AFTER a trial run which has lasted since November 2012, the Museum of Communism in Bratislava will open on regular basis on March 25, 2013, the 25th anniversary of the Candle Demonstration in 1988 which presaged the Velvet Revolution of the following year.
František Neupauer of the Nenápadní hrdinovia / Undistinguished Heroes civic association, which founded and now manages the museum, informed the TASR newswire that it was still looking for support to fund the costs of at least one permanent employee. “We still work on the basis of various volunteers,” he told TASR. Currently, the museum is open each Thursday between 9:00 and 15:00 and is located at Námestie slobody 3, near the new Government Office building.
“Our museum will offer space for meetings between young people and former political prisoners,” Neupauer said,” as well as recordings of the voices of those who survived the times of lack of freedom.” He added that specific artefacts connected with the totalitarian regime will be the focus of attention too – but the biggest stress will be laid on the victims. “Our goal is to gradually publish these stories, and not only through the eyes of historians, but also those of the young. Through the project, we have already recorded almost 80 stories of ‘undistinguished heroes’, seen through the eyes of 200 young people,” Neupauer added. He added that the museum is not bound to a single site; he intends to take young museum visitors to the distinctive police headquarters known as ‘U dvoch levov’ (‘At the Two Lions’, on Špitálska) and the “Februárka” building (another infamous police station, on Račianska). “In these buildings, people were persecuted, and thus we want to present here the stories of those who helped restore freedom with their stances and deeds,” he added.
During its trial operation, the museum was visited by people from Hungary, but also from Nicaragua and even Papua New Guinea, as well as by former dissident and Christian Democratic Movement (KDH) MP František Mikloško, current KDH leader Ján Figeľ, head of the Confederation of Political Prisoners Anton Srholec and Catholic Bishop Róbert Bezák.
25. Mar 2013 at 15:30 | Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská