The town of Rajec plans to unveil a statue in honour of Ferdinand Ďurčanský, who was the initiator of anti-Jewish policies during the Slovak state and received the death penalty after the war.
The mayor Ján Rybárik defends Ďurčanský. He believes that he was even considered an enemy by the fascist Germany. And he claims to have proof of this. The bust of Ferdinand Ďurčanský has been placed in front of the town museum in Rajec. It is already standing there covered in plastic foil. They plan to unveil the bust in March. A protest against this action has arisen. Last week the Central union of Jewish communities in Slovak Republic addressed a protest letter to the mayor and the town council. Some of the representatives have given up their mandates.
The town representatives passed the decision regarding the bust placement. The mayor Ján Rybárik stated for the local magazine: “Yes, it is truth that Ďurčanský lived and worked in troubled times, but thanks to his attitude, he was considered an enemy by the fascist Germany. They issued a warrant on his person and it is not true that he had anything to do with the deportation of Jews. ”
According to historians Ďurčanský was not directly responsible for the deportation, but he was a fierce arizator and guardsman. It was he who ordered to take over the Jewish property, put their accounts on hold and as a minister he issued an order to restrict jobs for Jews. In addition it was he who sent law proposals for the partial solution of the Jewish problem to Tiso. His public speech in Topolčany at the beginning of the war is well-known: “Look around you. All these are Jewish shops. Jews are living all around you. All this will be yours.”
The Central union of Jewish communities in Slovak Republic appealed to the mayor Ján Rybárik and the town council to reconsider their decision. “To put it mildly we consider the decision to unveil a bust of Ďurčanský, who clearly was a radical nationalist and anti-Semitist, as very unhappy. Therefore we appeal to you to put through a change and the town council to reconsider the decision and not to glorify the mentioned politician, who is in our legal system still a convicted criminal,” wrote Jaroslav Franek, the spokesman of the Union, in the letter to Mr. Rybárik. It is important to mention that Jozef Tiso has a memorial tablet in Rajec as well.
Ján Hlavinka from the Instituted of History of SAS stated the following for the newspaper SME: