A commemorative event was held in Bratislava on Friday, August 19, devoted to the victims of the Warsaw Pact invasion to what was then Czechoslovakia. The invasion began on August 21, 1968. The chairman of the Slovak Confederation of Political Prisoners Anton Srholec said that it is still important to commemorate the August 21 events in order to realise how fragile Slovaks' freedom is. "This is the day when we praise freedom in order to understand how delicate it is," Srholec said, as quoted by the SITA newswire, at the remembrance event, which took place beside a commemorative plaque installed on Comenius University's Law School building. The plaque lists the victims who died on the first day of the invasion.
"Forgive but don't forget," President Ivan Gašparovič said, as quoted by the TASR newswire, as he laid wreaths to the victims of the Soviet-led 1968 invasion.
The invasion of Czechoslovakia by five Warsaw Pact armies – from the Soviet Union, Bulgaria, East Germany, Hungary and Poland – took place on the night of August 20/21, 1968. The operation was designed to halt the political reforms of the Czechoslovak Communist Party regime headed by Alexander Dubček. More than 100 Slovaks and Czechs were killed during the invasion, which thwarted the hopes of the Prague Spring reform movement of 1968.
Sources: SITA, TASR
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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22. Aug 2011 at 14:00