Rescue of Jews in the Slovak State (1939 - 1945)

  • Author / Creator
    Paulovicova, Nina
  • This dissertation targets the topic of rescue of Jews in the Holocaust in World War II. It offers a thorough examination of the defiance mechanics of rescue and looks at how precisely rescuers undermine the pillars of totalitarian regimes. The locus for the empirical part is the Slovak State, a puppet state of Nazi Germany. This dissertation scrutinizes the mindset behind efforts to assist Jews, the obstacles on paths to rescue as well as strategies applied in order to overcome legal and societal persecution of Jews. This project builds on the premise that agencies of any individual fluctuate, merge and change accordingly with the developments of the war. This study also undermines the widely accepted view of the rescue of Jews as static and one-dimensional and highlights rescue acts’ heterogeneous and amorphous nature. Weaving the shades of compliance of Slovaks with the clerico-fascist regime into the story of the assistance/non-assistance to Jews aims to produce a “collage of multiple ambiguities” and “grey zones” of rescue. Rather than celebrating acts of rescuers, this dissertation focuses on the path to rescue of which the acts of rescuers were just one piece in a long chain of events in wartime Slovakia. What are the silenced facets of the rescue of Jews that have not been acknowledged, and why have they not been? Why did the topic of rescue emerge as a prominent theme in public forums in recent years? This dissertation not only looks at rescue more broadly, engaging with models of defiance of totalitarian states, but also sheds light on the controversy over the understanding of the Slovak World War II milieu.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Spring 2012
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
  • Department
  • Specialization
    • History
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Mills, David C.L. (History and Classics)
    • Bergen, Doris L. (History)
    • Sweeney, Dennis J. (History and Classics)
    • Lemire, Beverly (History and Classics)
    • Himka, John-Paul (History and Classics)
    • Luhmann, Susanne (Modern Language)