for everybody interested not only in the history of twentieth-century Slovakia, but also Catholic-social politics, Central European nationalism, the Holocaust, and even memory studies. A compelling read, it offers new avenues for understanding the life and myths surrounding the life of a controversial Central European statesman. Tiso remained a priest for his entire life and in 1918 became a politician who helped set the direction of mainstreamSlovak national politics for three decades. However, the pursuit of his ideals led Tiso to collaboration and ultimately the gallows. Ward masterfully documents the decisions and activities that elevated him to the presidential office, but later brought about his downfall. Although a priest, Tiso was 'no saint.'"
— Holocaust and Genocide Studies
"Ward's book is an outstanding work of scholarship and essential reading for anyone interested in the history of nationalism, Catholicism, state-building, genocide, fascism, and post-Communism. It is a must read for scholars and students of modern (Czecho) Slovak history."
— Anna Cichopek-Gajraj, History: Reviews of New Books
"The Catholic Church of the 1930s opposed racism and preached love of neighbor. How then could a Catholic priest preside over a fascist state in league with Nazi Germany and become complicit in genocide? In the most revealing study of clerico-fascism that we possess, James Mace Ward answers these and other urgent questions, with consummate mastery of historical sources, and a profound comprehension of the interrelation of theology and politics. His work is essential reading for students of World War II and the Holocaust."
—John Connelly, University of California, Berkeley, author of From Enemy to Brother: The Revolution in Catholic Teaching on the Jews, 1933–1965
"Priest, Politician, Collaborator is a major and innovative book that shows Jozef Tiso to have been one of the principal figures of Catholic politics in interwar Central Europe, as well as the architect of the independent Slovak state's subsequent collaboration with Nazi Germany."
— Martin Conway, University of Oxford, author of Catholic Politics in Europe 1918–1945
Wikipedia: Jozef Tiso