Slovakia marked the 63rd anniversary of the Slovak National Uprising on August 29. See story on Page 9.
More than 500 people attended the main commemorations in Banská Bystrica on SNP Day, August 29, with a wreath-laying cermony at the SNP Museum. President Ivan Gašparovič and Prime Minister Robert Fico were also there, the SITA newswire wrote. Top politicians highlighted in their speeches the importance of the uprising in Slovak history. Speaker of Parliament Pavol Paška said people should remember the common people who took weapons in their hands and joined the uprising, and not utter pathetic phrases to mark the anniversary.
"They did not make this sacrifice with pathos, but naturally because they felt that this was a question of values," said Paška.
Fico spoke about the division of Slovak society, which is visible throughout the country's history. He criticised the media for supporting this division when they pit one historical event against another or search for frailties in important historical figures.
"The Slovak National Uprising should be the historical milestone that joins Slovaks," Fico said in his speech, the TASR newswire wrote.
Since the end of the Second World War, Slovakia has celebrated the SNP anniversary as its national holiday. With German Nazi troops entering what is today the Slovak Republic, on August 29, 1944, the military headquarters ordered the army to begin armed resistance, because of the increasing anti-fascist pressure on the puppet government that headed the country during the war. That was the start of the uprising. The SNP was one of the most significant actions of the European anti-fascist resistance. For two months, about 50,000 German soldiers were busy fighting the uprising and suffered considerable losses, so they could not be used in other Second World War battles.
Even though the wartime Slovakia was allied with Nazi Germany, through the uprising, the Slovak nation joined in the struggle against fascism.
(Compiled by Jana Liptáková from press reports)
3. Sep 2007 at 0:00