Activist state

The president apologizes for the awards. Fascist militants in the state did not fight for democracy, say

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President Zuzana Čaputová presented state awards to three men in memory, to apologize for doing so a few days later.

“There was a mistake in the judging process. State awards should be given to people whose stories should leave no doubt as to whether they have served democracy,” the office wrote. president on May 18, with the promise that the president would do everything possible not to repeat the controversy.

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The current controversy arose around the granting of the Order of Ľudovít Štúr 1st class in memoriam to Albert Púčik, Anton Tunega and Eduard Tesár, during the state award ceremony on May 8. They were awarded “for their outstanding contribution to democracy and its development, and for advancing human rights and freedoms”. The three men were sentenced to death in totalitarian Czechoslovakia in 1951. They were recognized guilty of espionage.

Prior to this, however, Púčik, Tunega and Tesár were supporters of the wartime Nazi-allied Slovak state. All three attended the Higher Leadership School of the Hlinka Guards, a local paramilitary organization. During the Slovak National Uprising, a popular uprising against fascist rule in Slovakia in 1944, Púčik and Tunega worked to uncover the insurgents and betrayed them to the Nazis and the Gestapo.

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