The President honored the heroes of the World War II in Makov
On Tuesday, May 8, at the initiative of President Andrej Kiska and in cooperation with the Armed Forces of the Slovak Republic, the Day of Victory over Fascism in the village of Makov at the Memorial of the 1st Czechoslovak Partisan Brigade of Jan Žižka took place.
On this occasion, on the 73rd anniversary of the end of World War II, President Andrej Kiska awarded distinctions and honors to Slovak and Czech war veterans.
The President awarded the State Medal of the President of the SR to Naděžda Brůhová, Věra Holubeva, Miloslav Masopusta and Josef Kaufman.
With the medal of gratitude the President of the Slovak Republic honored the deeds of Jozef Glembo, Martin Kolárik, Matej Valocký and Jaroslav Prokop.
President Andrej Kiska’s speech:
“We have come to the border of the Czech and Slovak Republics, in the last liberated village on our territory in World War II, to remember the most important victory in the modern history of our two countries and throughout Europe.
The defeat of fascism and Nazism was not only a great military victory in the bloodiest conflict of the 20th century. It was a victory for a European civilization that respects every person’s dignity; victory of hope for the future in a free and democratic society; and victory for the opportunity to live in a world where every human life has value.
The ideologies of evil — Fascism and Nazism — left behind tens of millions of victims of war and targeted genocide across peoples and nationalities throughout Europe and the world. Every single victim of World War II was a painful witness of the cruelty and humiliation individuals and communities were capable of committing, which they perceived to be progressive, modern, and advanced.
Ravaged lands, crippled countries, and the next four decades of life behind the Iron Curtain, showed us how fragile the border between civilization and barbarism is. It showed us how high is the cost when we retreat to evil, when we ignore the manifestations of hatred and fanaticism when we stop respecting the values of freedom, humanism and democracy.
On 8 May 1945, 73 years ago, people in Europe won a battle for their own but also for our survival. Today we have come here to thank them for their dedication, bravery and perseverance.
We honor the soldiers of the 1st Czechoslovak Army Corps, the famous Red Army, the Romanian Army who fought on the territory of Slovakia, the partisans, members of the domestic resistance and allies on the Eastern Front.
We remember the victims of the Nazi and fascist murders, men and women who fell on the European fronts and never returned home to enjoy their victories and peace with their loved ones.
I am extremely proud that as president of the Slovak Republic today I can appreciate the direct participants in the struggles for the liberation of the territory of our country. I am glad to thank you — ladies and gentlemen — for the courage to face evil on behalf of all the people who live in Slovakia today.
I am proud to be the head of a state whose honor of freedom, respect for the dignity of every human being, can be built on such solid foundations like your personal heroic acts in the fight against fascism and Nazism.
)Our duty, which we have been answering to for 73 years, is to protect peace and freedom in Europe. The reason why we remember the terrible events of World War II and the great victory over the ideology of evil every year is our role to prevent harm to innocents again. So that hatred of minorities, prejudice toward other cultures or religions, contempt for human dignity, do not become a political agenda. So that the new or old-fashioned ideology of evil does not lead to the next generation of Europeans fighting for survival, a bloody struggle for its own civilization based on the values of freedom, democracy, tolerance and solidarity.
This year we celebrate 25 years of a modern democratic Slovak Republic. We remember the centenary of the founding of the common democratic state of the Czechs and Slovaks. In our history there are many strong moments, a number of important elements on which we can build the successful story of an open, free and tolerant society.
Today we do not have to fight for our life on war fronts. Also, thanks to the heroes of the victorious struggle against fascism and Nazism, we have everything we need as a modern society to make meaningful use of the gift of freedom we received from them 73 years ago.
So it is our daily duty to manage the country whose territory was liberated 73 years ago in a bloody war. It is our duty to foster mutual tolerance, respect for liberty and human rights; to strengthen cohesion in our society; to build people’s trust step-by-step in justice and determination; to overcome the obstacles we face in Slovakia and throughout Europe together; and not allow individuals or entire communities to feel weak, defeated, forgotten and humiliated in our country.
The effort to manage our country well, to act in the public interest, to work in the name of a viable and safe, free and just Slovakia, is the only way to honestly honor the memory of those who sacrificed themselves so that we can live in peace.”