Blog: 30 years after the Velvet Revolution, we still haven't found a Slovak original

November 17, 1989 was all about giving another chance to dreams stolen in 1948 and 1968.

Illustrative stock photoIllustrative stock photo(Source: SME)

Andrea Sadloňová is a Slovak-born scientist who returned home after 19 years in the USA.

On November 17, 1989, my parents were in their early 40s, my current age. In 1968 they were in their early 20s, close to the age when I left Slovakia in 1996. I frequently think about the parallels in our lives to find clues on how to live my life in Slovakia after I returned in 2015.

During communism, most professional opportunities were dependent on whether you were associated with the Communist Party. My closest family was not, so our "trajectory" was given.

Related articleGetting Personal with Slovakia and Czechia Read more 

The population was divided into preferred and non-preferred groups. For example, my grandparents were set on a successful business path in the postwar era of the 1940s. They were in their 20s and 30s and they did well building their small business. They were dedicated to each other, worked hard, loved their young family. As I heard, they were able to pay off a business loan in a few years and buy a house. During nationalisation in the early 1950s they experienced severe restrictions and their business was expropriated. They lost their professional dream of building something of their own. They did not give up and instead focused on building a family and hoped that their children would have a better future.

The rest of this article is premium content at
Subscribe now for full access

I already have subscription - Sign in

Subscription provides you with:
  • Immediate access to all locked articles (premium content) on
  • Special weekly news summary + an audio recording with a weekly news summary to listen to at your convenience (received on a weekly basis directly to your e-mail)
  • PDF version of the latest issue of our newspaper, The Slovak Spectator, emailed directly to you
  • Access to all premium content on and

Get daily Slovak news directly to your inbox

The processing of personal data is subject to our Privacy Policy and the Cookie Policy. Before submitting your e-mail address, please make sure to acquaint yourself with these documents.

Theme: Velvet Revolution

Read more articles by the topic

Top stories

Two years since the murder: How the Kuciak case changed Slovakia

The far-reaching consequences of the murder: What happened in Slovakia between February 2018 and now.

Illustrative stock photo

Several events will commemorate two years since the murders of Kuciak and Kušnírová

The gatherings organised by For a Decent Slovakia will be held in more than 50 places.

Ján Kuciak and Martina Kušnírová remembered by diplomatic community

The investigative journalist and his fiancée were murdered two years ago, on February 21.

The diplomatic community lights candles in memory of Ján Kuciak and Martina Kušnírová near the Visitation of Virgin Mary Church on SNP Square.

They tried to exploit Sagan’s name in a scam. Lies, he responds

The scam promised the quick earning of money and without risk.

Peter Sagan rejoices after his victory at TdF, July 8