The central celebrations of the 65th anniversary of the Slovak National Uprising (SNP) took place in Banská Bystrica on Saturday, August 29 with high attendance despite rainy weather. Slovakia’s three top constitutional officials joined the celebrations and in their addresses following the wreath-laying ceremony at the SNP Memorial they underscored the importance of the Uprising as one of the most important events in the history of the Slovak nation, the SITA newswire wrote.
President Ivan Gašparovič said that the Uprising was a test of people’s character and the nation as well and Slovaks successfully passed it. He underscored that the solidarity shown in this period of Slovak history is unprecedented.
Speaker of Parliament Pavol Paška warned people not to succumb to opinions which cast doubts on what really happened at that time, saying it would be the path to hell. Paška underscored that the wartime Slovak state was not a good state, that Slovaks did not want fascism and that they joined the Uprising not because they were forced to do so but because they believed it.
Prime Minister Robert Fico said that participants in the Uprising showed courage to live their own truth. The prime minister underscored that August 21, 1968 and his cabinet's decision to pull out Slovak troops from Iraq followed this spirit. He said that Slovakia’s decision to not recognise Kosovo as an independent country is in the same category of decisions.
Guests at the official SNP celebrations were its direct participants, member of the Slovak Union of Anti-Fascist Fighters, the Deputy Chairman of Russia's Duma, Alexander Babakov, representatives of 24 foreign embassies based in Slovakia, parliamentary deputies, cabinet ministers and other officials.
Slovakia has been celebrating the SNP anniversary on August 29 as its national holiday since the end of World War II.
In the face of Nazi German troops entering Slovakia on August 29, 1944 and because of the increasing anti-Fascist pressure on the puppet regime that governed the country, the Central Command of the Slovak Army ordered its troops to begin armed resistance, thus starting the SNP. Most Slovak historians consider the Uprising the fight for the basic values of a democratic society by the allied forces that defeated Nazi Germany. SITA
Compiled by Jana Liptáková from press reports
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