Slovakia bishop glorifies Nazi-era state

Jan. 5, 2007 at 10:20 AM

PRAGUE, Czech Republic, Jan. 5 (UPI) -- Slovakia's Roman Catholic archbishop triggered protests by Jews and Gypsies when he praised a Nazi-era Slovak state.

Archbishop Jan Sokol of the Slovak capital of Bratislava refused to retract his comments glorifying the Slovak Nazi-puppet state during World War II as "a time of well-being," local media reported Friday.

Sokol issued a statement criticizing Nazi wartime human rights violations, the BBC reported, but his recollections of the Nazi era were sharply condemned by Slovakia's victims of Holocaust, the small Slovak Jewish community and Gypsy minority.

In a deal with Nazi Germany, the Slovak government paid an unknown amount of money to Berlin during World War II to take an estimated 70,000 Slovak Jews, who apparently wound up in death camps in Eastern Europe, the BBC said.

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