Bring back borovieka- sodden Danglar
In regards to your article ("Boys next door buy Dubliner Irish pub", by Vojtech Špada, Vol. 6 No. 38, October 9-15), yeah, Sean's right, the Dubliner changed everything. A tacky, overpriced rip-off that's about as Irish as green beer.
Bring back Danglar, the borovieka-sodden dungeon on Hviezdoslavovo námestie. With its toxic, nicotine-impregnated ambience, it epitomised all that was groovy in Blava in the 1990s. I've never dodged flying glasses in a finer establishment - police raids and all.
Belfast, Northern Ireland
Communism not forgiven by all
The fact that some of the people who were interviewed for your article ("Russians find Slovaks bear no grudges", by Martina Pisárová, Vol. 6 No. 38, October 9-15) were not affected all that much by the system over the years or, as in the case of your Russian interviewees, feel unfairly implicated by association with the Warsaw Pact soldiers who ultimately invaded, cannot diminish the tragedy of August 21, 1968, nor of so many years of communist intolerance.
The indifference and rationalisation you encountered is especially disheartening when one considers that in other Eastern Bloc countries, action began almost immediately after 1989 to bring atonement to societies that were damaged by Marxism-Leninism, atonement for the countless destroyed hopes and dreams of people who simply wanted to live by their own personal philosophies but were prevented from doing so.
Thousands, if not millions, of people were officially and "legally" ridiculed, demoted, jailed, or worse, for wanting to live as they wished. Still others found that they could only leave. Families were wrenched apart. This was real suffering and it has not been forgotten by any one person who was affected by it, not one.
Although, thankfully, you found people who were not so sure all should be forgotten or forgiven just yet in modern-day Slovakia, it was sad to see that you also found so much equanimity before any real justice has been done for the suffering inflicted in Slovakia by 40 years of communism, be it by Russians or Slovaks or Czechs.
To be indifferent to the suffering of the many who stayed, as well as of those who had to leave, is in some ways criminal. At the very least, it is callous, and shows a disregard for a past that is not so far gone, certainly not far enough to be so lightly dismissed.
Moric speaks views of too many Slovaks
A few remarks on the Móric article ("MP charged with spreading hate" by Tom Nicholson, Vol. 6 No. 38, October 9 to 15).
Unfortunately, [far-right opposition MP Ví?azoslav] Móric is expressing a sentiment held by too many people. We used to be shocked by such remarks.
The social welfare system that exists today was a creation of some very bright people who unwittingly opened a pandora's box of problems. I'm sure that none of the creators of the system expected the kind of problems that the new system would cause. Because of the change to a market economy, and because of bias against the Roma, they were left without jobs, and isolated even more from society. Their situation naturally got worse because they now had no work, no responsibilities, very little money and too much free time. The government is giving them less and less money because it doesn't have money to give and resents every crown that it has to give out. A vicious circle that will get tighter and tighter if nothing changes.
World needs more Slovak films on video
I enjoyed your review of the latest Slovak film Krajinka ["Krajinka: Film aims to put Slovakia on film map" by Matthew J. Reynolds, Vol. 6 No. 38, October 9 to 15]. It sounds like a beautiful film, and I hope that it will eventually be released in U.S. theaters and on video, so we Slovak-Americans, and the American public, can enjoy it here.
If the producers of Krajinka want to put Slovakia on the film map, releasing the film on video would be another way to do it.
I am in charge of an college audiovisual library, and I am perennially disappointed that I cannot find Slovak films on video for purchase in this country (whereas plenty of Czech films are available). So far, I have been able to buy only "The Shop on Main Street" (Obchod na Korze).
If there is an entrepreneur in Slovakia who would be interested in marketing Slovak films in VHS format, I would think there would be many others interested.
Blue Bell, Pennsylvania