Recently Slovakians were celebrating 20th anniversary of the Candle Manifestation.
On the 25th March 1988 more than 2.000 people gathered in “Hviezdoslavovo námestie” – main square in Bratislava to show their internal freedom, freedom from fear, from communist terror. They held in their hands fired candles.
In Slovakia opposition was grounded in and supported by Catholic Church, unlike in Czech Republic, most members of Slovakian opposition were catholics, whom supported part of Catholic Church hierarchy. After the Second World War Slovakian catholics were severely persecuted by communist regime.
After the long period of apathy connected to suppressing the “Prague spring” in 1968 – prodemocratic movement on behalf of the real freedom, Slovakian society dared to show their stance toward communist government. They started to demand real religious freedom, preventing the government from interference in the internal matters of the Catholic church and last but not least – obeying the human rights by the state.
As in many other similar manifestations in communist countries militia extremely brutally dispersed peaceful demonstration with using truncheons, water cannons, many demonstrators were cruelly beaten. Afterwards Slovakian secret service started apprehensions on a large scale. Many manifestation’s participants were persecuted for their brave behaviour.
Let’s pay tribute to all members of that manifestation, all persons engaged in democratic movement and persecuted in Slovakia during communist period.
******* All the pictures above were taken from the website of Slovakian magazine “Tyzden” – http://www.tyzden.sk