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FOS Webinar Examines the Slovak State During World War II and the “Jewish Question”


On October 2, 2022, FOS held a webinar on Jozef Tiso’s Leadership of the Slovak State During World War II and the “Jewish Question.” The featured speaker was Madeline Vadkerty, program coordinator at the Holocaust Documentation Center in Bratislava.  J. Luke Ryder, historian at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, moderated the webinar.
Before moving to Bratislava, Madeline Vadkerty worked at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. She is a Samuel P. Mandell Fellow pursuing a Ph.D. at Gratz College’s Doctoral Program in Holocaust and Genocide Studies.  She is the author of Your Honor, Mr. President: Letters to Jozef Tiso, published in Slovak in 2020. The book documents stories of Jews and non-Jews who petitioned Jozef Tiso, president of the wartime Slovak state, about the so-called “Jewish Question” between 1939 and 1944. The work earned her a Literary Academy award in Slovakia in 2020 and recognition from the Slovak Club of Independent Writers in 2021.

The talk provided an overview of the conditions underlying the Slovak State during WWII. It focused on individual experiences from varied backgrounds involved in the petitioning of Josef Tiso on matters relating to the expulsion of Jews from Slovakia.  The talk examined the complex human interactions prompted by the government’s racist policies toward the Jewish community. A lively Q&A session allowed Ms. Vadkerty to inform the audience about other aspects of her research.


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