Budaj Wants Two Days to Commemorate Soviet Occupation and Its End

Budaj Wants Two More Commemorative Days in Slovakia (photo by TASR)

Bratislava, October 31 (TASR) – The number of commemorative days in Slovakia might increase, since MP Jan Budaj (OLaNO-NOVA) is suggesting two more days to commemorate the Soviet occupation and its end, Budaj told a news conference on Monday.

Budaj wants August 21 to be included in an amendment to the law on national and public holidays and commemorative days as a way to remember the Warsaw troops’ invasion of the former Czechoslovakia in 1968. He also wants June 21 to be included as a day to remember the departure of the last Soviet convoy from Czechoslovakia.

Budaj thinks it is important to remember that Slovakia is not an occupied country and that people were freed from the occupation thanks to their own efforts. “These are the events that remind us of the human face of Alexander Dubcek and of a national story that deserves to have its days of commemoration,” said Budaj.

Budaj recalled that Czechoslovakia’s occupation started on August 21, 1968 and that the last convoy left our territory on June 21, 1990. He referred to the hundreds of people who died or suffered injuries during the occupation, as well as the thousands of people who emigrated following the occupation. “August 21 was an extremely painful date for people of that time,” said Budaj.

In connection with June 21, 1990, Budaj said that 73,500 soldiers and their 39,000 family members finally left our territory that summer. “They had 1,220 tanks, 2,500 armoured fighting vehicles and armoured carriers, 105 planes, 175 helicopters and 95,000 tons of ammunition here,” stressed Budaj.

Budaj also wants to find a way to bring a national cemetery to Bratislava. At the moment Slovakia only has the one in Martin (Zilina region). However, Budaj thinks that the capital should also have a national cemetery. It should be Bratislava’s Ondrejsky Cemetery.