Slovakia remembers Auschwitz transport

Slovakia sent a train from its Poprad station to Auschwitz to commemorate the first transport of Slovak Jews, in 1942.

Edita Grosmanova, a Slovak-Jewish concentration camp survivor, and outgoing Prime Minister Iveta Radicova were among the passengers on the March 23 train ride to Oswiecim, Poland, according to Slovak news reports. Some 1,000 Slovak Jewish women were sent to Auschwitz on March 25, 1942.

Grosmanova is the widow of the author Ladislav Grosman, whose book “The Shop on Main Street” was turned into an Academy Award–winning film in 1965 (best foreign language film).

Approximately 70,000 Slovak Jews were deported to concentration camps during the war by the Slovak state, as the country’s wartime government is referred to typically.

“On March 25 [in 1942] at this station [Poprad], the Holocaust started here,” said Pavol Mestan, director of the Slovak-Jewish Museum. — jta