30. 08. 2019 14:24
Thousands of people were in attendance celebrating the 75th anniversary of the Slovak National Uprising against Nazi rule, a key milestone in Slovak history which was centred in Banská Bystrica. Included among those attending were the last remaining veterans of the war. Along with the highest constitutional representatives of the Slovak Republic, representatives of diplomatic missions from 43 countries also attended the event. President Zuzana Čaputová, Speaker of Parliament Andrej Danko, and Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini addressed the crowd. The celebrations culminated with a military parade involving 500 service people.
President Čaputová stated in her address that thanks to the uprising, the tradition of anti-fascism entered into Slovakia's national and state 'birth certificate', adding however that although Slovaks currently live in peace, there are still threats within the country that can't be ignored, including the threat that plurality itself can become an obstacle to cooperation. Prime Minister Pellegrini warned against the modern descendants of Nazi fascism, stating that today's youth need to be taught that Nazism was definitively defeated in WWII. Today's extremists are increasingly more sophisticated, he said, refining their rhetoric and disguising it in traditional values in their efforts to attract young people in particular. "This might sound trivial especially to the younger generations," he added, "but people [involved in the uprising] were losing their lives in Slovak entrenchments and forests. It was no computer game but a real fight for dear life." Andrej Danko in his remarks also warned against extremism, which he said can be found not only in modern fascism but also in 'classic liberalism' - both of which, he said, manipulate and lie to people in an effort to take control of their thinking and of Slovakia. Opposition parties Sas, We are Family and Olano all made statements characterizing the Slovak National Uprising as among the most important events in Slovakia's history.