The gains of 1989 cannot be taken for granted

The language of its memories is velvety, but our non-violent revolution required real effort.

Bringing down the Iron Curtain in Devin near Bratislava, December 1989. Bringing down the Iron Curtain in Devin near Bratislava, December 1989. (Source: TASR)

Welcome to your weekly commentary and overview of news from Slovakia. The anniversary of the Velvet Revolution is coming up. Slovak police boss refuses to “kill Schengen”. No sanctions were violated by exports to Russia, authorities say. We have an interview with the economy minister, and a look back at a Slovak pilot in the Royal Air Force.

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On November 17 Slovaks and Czechs mark the anniversary of the Velvet Revolution, a series of events that toppled the communist regime in 1989. In both countries, which back then still functioned as one state, Czechoslovakia, the national holiday marked on this anniversary is officially called the Day of the Fight for Freedom and Democracy.

Translations of the official name of the holiday vary, a simple Google search reveals. It is also called the Day of the Struggle for Freedom and Democracy, or more plainly Freedom and Democracy Day. In the context of 2022, the nuances of translation seem to loom larger than they once did.

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