July 16, 1901
Ružomberok, Liptó County, Kingdom of Hungary
|Died||October 20, 1953
|Title||Minister for Slovak Affairs|
|Slovak People's Party|
|Religion||Roman Catholic Church|
A devout Roman Catholic, he was born in Ružomberok in the Liptó County of the Kingdom of Hungary (present-day Slovakia) and came to politics early as a low-level supporter of Andrej Hlinka. After finishing his education he joined the Slovak People's Party (SPP) and became one of its leading members on the pro-Poland wing. Before long however he would become associated with the Ferdinand Ďurčanský and the Vojtech Tuka wings of the party. He was elected to parliament in 1935 and, ironically given his early ideas, was chosen to argue against Poland's claims on Slovak territory.
Sidor was also commander of the Hlinka Guard and had been touted as a successor to the priest, although this did not happen. He was given the position of Minister for Slovak Affairs by the Czechoslovakian government in 1938, a role which took him away from the radicals of the SPP, allowing Jozef Tiso to take control ahead of him. Wary of Nazi Germany, he rejected a move from Artur Seyss-Inquart to declare independence in 1939, leading to the Nazis concentrating their efforts on Tiso instead. Sidor served as Minister of the Interior for little over a month in 1939 before their pressure forced him out. Sidor was a strong anti-Semite but nevertheless he had reservations about the Nazis and would later serve in only the very minor role of Minister to the Holy See.
As the war ended he left Czechoslovakia for the west, ultimately settling in Montreal. He had initially been refused asylum by the Canadian government who considered him a persona non grata but they changed their minds in 1950 following the intervention of Pope Pius XII. Sidor had remained in the Vatican and his presence in Rome had become a source of some embarrassment to the Pope given Sidor's conduct in the war. He was sentenced in absentia to 20 years by a Czech court in 1947, although he died in Canada without serving the sentence.
- Philip Rees, Biographical Dictionary of the Extreme Right Since 1890, 1990, pp. 356-357
- Július Bartl, Slovak History: Chronology and Lexicon, Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers, 2002, p. 138
- Robert G. Weisbord & Wallace P. Sillanpoa, The Chief Rabbi, the Pope, and the Holocaust: An Era in Vatican-Jewish Relations, Transaction Publishers, 1992, p.87, n.58
- Mark Aarons and John Loftus, Ratlines: How the Vatican's Nazi Networks Betrayed Western Intelligence to the Soviets, William Heinemann, 1991, p. 222