The year 1968 in the memory policy in Slovakia Cover Image

Rok 1968 v pamäťovej politike na Slovensku
The year 1968 in the memory policy in Slovakia

Author(s): Peter Jašek
Subject(s): History, Cultural history, Political history, Recent History (1900 till today), Post-War period (1950 - 1989), Transformation Period (1990 - 2010), Present Times (2010 - today), History of Communism
Published by: AV ČR - Akademie věd České republiky - Ústav pro soudobé dějiny
Keywords: Slovak Republic; 1968; Soviet intervention; historical policy; historical memory; lieux de mémoire;

Summary/Abstract: The article is based on a presentation delivered at the conference "The Prague Spring 50 Years After: Great Crises of Communist Régimes in Central Europe in a Transnational Perspective", which took place in Prague in June 2018. The author maps Slovakia’s policy of memory and social reflections related to events in 1968, in particular the democratization process taking place at that time and the occupation of Czechoslovakia by Warsaw Pact armies, as well as Slovak personalities connected with the events. He monitors manifestations of these reflections in Slovak historiography, art, and culture, particularly as related to the creation and installation of memorial plaques and memorials in the public space. In this respect, he focuses mainly on cases prompting a wide controversy, such as the plaque commemorating victims of the occupation in Košice or the bust of Vasil Biľak (1917–2014), a Communist politician, advocate of the Soviet intervention, and leading representative of the so-called normalization regime in his home village. He also mentions events taking place in Slovakia on the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of 1968, which have helped increase the general awareness of them, including publications, thematic exhibitions, and remembrances of victims of the occupation. The author concludes that although the year 1968 is one of the most researched topics of the Slovak post war-history in Slovak historiography, it is much less reflected in audiovisual arts.

  • Issue Year: XXVI/2019
  • Issue No: 4
  • Page Range: 540-557
  • Page Count: 18
  • Language: Slovak