Birthday greetings for Hitler (19 April 1940)
The Slovak Fascists eagerly handed over Slovak Jews, and even paid the Germans 500 Reichmark apiece for each one they took away on cattle cars. Little did these Slovaks realise that if their “ardent prayers” for the Führer's victory were successful, as Slavic “Untermenschen”, they’d have been the next to go under Hitler’s secret Generalplan Ost.
Hitler’s fiftieth birthday became a quasi-state holiday in Tiso’s Slovakia* and this unctuous recognition of his fifty-second one conveys the tone. For more about this remarkable document, see the notes at the end.
Birthday greetings for Hitler
Father Ján Ferjenčík of Ružomberok sent these greetings through the wartime newspaper Tatranský Slovák on 19 April 1940, to mark the Führer’s fifty-second birthday.
“…On behalf of our nation, it is fitting for me to extend today best wishes from the very depth of my heart to Führer Adolf Hitler on the occasion of his 52nd birthday, which is one of the most beautiful national holidays, both German and Slovak. We are overwhelmed and elated by our ardent prayers to the Father in Heaven, asking him to bestow for the future on Führer Hitler the iron health and the power, necessary to fulfil his onerous duties. We fervently beg Our Lord God to bestow ample blessings on the undertakings of Adolf Hitler, the blessing granted to the German nation when He made Hitler a fitting leader to achieve them.
…With the help of Adolf Hitler the German nation became once more a free and powerful nation. The Führer seized the defence of his nation and of Germany with an outstanding courage such as world history has rarely witnessed. We are entitled to claim that God helps the courageous. But it is equally true that God grants courage to precisely those whom He wants to help and through whom He wants to save the whole nation. God has been so bountiful in his succour to the Führer Hitler, that at present every attempt against the security and freedom of the German nation, as well as against the security and freedom of the Slovak nation is futile.
We admire Führer Adolf Hitler not only because he has succeeded in organising the best army in this world, for which the Maginot Line and the Metaxa Line are no obstacles, but we admire him [also] because he has able to awake in the soul of his nation the highest feeling of solidarity and steadfast endurance in the struggle for the final victory. Hundreds of thousands of Germans from all over the world have returned to their homeland in the Great Reich. Today there is no force equal to challenging Führer Adolf Hitler.
Our words are weak. To manifest our gratitude with mere words is not difficult. How can we weaklings help ourselves? We would be delighted to see the Führer in person. Maybe we could read on his face and from his words and in his eyes his dearest wishes. We would do everything to fulfil his desires, we would harness everything we could, in the spirit of our eternal leader, Andrej Hlinka: "Our lives for God, our freedom for the nation!"
We can promise him one thing: We will follow him with a prayer on our lips and with devotion on his difficult path. It is to our immense gratification we can freely say our prayers in Slovakia to the Lord Almighty. We wish him to rejoice in the consciousness of having created a larger and more powerful Germany. The heroes who died in the First World War and now in this gigantic war did not perish in vain. Their death secures the victory for future generations and — I can add with full confidence -- also to the future Slovak generations for thousands of years to come.
All our love to Führer Adolf Hitler we express with the German military motto: ‘Adolf Hitler, Sieg heil! "
* Grzegorz Rossolinski-Liebe, Review of: Ward, James Mace: Priest, Politician, Collaborator. Jozef Tiso and the Making of Fascist Slovakia. Ithaca, NY 2013, in: H-Soz-u-Kult, 02.10.2013, http://hsozkult.geschichte.hu-berlin.de/rezensionen/2013-4-006
The "birthday greetings" above portray Hitler's conquests to date as the result of God's "blessing granted to the German nation" and offer "ardent prayers" for his future ones. Two key sentences reveal the warmongering behind this cleric's piety.
"Hundreds of thousands of Germans from all over the world have returned to their homeland in the Great Reich."
By the time of Hitler's birthday, on 19 April 1940, returning these Germans "to their homeland" had already involved :
♦ annexing Austria to Greater Germany (12 March 1938)
♦ occupying Sudetenland (northern Czechoslovakia) (1-10 October 1938)
♦ invading and annexing the rest of Czechoslovakia (March 1939)
♦ invading Poland (with Slovakia as Germany's ally) (1 September 1939)
♦ invading Denmark and Norway (9 April 1940)
"We admire Fuehrer Adolf Hitler not only because he has succeeded in organising the best army in this world, for which the Maginot line and the Metaxa line are no obstacles."
This expresses the hope that the Germans would breach the defences of:
♦ France, whose border with Germany was protected by the Maginot Line. (They indeed invaded France a few weeks later on 10 May 1940.)
♦ Greece, whose border with Bulgaria was protected by the Metaxa Line. (They invaded Greece the next year on 6 April 1941.)
...This was in the wartime Slovak state that is now being touted in Church circles as a golden era, as “an ideal society, where the Roman Catholic social doctrine prevailed". (See "Why Slovakia?")
V. Hlôžka, M. Buroš,K. Gronský, M. Krno,M. Ličko, B. Zvrškovec:
Zamlčaná pravda o Tisovi a Slovenskom štáte, Eko-konzult, 2007, p. 116.
Translated by Dr. Alexander Rehák