The Road to Auschwitz by Walter Zapotoczny
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The Deportation of the Slovak Jews by the Hlinka Guard
The Holocaust began for the Slovak Jews in Autumn of 1938, when Slovakia became an autonomous region. Jewish property was confiscated and businesses liquidated at bargain prices all in an effort to “Aryanize” the country. But by March 26, 1942 the first trainloads of Jews deported from Slovakia embarked to their final destination at Auschwitz, and death camps in the Lublin area. The mechanism for rounding up the Jews and subsequent forced deportation was the Hlinka Guard. By October 1942 the Hlinka Guard had overseen the deportation of some 60,000 Slovak Jews. During the 1944-1945 German occupation, another 13,500 Jews were deported and 5,000 imprisoned. Many of the Jews ended up at the Auschwitz Birkenau Concentration and Extermination Camp. After a brief respite, the Hlinka guard once again took to rounding up, and persecuting Jews throughout Slovakia. Slovak Gypsies (Roma) were also persecuted by the Hlinka Guard. Hlinka Guardsmen were used to do the dirty work, killing suspect Roma rebels in front of their wives and children, and then murdering the entire family.
Year first published: 2023