An event commemorating the victims from the ranks of political prisoners, with Roman Catholic archbishop of Trnava Róbert Bezák blessing a symbolical grave of an unknown political prisoner persecuted by the Communist regime, took place at the former prison cemetery in Leopoldov in Trnava Region on Saturday, August 21, the TASr newswire reported.
The symbolic grave has been unveiled in authentic form, as Communists used to bury political prisoners – without a name and cross, featuring only a peg with the number of the prisoner. The national commemorative event, which was attended by several dozen people, was organised by the Confederation of Political Prisoners and the General Directorate of the Prisoner and Justice Guard Corps, TASR wrote.
Attendees laid flowers under the commemorative plaque at the gate of the Leopoldov prison. The plaque was unveiled in 1999 by the-then justice minister and former dissident Ján Čarnogurský. Last year, another plaque was placed at the prison cemetery and accompanied special plaques dedicated to Greek Catholic bishop Pavol Peter Gojdič and monk Metod Dominik Trčka, who both died in Leopoldov and were buried only under their prisoner number.
Almost half a million arrests of political prisoners took place in Czechoslovakia between 1948 and 1989. Around 70,000 of them were rehabilitated in Slovakia after the fall of the Communist regime in November 1989 and only 3,000 of them are still alive.
The high-security prison in Leopoldov is the oldest prison facility in Slovakia. It was built between 1665 and 1669 as an anti-Turk fortress at the initiative of the Holy Roman Emperor Leopold I. In the 1950s, the prison was the most dreaded of its kind in Czechoslovakia, along with the Jáchymov uranium mines in western Bohemia.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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23. Aug 2010 at 14:00