Slovakia will have a new state holiday. It will not be a day off, though

List of memorial days will also expand.

Illustrative stock photoIllustrative stock photo (Source: Unsplash)

The establishment of the first Czechoslovak Republic is among the most important milestones in the history of modern Slovakia. While the neighbouring Czech Republic celebrates it as a national holiday, Slovakia has been listing it only as a memorial day.

This will change next year as the parliament adopted two amendments to the law on national holidays, non-working days and memorial days, giving the green light to the proposal of making October 28 a state holiday. However, it will not be listed as a non-working day, the SITA newswire reported.

Read also:Czechoslovakia was saving grace for Slovaks Read more 

Before the break-up of Czechoslovakia, October 28 was celebrated as a national holiday. It dropped from the list after the creation of independent Slovakia in 1993, and was not even marked as a memorial day. This changed only in 1999.

Four new memorial days

Apart from new state holiday, the amendment is expanding the list of memorial days. Four days will be added, including the Day of Remembrance of Victims of the Communist Regime. It should commemorate the events of June 24, 1954, when Silvester Krčméry said during the trial in Trenčín that “You have power in your arms, but we have the truth!”

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Krčméry deserves to become a symbol of the fight for freedom in modern Slovak history, OĽaNO MPs opined.

“He steadfastly followed his beliefs and proved that an internally powerful individual could undermine the stability of a seemingly strong totalitarian regime,” they noted, as quoted by SITA.

Samizdat Day

Moreover, the Day of Foreign Slovaks, which falls on July 5, will be renamed the Day of Slovaks Living Abroad.

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October 12 will become the memorial Samizdat Day. It should pay respect to the bravery and heroism of those who in any era of oppression, but mainly between 1948 and 1989 during communism, were threatened with the persecution of state bodies or suffered from it, only because they wanted to practise their fundamental human rights and freedoms.

June 21 will be added to the list of memorial days, as the Day of the Departure of Occupation Troops of the Soviet Army from Czechoslovakia in 1991, while August 21 will be marked as the Day of Victims of the Invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968.

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