Intervention by CP of Slovakia

Intervention by CP of Slovakia,

First of all I would like to thank you for the opportunity to have a short speech on behalf of Communist party of Slovakia. My name is Michal Frič and I am a chairman of Socialist Union of Youth and I am a student. In my speech I will briefly inform you about interpretation of Second World War history at Slovak schools, in the beginning however I will clarify issues Communist party is stemming from.

This viewpoint is based on notion that huge concentration of capital as well as economical and political power, that overpowers the rest of the World, strengthens dictatorship of minority over majority. Growing dictatorship power obviously conflicts with democratic legacy of antifascist resistance and it’s not interested in promoting ideas of equality or fighting for human dignity. This fact is reflected at Slovak schools in two levels. In the first one it concerns relativism, or misrepresenting historical facts, on the second level we witness the process of reducing documents dealing with Second World War issues in educational process. Just to prove the above mentioned I will present several examples now:

Everything that was brought by socialist era started to be disputed in our society after 1989. Merit of those who had been connected with communist ideology in any way is being denied. Teaching about release of first atom bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, as about acts that crucially contributed to the end of the war, at Slovak schools is according to this sense. There is no reference about Red Army combats in Pacific. Western allies are being referred to as liberators whereas proceeding of Red army is interpreted as their ambition to include liberated areas in socialist bloc.

As far as Slovak territory is concerned situation is much more serious. After Munich agreement, that threw Czechoslovakia to Hitler as an easy prey, it became a vassal state of fascist Germany. After 1989 there are voices glorifying this Republic even in spite of the fact that its government directly supported the idea of "Jewish and Roma extermination" according to Nazi Germany model. Only for information – more than 70 000 Slovak Jews were killed in concentration camps. President of this state, catholic priest Tiso personally encouraged hatred against minorities and he did not hesitate to sign documents allowing transports to death camps, or to openly honor Nazi soldiers who fought back Slovak National uprising. On doubtful internet sites as well as in schools there are references about controversity of this person! To justify him following propositions are being used: ....“it would be someone else if not him,.....thanks to his collaboration with fascist Germany, many lives were saved.“ etc. At the same time his anti-Semitism and his own initiative to destroy minorities and representatives of antifascist resistance is being overlooked.

We should also warn against endeavor to criminalize guerilla activities and members of Red Army. Sometimes there is not involved objective pursuit to record horror and injustice of war, but more to create impression that guerilla forces were mainly gangsters or criminals and members of Red army barbarians coming from dugouts (underground shelters). Closely associated with this endeavors it is disputed significance of Slovak National uprising, second biggest after Yugoslavian one, that blocked important forces of German army and therefore made impossible for them to strengthen their defense on eastern as well as on western front.  

Above mentioned facts are more or less related to education at elementary and high schools. Situation is not much better at the university I am currently studying at. Ukrainian history lecturer does not hide his inclination to Benders, organization of Ukrainian nationalists, which killed many Slovak, Polish, Ukrainian and Russian citizens as well as citizens of Jewish nationality. Similarly, professor from Lithuania is more critical to Soviet occupation than to Lithuanian SS brigades and genocide of Jewish population (in capital Vilnius, before referred to as „Jerusalem of North“ 30% of population was Jewish, today there are only about 4000 Jews there).

Very important moment in Slovak educational system was enacting educational law that enables teachers to interpret more freely and even to influence creation of curriculum. Such a possibility apart from the fact that it limits thorough supervision of lectured curriculum cannot be guarantee of objectivity.

When we talk about objectivity it is obviously correct to view a subject from several viewpoints and to discuss it. However in the society where the truth is less than money it is being twisted, concealed or denied discussions about historical topics, that significantly influence present time should originate at academic and scientific ground. To create feeling of uncertainty regarding anti fascist legacy or relativisation of this legacy in learning process cannot bring anything positive for freedom and for keeping human rights for next generations. I don’t even talk about voices that are trying to compare ideology advocating equality of nations, races, genders, advocating freedom and social equality with fascism. At schools it is being taught about communist crimes and even though it has never existed here; children are educated in anticommunist spirit without ever learning during their studies about daily genocide on thousands and thousands inhabitants on our planet and its cause by  current imperialist and neofascist systems.

I think I will speak not only on behalf of Slovakia when I say that we teach young people at schools how to live as successfully as possible within framework of current systems instead of introduce them to actual humanism.