President Čaputová: The path of hatred leads to tragedies and crimes

The president and the prime minister commemorated the inhabitants of Ostrý Grúň and Kľak killed during WWII.

The commemorative event in the village of Kľak.The commemorative event in the village of Kľak. (Source: TASR)

Fascism fosters rage and contempt in people. It uses politics, which should manage public affairs in the public's interest, to organise hatred, said President Zuzana Čaputová on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the burning down of the villages of Ostrý Grúň and Kľak (Banská Bystrica Region) during WWII.

The president, together with PM Peter Pellegrini (Smer), commemorated the tragedy, when the Nazi troops together with their Slovak minions killed 148 inhabitants of the two villages on January 21, 1945. It was said to be a vengeful act against those fighting in the uprising.

Fascist tendencies persist

“Today, fascism is sponging on the feeling of social and economic injustice that impacted a number of our fellow citizens,” Čaputová said, as quoted by the TASR newswire.

Back in the 1920s and 1930s, many people thought that hateful words would not cross a certain line. They were wrong.

“History has taught us where the path of hatred and expulsion leads if society takes it,” Čaputová continued. “It’s a path towards tragedies and crimes, like those that happened in Kľakovská dolina valley.”

It is important to remember these events and commemorate them regularly since the ideas of fascism have not died out yet.

“These tendencies still persist here, and it’s very important to remember what it means and that it brings great suffering,” Čaputová said, adding that any spread of hatred is dangerous.

Pellegrini: We send a clear signal

Pellegrini added that we are living in times where fascist ideas are coming back to life again, finding their way to people. Thus, it is important not to resign on democratic values and the desire of our predecessors for freedom.

It is important to resist the temptation of quick promises that do not bring any real solutions. These can be achieved only with cooperation and tolerance.

“I’m glad that together with Madame President, we’re sending a clear signal today that this perverse ideology, which started these tragic events, will never get to power in Slovakia, and these events will never happen again,” Pellegrini said, as quoted by TASR.

This year, Pellegrini wants to launch a nationwide project of restoring all military graves and memorials in places where the toughest fights during the war took place to commemorate 75 years since the end of WWII.

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