BRATISLAVA travelled back 69 years in time on May 8, with military history enthusiasts re-enacting the battle to liberate the city from fascist occupation in the city centre, the TASR newswire reported.

The timing of the event was not accidental, as the re-enactment took place on a public holiday commemorating the end of World War II.

"We've chosen a fragment of history in which a [Russian] reconnaissance unit enters the city and approaches the German troops," said one of the event's organisers Igor Ballo of a NGO called Sahara, as quoted by TASR.

The clashes of April 1945 claimed the lives of approximately 740 Soviet and some 470 German and Hungarian servicemen, plus more than 100 civilians. Thursday's re-enactment featured nearly 60 members of several military history clubs.

It is of utmost importance for people continually to remind themselves of what happened in the past, as many people tend to idealise bygone days, Ballo stated.

"People can't imagine history as real events. Battles were full of brutality and animosity. Soldiers were dragged out [from buildings] and shot in the head. Until this battle, Bratislava hadn't even been aware of what real warfare looked like. But these clashes were really cruel," stressed Ballo in an interview with TASR.

Source: TASR

Compiled by Michaela Terenzani from press reports.
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information
presented in its Flash News postings.