Shortly after the German annexation of the Sudetenland in 1938, Slovakia broke off from Czechoslovakia, forming an independent, fascist state that was closely allied with Nazi Germany. The authoritarian government of Jozef Tiso worked in close conjunction with the Nazis and enacted widespread and systematic anti-Semitic policies.
Slovakia was the first Axis partner to consent to the deportation of its Jews, actively assisting the Nazis in concentrating Slovakian Jews into labor and transport camps – mainly the camps Sered, Novaky, and Vyhne. In 1942, some 58,000 Slovakian Jews were sent to extermination camps in the east, notably Auschwitz-Birkenau. Deportations were halted later that year after reports had reached Tiso that the Nazis were murdering Slovakian Jews in occupied-Poland.
However, deportations were resumed at the end of the Slovakian Uprising in 1944, when the Nazis stepped in after Tiso’s government was unable to quell a large resistance-led insurrection. The Nazi’s immediate prerogative was the deportation of Slovakia’s remaining Jews, with some sent to Theresienstadt in addition to Auschwitz.
In 1945, the Red Army pushed out German troops, capturing Bratislava and liberating Slovakia. Jozef Tiso and other collaborationist members of the First Slavic Republic government were captured and executed.