By Peter Pridavok Dr. Josef Tiso, priest-President of Slovakia, was not buried with Catholic rights, as the News Service of National Catholic Welfare Conference of American reported last week. My information, received only a few days ago from Slovakia, was sent by a Slovak patriot underground organisation.
This information states • " On the day of the execution (Friday, April 18) a great multitude of people watched closely the Court building, as well as all the cemeteries at Bratislava, to make sure where President Tiso would be buried " A delegation of women came from Banovce (Dr. Tiso's parish), demanding that Dr. Tiso's body be buried there. Their request was refused.
astily filled up.
" At 2.30 a.m., on April 19, a coffin was brought to St. Martin's Cemetery and lowered—without any ecclesiastical assistance — into a grepared grave, which was then
astily filled up.
• By Saturday (April 20) morning, the whole Capital knew about the burial and, despite the mounted police who tried to disperse them, huge masses of people assembled around the grave and covered it and a wide space around it with flowers and wreaths. • The number of pilgrims to Dr. Tiso's supposed grave was so great that the majority of them could not get into the cemetery.
• On the following night univer sity students opened the grave and exhumated the coffin. On opening it they found it filled with sand and stones. Dr. Tiso's body was missing, just as they had suspected.
" The Slovak public believes that, in spite of the official statements asserting that Dr. Tiso was buried with Catholic rites, his body was cremated secretly, probably at Brno in Moravia (there is no crematorium at Bratislava). The matter is being investigated.
" We should be obliged to you if you could press, through foreign newspapers and radio, tor setting up a commission for investigating into the place and circumstances of President Tiso's burial."
This information seems to find authoritative corroboration by the following remarkable facts: On April 21, the Commissariate for Home Affairs at Bratislava, issued the following official statement: The burial of Dr. Joseph Tiso took place on April 19, according to the rites of the Roman Catholic Church." The entire Slovak Press was ordered to publish this official communique. No one in Slovakia believed it.
The newspaper Cas (the official organ of the Democratic Party) thought it wise to print, in its issue of April 24, the following " explanation ": " With regard to the news item about Dr. Tiso's burial according to the rites of the Roman Catholic Church, published in Cas on April 22, we state that it was an OFFICIAL communiqué bv the Commissariate for Home Affairs, and not a private information of the Cas." Needless to say. this " explanation " was perfectly understood by everyone in Slovakia.
The Capuchine monk who was present at Dr. Tiso's execution, has since disappeared, together with a Salesian priest. The people suspect they were arrested. At Piest'any, where a big demonstration took place in Tiso's favour, many people have been imprisoned, among them two Jesuit Priests, Frs. Eiselle and Potocky. Arrests of many people throughout the whole of Slovakia are going on ever since the execution.
Forced by public sentiment, the Bratislava " Slovak National Council " has sacked Dr. Daxner, the Communist Judge who had condemned Dr. Tiso to death. Dr. Daxner has also been expelled from the Slovak Lutheran Church of which he was a member. Because of this the Prague Government took severe measures against the—allegedly autonomous— " Slovak National Council," rescinded some fifteen important orders issued by the Council and restricted its competency to such an extent that even the Czech Svobodne novinv newspaper had to admit that from now on it is equal to nought.