Home Intro People Events Equipment Places Maps Books Photos Videos Other Reference FAQ About

World War II Database

Tiso file photo [1020]

Jozef Tiso

Given NameJozef
Born13 Oct 1887
Died18 Apr 1947


ww2dbaseJozef Tiso was born in Veľk√° Bytča in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. He was educated as a theologian in 1910 and worked as an educator for the Roman Catholic Church. During WW1, he was a chaplain in the military. In 1915 he became the director of the Theological Seminary of Nitra while teaching at a local high school. Around this time, he became involved in the Slovak People's Party, a political group that consisted heavily of Slovak Roman Catholics. When he became the dean and parish priest of the town of B√°novce nad Bebravou in 1924, a post he held until 1939, the Slovak People's Party also became the largest political party in Slovakia. Between 1927 and 1938, he held various government posts, including ministerial positions. In 1938, when the party's founder Andrej Hlinka died, Tiso found himself at the helm of the party.

ww2dbaseOn 5 Oct 1938, President Edvard BeneŇ° fled Czechoslovakia in protest of German annexation of Sudetenland, and it plunged Czechoslovakia into brief chaos. Amidst the uncertainty, Tiso declared Slovakia an independent country, and himself the Prime Minister. Slovak People's Party was renamed Hlinka's Slovak People's Party-Party of Slovak National Unity after annexing many smaller political parties. In Jan 1939, all political parties were outlawed except for the Party of Slovak National Unity, the Deutsche Partei, and the Unified Hungarian Party. On 9 Mar 1939, Czech troops occupied Slovakia, and Tiso was removed from his post as the Prime Minister of the newly declared autonomous nation. Ten days later, however, he was invited by Adolf Hitler to Berlin. At face value, it was German's gesture to show support for Slovak independence, but the actual intent involved more intrigue. Essentially, Tiso was faced with an ultimatum: declare Slovak independence under German protection, or Germany would allow Hungary and Poland to annex Slovakia after Germany annexed the Czech regions of Czechoslovakia. Tiso declared Slovak independence on 19 Mar 1939 once again as a result. He ruled Slovakia as its prime minister until 26 Oct 1939, when he became the president of Slovakia.

ww2dbaseThough ruler of a nominally independent nation, Tiso was viewed as a puppet of Berlin. Anti-Semitic legislations were passed under German pressure, disallowing Jews from owning real estate and obtaining public jobs. Jewish children were also not permitted to attend schools beyond the secondary level. Though he was an anti-Semite, many also argued that he actively sought compromises with Berlin that best benefited Slovakia, and they argued that thing could have been worse had it been another at the helm. The eventual deportation of Slovak Jews did not shed light on Tiso's position; while 58,000 Slovaks did become deported to Nazi concentration camps, many of Tiso's supporters also claimed that it was Tiso's influence that halted deportation several times during WW2. Tiso's exact role in the Holocaust in Slovakia is still unclear today. In Oct 1944, Tiso's uncooperativeness with Berlin and the approaching Russian troops convinced Berlin to occupy Slovakia. Deportation of Jews immediate kicked into high gear; between Oct 1944 and the end of the war, 13,500 more Slovak Jews were deported and 5,000 imprisoned.

ww2dbaseIn Apr 1945, Russian troops occupied Slovakia and Tiso was removed from power. Largely due to Communist influence, he was sentenced to death by hanging for collaborating with Germany.

ww2dbaseSource: Wikipedia.

Last Major Revision: Aug 2006

Jozef Tiso Timeline

13 Oct 1887 Jozef Tiso was born.
26 Oct 1939 Jozef Tiso was declared the President of Slovakia.
8 Jun 1945 Jozef Tiso was arrested.
15 Apr 1947 Jozef Tiso was found guilty of German collaboration and was sentenced to death.
18 Apr 1947 Jozef Tiso was executed by hanging.


Portrait of Jozef Tiso, circa 1936Jozef Tiso in Germany, Mar 1939
See all 10 photographs of Jozef Tiso

Did you enjoy this article or find this article helpful? If so, please consider supporting us on Patreon. Even $1 per month will go a long way! Thank you.

Share this article with your friends:


Stay updated with WW2DB:

 RSS Feeds

Posting Your Comments on this Topic

Your Name
Your Email
 Your email will not be published
Comment Type
Your Comments
Security Code



1. We hope that visitor conversations at WW2DB will be constructive and thought-provoking. Please refrain from using strong language. HTML tags are not allowed. Your IP address will be tracked even if you remain anonymous. WW2DB site administrators reserve the right to moderate, censor, and/or remove any comment. All comment submissions will become the property of WW2DB.

2. For inquiries about military records for members of the World War II armed forces, please see our FAQ.

Change View
Desktop View

Search WW2DB & Partner Sites
More on Jozef Tiso
Event(s) Participated:
» First Vienna Arbitration
» Dismemberment of Czechoslovakia

Jozef Tiso Photo Gallery
Portrait of Jozef Tiso, circa 1936Jozef Tiso in Germany, Mar 1939
See all 10 photographs of Jozef Tiso

Famous WW2 Quote
"We no longer demand anything, we want war."

Joachim von Ribbentrop, German Foreign Minister, Aug 1939

Support Us

Please consider supporting us on Patreon. Even $1 a month will go a long way. Thank you!

Or, please support us by purchasing some WW2DB merchandise at TeeSpring, Thank you!