Resolving the ‘Jewish Question’ in Púchov District of Slovakia (1939–45)
This is the first comprehensive study of the liquidation of the Jewish community in Púchov and its surroundings. The aim of this article is to describe in detail the life of the Jewish religious community of Púchov itself and its vicinity from 1939 to 1945. Considering the persecutions and hunt, the word ‘life’ seems to be inappropriate here though. The first section describes the initial persecutions and denunciations. The second section analyses the ‘new approach’ to resolving the ‘Jewish Question’ and life in Púchov in 1941. The third section deals with preparations for and the actual deportations of Jews from Púchov. The final section covers the end of the Second World War and the annihilation of the Jewish communities in the region.
The solution of the ‘Jewish Question’ was one of the most traumatic events, not only regionally, but also for Slovak 20th-century history as a whole. It remains one of the most sensitive issues for both the Czech Republic and Slovakia, as well as worldwide. The tragedy is also one of the main reasons why historians interpret the period of Czechoslovakia post the Munich agreement of 1938 and the existence of the Slovak State from 1939 to 1945 differently and inconsistently.
Púchov’s Jewish community numbered only 2501 but they played an important role in the history of town despite the fact that during the community’s short duration there, it experienced various difficulties, including hostility from some residents. They left a permanent mark on the entire life of the town through their culture, self-governing policies and economic activities. A further three Jewish communities were present in Púchov District, in Pruské, Lúky and Bolešov.
This study focuses on the life of the Jewish community in Púchov and its neighbouring villages, mainly between 1939 and 1945. But it is difficult to speak of life there: instead it is easier to talk about the persecutions and hunts under various laws and decrees issued in this period. All these measures ended up turning what was an alleged economic transgression into a social problem. Jews were first deported to Slovak concentration camps before being moved to German-occupied Poland (General Government territory, a district of Kraków). Their liquidation in the death camps was the third stage of Hitler’s ‘Final Solution’.
The so-called ‘Jewish Question’ in Púchov District between 1939 and 1945 draws key information from the record office in Bytča (Považská Bystrica branch). Important sources of information were derived from monographs about Púchov published in 1970 and 2006. Publications were also used that dealt with problems the Slovak State faced (Lacko 2008) and solutions to the Jewish Question in Slovakia in 1939–45 (Kamenec 1991; Lipscher 1992; Nižňanský and Kamenec 2003). Data on Aryanization in the region published on the Nation’s Memory Institute website was also used.
Puchov and its environs during the autonomy period
An authoritarian system came to power in the Czechoslovak Republic following border changes demanded mainly by Germany, Hungary and Poland. In Slovakia this was exploited by Andrej Hlinka’s Slovak People’s Party (HSĽS), which declared autonomy on 6 October 1938 in Žilina and seized power in Slovakia.
On the same day, Heinrich Radó, a local lawyer and HSĽS’s chairman, declared autonomy in Púchov at a mass meeting held at the Catholic House of Culture. 2 So many people welcomed the declaration that their number exceeded the capacity of the Catholic House of Culture, and thus they celebrated in the adjacent square. Four days later the Hlinka Guard (HG) was established, and was joined by approximately 200 more men. Initially, the HG’s function was to investigate politically suspect people, mainly Jews and Czechs (Janas 2006, 71). As a result, approximately thirty Czech officers and their families (totalling about eighty people) left (Gabriš 1970, 148). The HG also searched all vehicles and trains passing through the town, establishing a railway HG at the station with their own stationmaster. Wealthy Jews were arrested throughout Púchov. Assets were confiscated to prevent them being transferred abroad. HG also organized targeted actions against the Jews. This started with the distribution of leaflets and propaganda in the Gardista journal, and escalated to violent assault, racketeering and theft. Troublemakers and vandals, not only from the HG, broke the windows of properties bearing the notice ‘Jewish shop’ (Kamenec 1991, 41; Sokolovič 2009, 557). Non-Slovak Jews (foreigners) were transported to the area that had been granted to Hungary in November 1938 under the terms of the Vienna Arbitration. Before the evacuation deadline expired those subjected to the evacuation regulations were only foreigners and stateless persons (Lipscher 1992, 18–19). 3 At that time the Czech-Slovak Republic was a relatively safe place for Jews in Central Europe. Elsewhere, for example in Budapest, government decrees against Jews had already been drafted (Kamenec 1991, 24). On 20 November 1938 all right-wing parties officially merged with the HSĽS, and Alexander Bezák, a wholesaler from Púchov, was appointed its new chairman. On 18 December 1938, the day the new Slovak parliament was elected with a united list of candidates, HG confiscated the premises of Sokol together with its film projectors, and the building was renamed Hlinka’s House and became HG’s headquarters. Voter turnout in the district was 99.25 per cent (Janas 2006, 72). Three weeks earlier, on 25 November 1938, the county office (ŽÚ) had ordered the Jewish party’s activities to cease (Lipscher 1992, 17). Thus Jews paradoxically could vote only for candidates who would later participate, directly or indirectly, in their persecution (Kamenec 1991, 37). 4 It is worth mentioning that, on 22 February 1939, when Púchov residents were appointed as local and district officials, HSĽS officials resigned their positions in protest (Janas 2006, 72). 5
Czechoslovak Republic government officials wanted to eradicate HSĽS’s radical wing, which was engaged in a power struggle for Slovak independence. This was attempted in the Homola coup of 9 March 1939, which only accelerated the move towards independence. Hitler summoned Jozef Tiso, former chairman of the Slovak autonomous government, to Berlin, and under pressure Tiso asked Emil Hácha, president of the Czechoslovak Republic, to convene the Slovak parliament on 14 March and subsequently declare the Slovak State.
The hectic events of March were fully played out in Púchov. The HG confiscated radios and vehicles owned by Jews and disarmed local gendarmes on 12 March, who immediately started to leave the area after the declaration, moving to Moravia via the nearby Lyský priesmyk mountain pass. They encountered only incoming German troops who occupied western Slovakia as far as the River Váh, where they set up a customs office and passport control on 17 March (Janas 2006, 72).
First public notifications and implementation of anti‑Jewish measures in the town and its surroundings
On 18 April 1939, shortly after the Slovak State was established, Decree No. 63 Coll. was issued on the definition of the term ‘Jew’ and on limiting the number of Jews in certain occupations. A Jew was defined as a person who declared belief in Judaism, in spite of the fact that he or she had been christened after 30 October 1918, and who had at least one observant Jewish parent, or a person who married a Jew in the period when this decree entered into force (Lipscher 1992, 38–9). This was one of the first acts in Slovakia to create a special legal regime for Jews, allowing for their deportation and the Aryanization of their property.
The consequences started to become clear almost immediately, when a decree issued on 25 July 1939 regulating the number of Jews working in medicine came into force. The district office in Púchov refused to issue a medical licence to Dr Aladár Haas in Lúky pod Makytou. He had applied for a licence because he came from Bohemia. His practice was closed after 15 March 1939. 6 The county office served a notice dated 31 December 1939 to all municipal, town and district doctors. 7 Ernest Csillagi, Móric Dávid, 8 Ján Garai, Leonard Kušč, Alexander Piechura, Arpád Pollák9 and Ladislav Ullman were among the doctors affected in the district. 10 Many were foreigners, such as the Russian Yelizabeta Stalinskaya, who wanted to settle there but was prevented from working anywhere, even in Stará Turá or Dubnica. 11 Employment of Jewish doctors continued, however, because there was a severe shortage of doctors. 12 Nevertheless, on 24 August 1941, the county office ordered a strict inspection to check whether Jewish doctors were continuing to see their patients, mainly under the pretence of administering first aid, and whether they had removed plaques from their offices. 13
Government decrees targeted the licences of innkeepers and bar staff (Kamenec 1991, 55), and more than year later the Ministry of the Interior (MV) issued a complete ban on Jews working as barmen and innkeepers. 14 In Púchov only two Jews, Ferdinand Lielenthal and Móric Nathan, still had a licence, and only one, Alexander Flack, in Pruské. It is interesting that Jews owned two distilleries: Móric Nathan in Púchov and Mikuláš Feitl in Pruské. 15
In the early months of the Slovak State, government and other decrees greatly constrained the life of Jews not only in Púchov but also throughout the whole district. Measures started to restrict their freedom of movement in the town. During the summer the Jews could not be outdoors between 10 pm and 5 am. They could not buy dairy products before 8 am or fresh goods before 10 am. They were completely prohibited from buying from street vendors and in markets (Janas 2006, 79). Over time the district office prohibited Jews from driving motor vehicles, possessing arms, 16 binoculars, postage stamps and many everyday goods (Janas 2006, 79). For the most part it was ‘the biggest pro-fascist radical group in the town’ (Janas 2006, 79), but Jewish inhabitants were also persecuted by their neighbours. 17 Public notices and regulations prohibiting contact with Jews and Jewish work colleagues and even standing and talking with them on the street were introduced. Any breach was punishable by detention in a work camp. 18
Aryanization and its implementation in Puchov District
Opinions on how to resolve the Jewish Question differed. The economy was the most pressing matter, where, according to many, it was necessary to intervene as a matter of urgency. According to the 1940 census, approximately 87,000 Jews lived in Slovakia, 3.3 per cent of the total population. Despite being a small community, it accounted for approximately 40 per cent of the national economy. The opinion that the number of Jews active in the economy should match the ratio of their population in Slovakia started to prevail in government circles (Lacko 2008, 65).
After the first persecutions related to occupations and public life began, the process of liquidating companies commenced alongside the transfer of property from Jews to non-Jews/Aryans in the process known as Aryanization (Lipscher 1992, 45–6). 19 In Slovakia it started with the implementation of a decree on trustees and temporary administrators in industry, crafts and trade. The Ministry of the Economy (MH) or the district office (OÚ) would appoint a trustee with a controlling function for companies with at least fifty employees and an annual turnover exceeding 500,000 crowns (Kamenec 1991, 56). However, Act No. 46/1940 Coll. on land reform (approved on 29 February 1940) and the first Aryanization Act No. 113/1940 Coll. (which came into force on 1 June 1940) were the most important acts in the first stage of Aryanization. According to Act No. 46/1940 Coll., 101,423 ha of land owned by 4,943 individuals were among the Jewish agricultural real estate affected by this reform (Lipscher 1992, 62). In Púchov District, almost 1,062 ha of Jewish land were included20 and the following persons were deprived of larger land plots: Dr Emil Frankl in the cadastral (land tax) area of Piechov village with 340 ha of forest and 36 ha of pasture; Samuels Lewenbein in the cadastral area of Krivoklát21 village with 105.31 ha of forest; Andrej and Júlia Schlesinger in the cadastral area of Bolešov village with 84.54 ha of forest and 33.51 ha of pasture; Arnold Weiner in the cadastral area of Lúky pod Makytou and Vydrná villages with 51.11 ha of pasture; and Markus Haas in the cadastral area of Mikušovce village with 45.43 ha of forest. 22 According to the Act on Jewish Enterprises, the county office could revise or withdraw the trading licence of Jews or Jewish organizations, 23 and it set the number of Jewish employees permitted in individual companies. 24 If a company had yet to be Aryanized, it had to display a notice reading ‘Jewish enterprise’. 25 This notice resulted in economic and social discrimination against these businesses and put pressure on the owners to find someone to carry out the Aryanization as quickly as possible (Lipscher 1992, 65). The act was implemented for just three months in the form in which it had been approved, but complications arose, with the result that all Aryanization decisions were suspended in Trenčín Region on 11 September 1940. 26 The entire agenda, together with the trustees’ and temporary administrators’ reports, were transferred from the regional to the Central Economic Office on 18 October 1940. 27
Many companies were liquidated in Púchov District, with over thirty Jewish companies liquidated in Púchov itself. Jewish companies were also liquidated in the district villages: Lúky pod Makytou (six companies), Lazy pod Makytou (five), Pruské and Bolešov (three each), Dohňany, Dolná Breznica, Červený Kameň, Slávnica, Mikušovce and Lysá pod Makytou (two each), Dulov, Streženice, Nosice, Bohunice, Sedmerovce, and Piechov (one each). 28
In spite of complications at the regional level, Aryanization continued at an even faster rate. More than twenty-one companies were Aryanized in Púchov District, while more than eleven Aryanizers entered Jewish trades in the town itself. 29
Resolving the Jewish Question comes to a head after the Salzburg dictate
In spite of the many anti-Jewish public notices, decrees and acts issued, the German administration was dissatisfied with the quality of the solution in Slovakia. Ever since the state had been established, signs of Slovakia’s autonomous foreign policy had surfaced, which Hitler did not take kindly to. These were the main reasons why, in July 1940, he summoned the president of the Slovak Republic, Jozef Tiso, to Salzburg where he ‘dictated’ the composition of a new government. Vojtech Tuka became Minister of Foreign Affairs and premier, and Alexander Mach was appointed Minister of the Interior. In this way the radical wing of HSĽS was strengthened, representing a change of political and ideological orientation, mainly in terms of ‘resolving the Jewish Question’ in Slovakia. In August 1940 the Reich had secured its position by sending Dieter Wislicény to Bratislava as an advisor to oversee the process. This paved the way for the further development of the anti-Jewish policy.
On 3 September 1940 parliament passed the Constitutional Act No. 210 Coll., which authorized the government to carry out additional Aryanization measures (Lipscher 1992, 67). 30 At the end of September the Central Economic Office (ÚHÚ) was established, with Augustín Morávek as its head with significant authority under Tuka. His assignment was to prepare and implement measures against the Jews to exclude them fully from economic and social life (Lacko 2008, 68). By the end of 1940 these measures included blocking the sale of Jewish property valued at over SK500, confiscation of money and valuables owned by Jews, and the Second Aryanization Act – a decree against Jewish companies. This was reported in the press as a ‘new period of Aryanization’ thanks to a ‘revolutionary method of taking over Jewish property’ (Kamenec 1991, 102).
The Aryanization process was marked by corruption and manipulation, mainly in the Aryanization centre at the Central Economic Office (ÚHÚ), 31 offices at the regional level, 32 and in the HSĽS. Germans associated with the Deutsche Party (DP), as well as leading state and party officials staking a claim in Aryanization proceeds (Kamenec 1991, 111–13). But for the most part those involved were non-professionals, nouveaux riches and ‘chameleons’ who all wanted to enrich themselves at the expense of others while causing large-scale economic harm. In this way many companies that had previously flourished were ruined. The worst of the occurrences came with the Aryanization of Jewish lands. Down-payments for these were 50 per cent, too much for poor farmers, and the wealthier ones preferred ‘gold-digging’ in a Jewish company or store (Lacko 2008, 69). According to a press article published in September 1941, the results of Aryanization were: ‘a) Aryanization is carried out by non-professionals; b) the Central Economic Office does not respect the recommendations of the HSĽS or its deserving members; c) Aryanization is carried out by rich people who do not need it’ (Kamenec 1991, 115). Jewish domestic property was Aryanized starting in October 1940, ending in the same way as it had for companies and stores. The decree ordered Jews to move out of streets bearing the names of well-known national figures or politicians. 33 These were mostly in the city centre streets and squares, and included Hitler Street and A. Hlinka Square. 34 The wording of one notification read: ‘Because you are living on Hitler Street, and an Aryan [name] is interested in your apartment, I give you notice related to this apartment in accordance with the valid legal regulations for the period of 14 days so the apartment must be evacuated by 15 February 1942.’ 35 This decree was subsequently mitigated by the Central Economic Office in the case of Jews working for the state administration, doctors permitted to practise medicine or if the apartments would be left unoccupied. 36
From 1940 governmental, regional, district and local authorities issued decrees that deprived Jewish citizens of their basic civil and property rights and more. The decrees were vaguely worded and often inconsistent, which meant they had to be simplified and made consistent. On 9 September 1941 the decree on the legal status of Jews, known as the Jewish Code, was published in the Slovak Code of Laws, Decree No. 198/1941 Coll. It was inspired by the German Nuremberg Race Laws, but in Bratislava the German ambassador, Hanns Ludin, declared that he had been surprised by the publication of the code. The law comprised 270 articles that determined the resolution of the Jewish Question firmly on a racial basis. The term ‘Jew’ was redefined: anyone with three or four Jewish grandparents was considered a Jew. Furthermore, it defined the term mixed-race Jew and outlawed mixed marriage, as well as banning sexual intercourse between a Jew and an Aryan.
The code was subdivided into three parts:
1. Restriction of Jews’ social, civil, religious and personal rights
2. Jews’ property rights
3. The transfer of Jewish property to Aryans.
With Articles 255 and 256, the president of the republic could grant full or partial exemption from the provisions of this decree (Kamenec 1991, 126). 37
Púchov District in 1941
A labour camp for Púchov’s Jews was opened in 1941 in Horné Kočkovce. 38 Jews had to sweep the streets and maintain pavement verges. They also worked in quarries. In addition to work in the labour camp, they dug beet, cleared the forest floor and in winter cleared the streets of snow; they were unpaid for working in distilleries or glassworks, or on the construction of the hydro-electric Dubnica power station. 39 Jews from the district’s villages (for example, from Lúky pod Makytou that had the second largest Jewish community in the district) were also sent to the Horné Kočkovce labour camp.40
The Central Economic Office and its branch, the Central Office for Jews, ran various retraining courses and groups for Jews. For example, on 7 July the district office in Púchov opened a retraining group at a Jewish horticulturist in Púchov and also at a farm owned by H. Politzer and widow Neu in Dohňany. The group was registered at the Central Labour Office on 30 June 1941. Seventeen citizens were enrolled on the course. 41
Preparation for the transfer of Jews at the national and local levels
After their civil, political and human rights had been stripped, many Jews in Slovakia were reduced to poverty, turning an economic problem into a social one. The transfer or concentration of Jews to the suburbs was the first proposal, but was not implemented.
In July 1941 a Slovak–German delegation went to the labour camp in Sosnowice, Poland to inspect where Jewish prisoners were living and working. They concluded that a similar camp would not be suitable in Slovakia. Yet, that autumn work began on the construction of camp facilities in Sereď and Nováky. Camps had also been planned for Nitra, Topoľčany, Vrbové, Nové Mesto nad Váhom, Žilina, Liptovský Sv. Mikuláš, Spišská Nová Ves, Prešov, Bardejov, Sabinov, Humenné, Stropkov and Michalovce (Kamenec 1991, 148–53), but the authorities, various organizations, HSĽS, HG and DP, as well as Jewish residents all protested. It was no small matter when evacuees arrived en masse in a town bringing with them poverty, disease, fear and uncertainty along with just a few personal belongings. The Ministry of the Interior responded when Mach indicated that ‘the Jews would go further [...] to the camps’ (Kamenec 1991, 148–53). 42
In October 1941, Tiso, Tuka, Mach and others undertook a ‘historic journey’ to meet the Führer, according to populist propaganda. They also negotiated the Jewish Question in Slovakia. They learnt that Germany was prepared to allocate an area in Poland where European Jews could be concentrated. Tuka and Mach, along with the entire radical wing of the government, backed this proposal (Kamenec 1991, 148–53). In subsequent meetings with the German ambassador, they agreed a ‘colonization fee’, according to which the Slovak government would pay 500 Reichmarks to Germany as reimbursement for the settlement costs of each deported Jew (Lacko 2008, 72). When news of this was leaked, politicians tried to ‘legalize’ the steps by calling the deportations of Jews working for the Reich. Now, all the plans for the construction of the labour camps and centres were cancelled, in light of the ‘new facts’ Germany had presented.
Government chairman Tuka notified his colleagues of the decision to start the deportations on 3 March 1942 and informed the Council on 6 March 1942 (Nižňanský and Kamenec 2003, 142). The plan was to deport 20,000 young Jews ‘for jobs’ for which an agreement between the Slovak Republic and the German Reich was signed in the first months of 1942 (Lacko 2008, 72). The plan was outlined by Mach, who confirmed that approximately 15,000 young men and women aged sixteen to thirty-five would be deported, with more following once new settlements had been constructed (Kamenec 1991, 165).
The fourteenth department of the Ministry of the Interior implemented the deportations. Lawyers and police officers, mainly members of the HG and Freiwillige Schutzstaffel (FS), took part in the Púchov District deportations as they did in other districts. This not only helped to ensure their powerful position in the state, but also gave them the opportunity to enrich themselves from the pilfered and ill-guarded property of the deported (Kamenec 1991, 165). On 5 March 1942, the Ministry of the Interior asked the Ministry of Transport and Public Works (MDaVP) to allocate six trains to transport Jews out of Slovakia. Each train was to comprise twenty-five goods trucks, each with a capacity for forty persons, while luggage would be taken in a further two wagons. In addition, a police escort would travel in one wagon with a Jewish doctor. However, these regulations and standards were not met. On 11 March 1942, Ministry of Transport and Public Works declared that the Da (David) transport was ready, immediately after which, and in cooperation with the relevant German authorities, the ministry prepared a timetable for the transports (Kamenec 1991, 165). 43
Preparation for the deportations were made across the whole of Trenčín Region. Five concentration camps were established in Slovakia, in Bratislava– Patrónka, Sereď, Nováky, Žilina and Poprad. 44 The Trenčín Region camp, which covered Púchov District, was in Žilina, opened on 21 March 1942 and operated until 24 October. Rudolf Marček was appointed its commander. It was located at Štefánik barracks, and from summer 1944 Jews were deported from there from across Slovakia. In total 26,384 people passed through the camp, living in wooden huts and sleeping on wooden plank beds. They were there for only a few days, after which they were deported to death camps in the German-occupied Poland (the General Government). According to the official records, 12,702 Jews were transported to Auschwitz, 11,181 to Treblinka and 2,591 to Lublin. The railway station at Skalité served as the border crossing point (Janas 2007, 87). 45
Deportations in Púchov District
The deportations’ last stage was carried out in February 1942. The Ministry of Interior ordered the district, legal and municipal authorities to prepare a list of Jewish citizens with the assistance of the HG and FS. According to a decree issued by the ministry on 12 February 1942, Jews were listed in three categories:
1. All Jews in general, regardless of gender, age, nationality and employment (except those granted an exemption)
2. Male Jews aged sixteen to sixty regardless of inability to work
3. Men aged over sixty years and women over sixteen, who are employed. 46
A list of widows and single or divorced women aged sixteen to forty-five was drawn up separately on 28 February and 24 March 1942 at the HG cinema (Janas 2006, 80).
The preparation for the next list of Jewish citizens was ordered by the district office in Žilina, which sent a request to the district office in Púchov on 20 February 1942. According to this request, Jews in all the villages and towns in the district were to be registered. In villages with up to 500 inhabitants, 43 were listed; with 500–999 inhabitants, 115 were listed; with 1,000–1,500 inhabitants, 68 were listed; and with over 1,500 inhabitants, including Púchov, 238 were listed – in total, 464 Jews. 47 The lists recorded not only the number of Jews living there, but also what they owned. The ministry ordered the regional and district offices to prepare a list of Jewish real estate they owned freehold by 10 March 1943. Their property was categorized under fourteen headings: 1. office equipment, typewriters and calculating machines, 2. carpets, 3. motor vehicles and bicycles, 4. radio sets, 5. sports equipment, 6. cameras and cine-projectors, 7. binoculars, 8. textiles, 9. pictures, 10. books, 11. ceramics and decorative items, 12. light fittings, 13. leather goods and 14. miscellaneous. Some items were immediately confiscated and subsequently sold at auction. 48
By categorizing the Jewish inhabitants the authorities were able to assign them to the various concentration camps. In this way, forty-eight women went to Bratislava–Patrónka on 30 March 1942. They included widows, single and divorced women (unless they had children under the age of sixteen years) aged sixteen to forty-five. However, only twenty were transported to Patrónka on 28 March 1942 and only six on 29 March 1942. Hence, twenty-two women were not transported because they were baptized, too ill or unable to work. 49
The first transport of Jews left Poprad on 25 March 1942 at 8:20 pm, and crossed the border near Čadca at approximately 4:30 am. On board were 1,000 young women and teenagers from the Šariš-Zemplín Region (Lipscher 1992, 126). The relevant authorities received the following instruction: ‘Attached you will find thirty-two summonses in the given case, which shall be delivered on 22 March 1942 to the relevant Jews in such a way that they will have one hour in which to get ready.’50On the day, forty-four Jews were transported from Púchov. By the end of the month, a further two transports had been scheduled, and were due to take place on 24 and 28 March. Between April and August 1942, three more transports left the town. 51 The order for the transport from Púchov to Žilina was also delivered to individual Jewish citizens on 6 June 1942. 52 The district head wrote to the police station in Púchov on 6 June ordering that they summon sixty-seven Jews from Púchov, Nimnica and Streženice to the town hall at 11 am the next day. We learn from this letter that 220–230 Jews were to be transported in six wagons, so three police officers and nine guardsmen would be needed to accompany them to prevent desertions, while at least a two-member guard was to travel in each wagon. They also had to ensure that evacuated households and farms owned by Jews were closed and listed. The first train was to leave on 7 June 1942 at 1:20 pm carrying Jews from neighbouring villages. The Jews from Púchov would leave the station in a second train at 6:05 am. 53 By then approximately 45,000 people had been deported from Slovakia. As a result, the adjacent Považská Bystrica district was no longer issuing any notices as most Jews had already been deported (Kamenec 1991, 179).
According to a Ministry of Interior decree dated 16 April 1942, Jewish inhabitants could each take luggage weighing up to 50 kg. It could contain: ‘One hat, 1 cap, 2 clothes of which 1 item of working clothing, 2 coats, 3 pairs of underclothing, 2 towels, 6 handkerchiefs, 2 pairs of shoes, 3 pairs of stockings, 1 blanket, 1 bar of soap, a razor, toothbrush, set of cutlery, cup, food for 3 days, religious items and a nickel watch’ (Janas 2006, 80).
Transports from Púchov continued but not at such an intense pace. For example, on 30 June 1942 Ján Letko, the head of the handling department of the Váh company, put forward Alexander Hertzko, because he was sixtyone years old and had a heart defect so could not join the forest patrols. The next day, he was transported to Žilina with his wife and son. 54 The same happened to Dr Viktor Földy when his exemption to work was abrogated by the district office in Púchov. He was transported with his wife. On 27 August 1942 Jews who were members of former left-wing parties were transported to Žilina with their families. Nine men, six women and seven children (one of whom was three months old) were deported. In this case there were no exemptions, even if the wives were Aryan or the children had been baptized. Jews from adjacent villages were transported on 23 July 1942, nine from Lúky, Bolešov and Lednické Rovne. 55
Constitutional Act of 15 May 1942 and the (non-)granting of exemptions
On 15 May 1942, parliament passed Constitutional Act No. 68/1942 Coll. on the deportation of Jews. The original governmental draft law, which was sent by the Ministry of Interior in March 1942, was not debated. Protection of certain groups of Jewish inhabitants from the deportations was the main goal of reworking the draft law. Nevertheless, the primary goal of government radicals remained the legalization of transporting Jews from the Slovak Republic. Those who were not to be transported included citizens baptized at the latest by 14 March 1939, that is to say before the Slovak State was established, as well as Jews living with a non-Jewish partner in a valid marriage contracted before 10 September 1941, that is before the Jewish Code came into force. Jews whom the Ministry of Interior considered essential to the economy and Jews granted a president’s exemption could also avoid deportation (Lipscher 1992, 128–31).
Exemptions applied to a fraction of the Jews in Púchov District. They were primarily granted to doctors, pharmacists and dentists and their families, because of a general shortage of such professionals. Among them were Móric Dávid from Lúky and Ferdinand Steiner and Otto Klein from Púchov.56 Klein had asked for his exemption, and the district office sent the president a proposal to pay Ks 500 to secure it. The president’s office agreed but set the fee at Ks 3,000.57 Stationmaster Štefan Jurík from Bolešov similarly asked for an exemption for his Jewish wife, but this was rejected because, according to the authorities, the application did not meet the criteria of Constitutional Act. No. 68/1942 Coll.58Ladislav Goldberger also received an official notification from the Ministry of the Economy on the extension of his veterinarian practice to the end of 1943. But he then received an official order to relocate to Budimír in Prešov District and continue his practice there. The district office in Púchov raised an objection with the ministry, but the decision was upheld in the face of the permit being threatened with withdrawal altogether.59
Jewish inhabitants could avoid deportation only if they held a labour permit. On 31 August 1942 the Central Economic Office issued a directive according to which each employer had to file an application for every Jewish employee labour permit, except for those who held a labour permit to the end of 1942. The application was to be filed by:
• companies with a registered office in Bratislava
• employers of former (Aryanized) partners in Slovakia if they filed a written application to the Central Economic Office by 1 April 1942 in accordance with public notice No. 130 of 19 March 1942
• companies with a registered office abroad but with representation in Bratislava. 60
Similar permits were granted by the Ministry of Interior to Ladislav Langfelder, who was employed at Ignác Langfelder in Lazy as an official, Erich Roth at Arpád Roth as an agricultural labourer also in Lazy and Július Pohr at František Trnka in Púchov as a shop assistant. 61
An interesting case arose in 1942 when Ján Revák Jr from Dohňany obtained the property of a Jew apparently due to an official’s error. On 4 March 1942 the Ministry of Interior issued a permit to Samuel Braun for the employment of Ferdinand Braun as an agricultural labourer at Samuel Braun’s farm in Dohňany. On 16 March 1942 the district legal department in Dohňany failed to deliver a report for the labour permit because the Brauns had been deported in June. The ministry subsequently returned the application for the labour permit and ordered the head of the district to apologize and ascertain the name of the officer who had made the mistake. But the district office defended the officer in charge, Ján Smutný, because, in its opinion, he had followed the decree issued by the ministry. On 19 November 1942 the ministry issued an order demanding that the district office investigate the reason why the decree had not been delivered. The outcome of this investigation could not be found in the archives, and doubt exists whether the investigation was ever carried out.62
How citizens responded to the deportations and persecutions of Jews were not negligible at that time. Events in society affect each individual, albeit to a greater or lesser extent. The situation at that time is difficult to assess, but if we simplify, the relationship with Jews can be described as ‘fluid’ (Lacko 2008, 83) from the issue of anti-Jewish decrees up to the outcome of frontline military engagements, which influenced how citizens responded. It is impossible to say whether the persecutions or deportations met with approval from other citizens, but a significant public demonstration of disapproval did not take place, the result of the general mood at the time as well as propaganda, mainly in the press.
Transports passed through Púchov and from there continued from Žilina. People must have been aware that their long-term neighbours were missing. The brutality of HG members guarding the transports was plain to see in the form of pushing and shoving during the allocation of Jews to the wagons, direct humiliation on the streets or when undertaking body searches, restricted time reserved for shopping and false assurances (Kamenec 1991, 179–80). Even children were frequently heard shouting derogatory slogans: ‘Ra-ta-ta, ra-ta-ta, už sa to Židom poráta’ [the Jews have it coming to them].63 Many residents also blackmailed Jewish fellow citizens: money, gold and family jewels were targeted. Some started to avoid contact with Jews and stopped greeting them (Lacko 2006, 339–43). Simply put, discrimination was unknown or unseen only by those who chose not to see it. And they were the majority. However, silent acts of disapproval occurred in the form of helping, hiding and short-term material assistance offered to Jews. If such acts came to light the helpers would be denunciated with subsequent sanctions; labelled ‘white Jews’, they were arrested and sent to nearby Ilava prison for political prisoners. Disapproval was limited mainly to whispered propaganda (Janas 2007, 87).
The end of the first wave of deportations and the redistribution of the property of those seized
The first wave of transports ended on 20 October 1942. By then the populist regime had got rid of 57,628 Jewish citizens who had been deported from the Slovak State starting on 25 March 1942 (Lacko 2008, 74). The concentration centres in Bratislava–Patrónka were closed by 10 September, in Poprad by 10 October and in Žilina by 24 October 1942. Jews arrested after this were to be concentrated in the camps in Nováky and Sereď. German representatives wanted the final deportations to be over by the end of 1942, but their Slovak partners proposed continuing them until spring 1943 (Lipscher 1992, 134–35).
The majority of Púchov Jews were transported in the first wave. According to archive material of 22 November 1943, over one year after the first transport ended, only eleven Jewish men able to work remained in Púchov. 64Jewish real estate and movable property was left in the villages and towns. In addition to profitable companies and trades, fifty-eight real estate properties – mostly residential houses – had been abandoned. Loyal followers of the regime and anti-Jewish activists moved into fully furnished houses, often after fights for the spoils. 65They also divided up the farms. The district legal department in Púchov had distributed seventy-four building, forest and agricultural land parcels by 1943 (Janas 2006, 80).
HG and FS members got most of the properties because they had the best overview owing to their assistance in deporting Jews to the concentration centres. The authorities even issued warnings because of cases where private citizens wearing official uniforms had entered Jewish houses and confiscated various articles, mainly valuables. Sometimes neighbours, acquaintances and other residents took in articles with the consent of the deported owners, who had vainly thought that one day they would be able to return to find their possessions in the safe keeping of trustworthy people. This explains why the Ministry of Interior issued a ban on buying Jewish movable property or taking in such property (Kamenec 1991, 203–4).
Attempts to continue with the transports
Despite various declarations by the HSĽS’s radical wing, the Slovak government did not recommence transports in the spring of 1943. In 1944 the Allies opened a new front in Normandy on 6 June. On the eastern front Germany suffered its heaviest defeat of the war thus far during Operation Bagration (the code name for the Soviet Belorussian Strategic Offensive Operation in eastern Poland). There was an unsuccessful assassination attempt on Hitler in July, an uprising in Warsaw in August and a coup d´état in Romania. These events started to shake the foundations of the German Reich and the Axis. The Slovak Republic was affected by events such as the American bombing of Bratislava on 16 June 1944, the internal breakdown of order in the Slovak army, illegal preparations for an armed uprising and the disruptive actions of partisans and organized groups. All of these led to the German occupation of Slovakia, which started on 29 August 1944 (Lacko 2008, 170–74).
On the same day armed resistance by sections of the Slovak army commenced in Banská Bystrica; this later became known as the Slovak National Uprising (SNP). The Slovak National Council (SNR) was established in insurgent-occupied areas. It declared war against Germany, joined the anti-Hitler coalition and aimed to restore the Czechoslovak Republic. Thus two regimes now functioned in Slovakia. The second regime, under the leadership of the HSĽS and Jozef Tiso, appointed a new government on 5 September 1944 led by Štefan Tiso. In reality this was an occupational regime, with the Slovak government’s role being marginal.
A dissatisfied Hitler ordered the occupation of the Slovak Republic to commence on 29 August 1944. However, the Germans were already familiar in Púchov District as Púchov and its surroundings were in the German Protection Zone (Janas 2006, 307–8) 66and the civil Slovak administration continued to function as usual. After the German troops arrived the uprising moved into surrounding areas where conflicts broke out, among which the most infamous were the murders of partisans in Zariečie and the torching of Mladoňov, where residents were executed for hiding partisans (Janas 2006, 82–3). 67
In 1944 the situation had changed so much that most Slovaks had developed a sympathetic, even friendly relationship with the Jews. Many expressed real love in the midst of a situation that directly threatened their lives, this being done in the spirit of Christianity, which asserts that the greatest love is for a person to lay down his life for his friends. This is confirmed by the fact that Slovaks, proportional to population size, are the most numerous holders of the honorific ‘Righteous among Nations’, which is granted by the State of Israel to those who helped Jews during the Holocaust (Lacko 2008, 85).
Outstanding issues regarding the solution of the Jewish Question were continued by German occupation troops. The government accused Jews of participating in the ‘anti-Slovak uprising’ and young populists issued a memorandum in which they asked for the solution of the Jewish and Czech issue be completed without further delay. The entire implementation of the ‘solution’ was taken into German hands, and they ignored any requirements to mitigate the liquidation of the Jews. Any exemption granted by the ministries or the president was now void. A central concentration camp was established in Sereď from where the first transport was dispatched on 30 September 1944. This started the ‘definitive solution of the Jewish Question’ (Lacko 2008, 85).
The end of the war and the liquidation of Jewish religious communities in Púchov District
During the German occupation and SNP, the district office issued a public notice on 2 October 1944 outlawing the concealment of any Jews attempting to escape the deportations. The occupation army behaved with brutality when it caught Jews or rebels, with innocent people often paying for their actions. In Púchov the Germans occupied the evangelical residence and took over private and public buildings, including schools, for their accommodation. At the beginning of September the district head issued a ban on residents assembling and driving cars, with exceptions only for doctors, fire-fighters, ambulance drivers and military and security vehicle drivers. A curfew was imposed from 9 pm to 5 am68 and a partial ban on the sale of alcohol was issued.69 Residents knew that Germany would lose the war, so fearing reprisals they fled to the countryside. More German troops occupied Púchov on 27 January 1945 where Hungarian troops were also stationed,70 and their arrival was accompanied by plunder and increasing depopulation of the town. The numbers working on fortifications steadily decreased, leading the German headquarters to complain that those presenting for work in Púchov was 60 per cent lower than in recent months despite workers being paid the going rate. The HQ also notified the legal department that if workers did not return, it would be treated as sabotage.71 They ordered the district office and legal department to send 400 workers from the town every day.
On 16 April 1945, Púchov was bombed and two people were killed (Gabriš 1970, 150).72 The Germans immediately evacuated the town and its surroundings before the Red Army arrived, blowing up the railway and road bridges over the River Váh as they retreated (Janas 2006, 84). The town was liberated on 30 April 1945.
In total, approximately 13,500 Jews had been deported from Slovakia by the end of the war; the majority of whom died (approximately 10,000). By contrast, approximately 10,000 Hungarian Jews from were saved in Slovakia (Lacko 2008, 85). The last of Jewish residents were transported from Púchov on 13 September 1944. The Jewish community that had been integral to the town for some 250 years had gone forever. Many people loyal to the regime and anti-Jewish radicals had now become rebels. A few Jews did return from concentration camps after the war but people who had appropriated their houses refused to return the properties. This led to several ugly confrontations, which resulted in the voluntary departure of the psychologically and physically broken and disgusted Jews, not only from Púchov but also across the whole of Slovakia (Janas 2006, 81). The handful of Jews who did resettle successfully in the town and other villages changed their names to Slovak ones. All the Jewish religious communities in Púchov District ended in a similar way, with none being restored after the war. A single synagogue remained after the Jews left which, under the communist regime, was used as a furniture store. Finally, in the 1980s it was demolished. Today it is commemorated only by a paving stone in Moyzes Street. The Jewish synagogue in Lúky pod Makytou, which had been founded in 1872, was burned to the ground by departing German troops in 1945 (Madala and Okrajková 1996, 11). The Jewish cemetery at the foot of Mount Lachovec is the only extant monument of the Jewish religious community in Púchov. In Lúky, which had the second largest Jewish community, the ruins of the Jewish cemetery were also preserved under a railway embankment near the villages of Pruské and Bolešov.
Translated from Slovak into English by Darren Chastney
Pavol Makyna studied history in the Faculty of Education, Comenius University, Bratislava where he now teaches in the Department of History and was awarded a doctorate in 1987. He is also a researcher at The Nation’s Memory Institute. His research focuses on 20th-century Slovak and regional history, the Holocaust and its impact on the country culturally and historically. He has published several academic and general articles and has contributed to a number of exhibitions about the regional history of Púchov District.
1Púchov´s Book of Remembrance, p. 98.
2Púchov´s Book of Remembrance, p. 143.
3Emigrants were allowed only 20 Ks (Slovak crowns) per person; all other financial means were confiscated, access to their bank accounts was blocked, apartments were boarded up and shops were closed.
4The Central Office of Jewish Autonomous Orthodox Communities and the Jewish Central Office urged their supporters to vote yes ‘as a mark of their loyalty to the national independence of the Slovak nation’.
5The appointments were made by Ján Kubolec, district chairman of HSĽS.
6State archive Bytča, Považská Bystrica branch (ŠAP P. Bystrica), collection (f.) District Office (OÚ) Púchov, administrative file (admin.), ref. no. 4795/1939.
7ŠAP P. Bystrica, f. OÚ Púchov, admin., sk. 438, ref. no. 7864/1939.
8ŠAP P. Bystrica, f. OÚ Púchov, admin., sk. 452, ref. no. 2005/1940. They turned down Móric Dávid’s request for an exemption from the Jew Act as early as 1940, but there was no one to take his place. Thus on 9 July 1941, the Ministry of Interior granted him an exemption in the Pension Institute of Private Officers of the Health Department in Bratislava.
9ŠAP P. Bystrica, f. OÚ Púchov, admin., ref. no. 2207/1941. Arpád Pollák was suspended from office on 31 December 1939, and his application for citizenship was refused despite its approval by the police station in Lednické Rovne on 27 January 1940 and the district office in Púchov on 9 February 1940.
10ŠAP P. Bystrica, f. OÚ Púchov, admin., ref. no. 8272/1940.
11ŠAP P. Bystrica, f. OÚ Púchov, presidential file (pres.), ref. no. 12768/1940.
12ŠAP P. Bystrica, f. OÚ Púchov, admin., ref. no. 8191/1941.
13ŠAP P. Bystrica, f. OÚ Púchov, admin., ref. no. 6251/1941.
14ŠAP P. Bystrica, f. OÚ Púchov, admin., ref. no. 9349/1940.
15Nation’s Memory Institute (ÚPN): Liquidation of enterprises owned by the Jews [online]. Bratislava: 2008, 1–4.
16ŠAP P. Bystrica, f. OÚ Púchov, admin., ref. no. 718/1941. 19. Two double-barrelled shot guns, four small-calibre guns, fifteen Brownings, one military rifle and two hunting rifles were confiscated.
17ŠAP P. Bystrica, f. OÚ Púchov, prez., ref. no. 452/1941. On 29 April 1941 an inspection was carried out at the Jewish trader Alexander Birmann’s outlet in Lúky after Tomáš (Jozef) Veteška alleged that he was hiding goods and foodstuffs there. However, this could not be proved.
18ŠAP P. Bystrica, f. OÚ Púchov, prez., ref. no. 916/1941.
19Lipscher gives two definitions of Aryanization according to Slovak official policy: ‘Aryanization is a modern term, under which we understand an activity having the objective of restricting the excessive number of Jews in economic life and the gradual transfer of economic functions into the hands of Christians’ and ‘The objective of Aryanization is to create a central layer, which has capital and which is important for national life ... It is in the national interest that many financial people get rich.’
2<0/a>ŠAP P. Bystrica, f. OÚ Púchov, Size of Jewish land, ref. no. 10093-XI/1940. To comply with the law, the county office in Trenčín sent the size of the land to OÚ Púchov on 28 March 1940, and the Ministry of the Economy took charge of the forests located in Púchov District.
21Krivoklát is an integral part of the village of Pruské today, and since 1 January 1943 Piechov has been an integral part of the village of Bolešov.
22ŠAP P. Bystrica, f. OÚ Púchov, size of Jewish land, ref. no. 10093-XI/1940.
23Lipscher (1992, 47). This was the first part of the Act, and did not cover factories. This was in fact the decision on forced or voluntary Aryanization.
24Ibid. According to the Act, the number of Jewish employees should not exceed 25 per cent after 1 April 1941, and this percentage should be further decreased to 10 per cent in the following years. In 1939 in the Slovak Repbulic Jews made up about 4 per cent of the employees in organizations not owned by Jews.
25ŠAP P. Bystrica, f. OÚ Púchov, admin., ref. no. 3944/1940.
26ŠAP P. Bystrica, f. OÚ Púchov, admin., sk. 449, ref. no. 747/1940.
27ŠAP P. Bystrica, f. OÚ Púchov, admin., sk. 461, ref. no. 12768/1940.
28ÚPN: Liquidation of companies owned by the Jews [online]. Bratislava: 2008, 1–4. Today, Nosice is part of Púchov, Bohunice is part of Pruské, Sedmerovec is part of Slávnica and Piechov is part of Bolešov.
29ÚPN: Aryanization of companies owned by the Jews [online]. Bratislava: 2008.
30These were valid for one year, from 11 September 1940 to 11 September 1941.
31Kamenec (1991, 102).
32Janas (2007, 85–6).
33ŠAP P. Bystrica, f. OÚ Púchov, sk. 19, unsigned; Jakub Dautenbaum had to vacate his apartment for an Aryan, Štefan Magerčiak.
34ŠAP P. Bystrica, f. OÚ Púchov, prez., ref. no. 38/1941. Now renamed Moravian Street and Freedom Square.
3555 ŠAP P. Bystrica, f. OÚ Púchov, admin., sk. 19, ref. no. 14/1942.
36ŠAP P. Bystrica, f. OÚ Púchov, admin., ref. no. 3542/1941.
37The Jewish Code was published two days before the expiry of the enabling Act on Aryanization.
38ŠAP P. Bystrica, f. OÚ Púchov, admin., ref. no. 1543/1942.
39ŠAP P. Bystrica, f. OÚ Púchov, admin., ref. no. 6678/1941.
40ŠAP P. Bystrica, f. OÚ Púchov, prez., ref. no. 1144/1941.
41ŠAP P. Bystrica, f. OÚ Púchov, admin., ref. no. 7793/1941.
42Representatives of HSĽS, DP and HG in Žilina, the largest city in the Trenčín Region at the time, referred to Žilina as ‘an old populist city that is trying to purge itself of Jews... and the awakening of Marxist, communist and socialist ideas among the Jewish proletariat who are threatening the proletariat in the city’.
43The Ministry of the Interior requested that these trains should all set off at night.
44Women were deported from Poprad and Bratislava–Patrónka, while men were sent from Sereď, Nováky and Žilina.
45The maximum number of people held in the camp at any one time was 1,200.
46ŠAP P. Bystrica, f. OÚ Púchov, admin., sk. 513, unsigned.
47ŠAP P. Bystrica, f. OÚ Púchov, admin., ref. no. 2113/1942.
48ŠAP P. Bystrica, f. OÚ Púchov, admin., ref. no. 1763/1943.
49ŠAP P. Bystrica, f. OÚ Púchov, admin., ref. no. 5332/1942.
5088 ŠAP P. Bystrica, f. OÚ Púchov, admin., sk. 513, ref. no. 2337/1942.
51Púchov nad Váhom visitors’ book, 45.
52ŠAP P. Bystrica, f. OÚ Púchov, admin., ref. no. 5944/1942. Jozef Politzer committed suicide after receiving his transportation order to Žilina.
53ŠAP P. Bystrica, f. OÚ Púchov, admin., sk. 513, unsigned.
54He was sent back from Žilina, but the head of the district office returned him on 16 July 1943. According to the internet database of Holocaust victims, he died in the Nováky camp on 19 December 1943. Accessed 3 November 2016: http://www.yadvashem.org
55ŠAP P. Bystrica, f. OÚ Púchov, admin., sk. 513, unsigned.
56ŠAP P. Bystrica, f. OÚ Púchov, admin., sk. 513, unsigned.
57ŠAP P. Bystrica, f. OÚ Púchov, admin., ref. no. 342/1942.
58ŠAP P. Bystrica, f. OÚ Púchov, admin., ref. no. 351/1942.
59ŠAP P. Bystrica, f. OÚ Púchov, ref. no. D-5821/1943. The last official mention of Dr Goldberger can be found in the internet database of Holocaust victims. Accessed 4 November 2016: http://www.yadvashem.org
60ŠAP P. Bystrica, f. OÚ Púchov, admin., ref. no. 677/1942.
61ŠAP P. Bystrica, f. OÚ Púchov, admin., ref. no. 1843/1942. Július Pohr was the original owner of a store selling iron and agricultural machinery, which was Aryanized by František Trnka.
62ŠAP P. Bystrica, f. OÚ Púchov, admin., ref. no. 1616/1943.
63From the memoirs of Jozef Kováčik from Lúky pod Makytou.
64ŠAP P. Bystrica, f. OÚ Púchov, admin., ref. no. 6286/1943.
65ŠAP P. Bystrica, f. OÚ Púchov, ref. no. D-6212/1943. As late as 13 September 1943 the HSĽS asked for the reallocation of the house belonging to Dr Ullman. Further archive materials from 1945 reveal that German field officers moved into this house.
66The boundary of the so-called German Protection Zone ran along the following route: Devín – Kamzík – Rača – Sv. Jur – Pezinok – Modra – Kráľová – Dubová – Častá – Doľany – Dolné Orešany – Horné Orešany – Smolenice – Trstín – Naháč – Dechtice – Chtelnica – Vrbové – Očkov – Korytné – Čachtice – Nové Mesto nad Váhom – Bohuslavice – Trenčín – Zamarovce – Nemšová – Lednické Rovne – Púchov – Orlové – Veľká Bytča – Budatín – Kysucké Nové Mesto – Lieskovec – Čadca – Svrčinovec.
67Mladoňov is now part of the village of Lazy pod Makytou.
68ŠAP P. Bystrica, f. OÚ Púchov, admin., ref. no. 6084/1944. The punishment for a breach was a fine of Ks 5,000 or 14 days’ imprisonment.
69ŠAP P. Bystrica, f. OÚ Púchov, admin., ref. no. 5722/1944. Only beer and wine could be sold until 8 pm.
70ŠAP P. Bystrica, f. OÚ Púchov, admin., ref. no. 1006/1945.
71ŠAP P. Bystrica, f. OÚ Púchov, admin., ref. no. 1844/1945.
72They were Augustín Paliesek and František Novosád.
List of References
Monographs and almanacs
Gabriš, Milan (1970) Púchov. Martin: Osveta, 201
Janas, Karol (2006) ‘Dejiny mesta Púchov od zjednotenia mestských častí po súčasnosť [The history of Púchov since the unification of urban districts up to the present time], in Púchov, ed. Karol Janas. Púchov: Medial, 2006, 71.
Janas, Karol (2007) Trenčín Region (1940–1945). Some issues of the origin, existence and functioning of public administration in the Trenčín Region. Trenčín: Trenčín University of Alexander Dubček in Trenčín, 141.
Kamenec, Ivan (1991) Postopách tragédie [In the track of tragedy]. Bratislava: Archa, 285.
Lacko, Martin (2006) ‘Against the so-called Jewish Question: Interview with Eva Neuman’, in Historické rozhľady, ed. Martin Lacko, Michal Duchoň and Ivan Varšo. Trnava: UCM, 339–43.
Lacko, Martin (2008) Slovenská republika 1939–1945 [The Slovak Republic 1939–1945]. Bratislava: Perfekt, 2008, 206.
Lipscher, Ladislav (1992) Židia v slovenskom štáte 1939–1945 [The Jews in the Slovak State 1939–1945]. Banská Bystrica: Print-servis, 254.
Madala, Roman and Katarina Okrajkova, eds (1996) The Village of Lúky. Púchov: Lúky Municipal Office, 25.
Nižňansky, Eduard and Ivan Kamenec (2003) Holokaust na Slovensku 2: Prezident, vláda, Snem SR a Štátna rada o židovskej otázke (1939–1945) [Holocaust in Slovakia 2: president, government, parliament of the Slovak Republic and Council of State about the Jewish Question (1939–1945)]. Bratislava: Klemo, 364.
Sokolovič, Peter (2009) Hlinkova garda 1938–1945 [Hlinka Guard 1938–1945]. Bratislava: ÚPN (Nation’s Memory Institute), 559.
Bytča, Považská Bystrica branch of the State Archives, collection of the district office in Púchov.
Nation’s Memory Institute (UPN): Liquidation of companies owned by the Jews [online]. Bratislava: 2008, 1–4. Accessed on 4 November 2016: http://www.upn.gov.sk/likvidacie/vysledky-vyhladavania.php?meno_priezvisko_ majitela=&mesto_obec=&okres=P%C3%BAchov&predmet_podnikania=&meno_priezvisko_ likvidatora=&zorad=&strana=1
Nation’s Memory Institute (UPN): Aryanization of companies owned by the Jews [online]. Bratislava: 2008, 1–3. Accessed on 4 November 2016: http://www.upn.gov.sk/arizacie/vysledky-vyhladavania.php?povodny_majitel=&mesto_ obec=&okres=641&predmet_podnikania=&meno_priezvisko_arizatora=&zorad=&strana=1
This article has been published in the fifth issue of Remembrance and Solidarity Studies dedicated to the memory of Holocaust/Shoah.