The Antisemitism Policy in Slovakia and the Interventions of the Kingdom of Sweden between 1942 and 1944/45 Aimed at Rescuing in Favour of the Jews in Slovakia

This article describes a largely unknown Swedish effort to intervene in the deportations of Jews from Slovakia between 1942 and 1944. Swedish officials and religious leaders used their diplomatic correspondence with the Slovak government to rescue Jewish individuals and later on the remaining Jewish community of Slovakia from deportations with the help of their government and eventually of German officials. Despite the efforts of the Swedish Royal Consulate in Bratislava, the Swedish archbishop, Erling Eidem, and the Slovak consul, Bohumil Pissko in Stockholm, and despite efforts made by some Slovak ministries, the Slovak officials, including the then president of the Slovak Republic, Jozef Tiso, revoked further negotiations in the autumn of 1944. However, the negotiations between Slovakia and Sweden established grounds for actions for the protection of some Jewish individuals, but these were doomed to failure because of the political situation. Nevertheless, this plan and the previous diplomatic interventions are significant for a description of the almost unknown Swedish and Slovak efforts for saving the Jews of Slovakia. Repeated Swedish offers to shelter Jewish individuals and later the whole community could well have paved the way for larger-scale rescues. These, however, had never occurred, given the Slovak interest in deporting their own Jewish citizens, and later—the German occupation of Slovakia.