Čaputová: We urgently need plurality to not be an obstacle for cooperation

Slovakia marked the 75th anniversary of the Slovak National Uprising.

SNP Museum in Banská BystricaSNP Museum in Banská Bystrica (Source: SITA)

The flight of military aircraft and laying the wreaths started the central commemoration marking the 75th anniversary of the start of the Slovak National Uprising (SNP).

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Visitors were addressed by President Zuzana Čaputová, Speaker of Parliament Andrej Danko, PM Peter Pellegrini and other guests who paid tribute to those fighting in the SNP.

Also the representatives of diplomatic corps from 43 countries, and some participants of SNP were present.

President: Slovakia is a state with an anti-fascist tradition

All that is dear to us – the right to life, freedom and the national and state existence – was at stake during the SNP, Čaputová said in her speech. The president thanked all those who 75 years ago had the courage to fight for the preservation of humanity, the rescue of European civilisation, their homeland and the free lives of its people.

"I very much wish that we'll find enough courage and determination as they did to defend the values of democracy, the rule of law, freedom, justice and human dignity," Čaputová said, as quoted by the TASR newswire. "In the conditions we live here and now."

Slovakia is a state with an anti-fascist tradition, she continued.

"Thanks to the uprising, [this tradition] was entered into our national and state 'birth certificate'," Čaputová said, as quoted by TASR, adding that although we live in peace, there are still threats in the country that can't be ignored.

There are serious threats in this period, just like there were serious threats in any other, according to her.

"When compared to the uprising generation we're lucky that we don't have to fight with arms against a Nazi machinery seeking world domination," the president said, as quoted by TASR. "But we'd be lying to ourselves if we were refusing to admit that there are still threats, after 75 years. We urgently need plurality to not be an obstacle for cooperation."

Pellegrini: Young need to be taught Nazism was defeated in WW II

Extremists are increasingly more sophisticated, refine their rhetoric and disguise it in traditional values. When it comes to their political ambitions they’re trying to attract especially young people, Pellegrini said in his speech. This is the reason why we should teach the young tolerance and show them how far fascism can go, he added.

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"Let’s teach them that an ideology which sought world domination and was shamelessly determining who’s superhuman, which races are inferior and who has or hasn’t the right to live was definitively defeated in WW II," Pellegrini said, as quoted by TASR. "In the spirit of this lesson we must stand against every ideology whose representatives are willing to destroy everything they hate.

He noted that posts inciting violence and distorting historical facts are being spread on social media. All those who participated in the uprising ought to be respected by the whole society, he added.

Danko warned against succumbing to either fascist or liberal extremism

Danko warned in his speech against extremism, lies and propaganda. According to him, there are two kinds of extremism: the fascist one and the 'classic liberal' one. He asked the people not to succumb to either of them.

Danko also pointed out the courage and sacrifice of those who fought in the SNP. At the same time, he expressed his respect for the last socialist president of Czechoslovakia Gustáv Husák, as reported by TASR.

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Danko stressed that people can’t let themselves be manipulated by lies taken out of context in the age of the internet. Propaganda and manipulation are still present, according to him.

Anti-fascist flag raised on Primate's Palace in Bratislava

The city had raised on the same day an anti-fascist flag on the former Primate’s Palace where the mayor of Bratislava seats, Bratislava Mayor Matúš Vallo informed the media on August 29.

"We stand behind the message of the Slovak National Uprising and Slovakia’s anti-fascist tradition," stated the mayor, as quoted by TASR.

The flag will stay there for the remainder of the day.

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