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The Candle of memory

In Slovakia were held events in the memoryof the Soviet soldiers-liberators.


The 22d of June, 1941 is a tragic day in thehistory of our country. On this day, the Great Patriotic War had started. Itlasted for 1,418 days and nights, and killed 26.6 million Soviet citizens - military personnel and civilianswho died from hunger, cold, bombing, mass genocide which had been conducted bythe invaders on the Soviet territory. Since 1996, the first day of the war wasdeclared  as a memorable date - "Dayof Remembrance and Sorrow"

At 4 o'clock in the morning - it was at thishour exactly 75 years ago, Hitler's army descended on the Soviet Union - incities and towns of our country have been held mass mourning ceremonies.

Commemorative events, on which wereremembered the victims during the most terrible war, took place not only inRussia but also in many other countries.

The ceremony was traditionally held in thecapital of Slovakia at the world famous Memorial on the Mount Slavin. Here areburied 6,845 soldiers and officers of the Soviet Army who fell in battles forthe liberation Slovakia from the Nazis. At the foot of the majestic monument,towering over Bratislava, was held the ceremony of laying wreaths and flowerson behalf of the Russian Embassy, the Union of Russian in Slovakia, the youthorganization of bikers "Night Slovakian wolves" and other Slovak  public and international organizations.Wreaths and flowers were also laid by partners of "Russian news" -the European Fund of Slavic Literature and Culture, the European Academy ofSecurity and Conflictology, headed by Professor Igor Bondarenko.

In Slovakia, a memorial was declared as thenational cultural monument. Memorial was built in 1960. Its authors were thefamous Slovak sculptor Alexander Trizulyak and architect Jan Svetlik. Theheight of the stele is 39.5 m. and on the top it has a bronze figure of aSoviet soldier with a deployed banner . Currently, the monument is protected bythe state. At night, the stele is illuminated by hundreds of spotlights and isvisible from almost all parts of the historical part of the Bratislava.

Care for preserving the memory of Sovietsoldiers in Slovakia is carried out on almost all levels.

In the assembly hall of the Russian Centerof Science and Culture in Bratislava was held a meeting of the Slovak public.The representatives of Slovak biker club "Night Wolves", who werepresented on the event, showed on the eve of the Day of Victory a copy of aVictory Banner, that was hoisted in May 1945 over the defeated Reichstag,and  which they have brought  across several borders. A documentary film"Remember ..." was shown. It was created by Slovak filmdocumentalists and dedicated for preserving the memory of the soldiers andcommanders of the Red Army on Slovak land. The locals carefully refer to thetombs and graves of Soviet soldiers. They quite often establish monuments andOrthodox crosses for their own expenses. A lot was being done to find and toimmortalize the names of the fallen soldiers. This work is very painstaking andrequires a lot of time. However, every year in Slovakia becomes less unmarkedgraves. Of course there might be some mistakes. Thus, explorers found a part ofthe hand, which was covered by the soil and with the documents clutched in it.Thanks to the examination  of thosedocuments, explorers determined the name of a soldier. With all relying honorsalong with the remains of other soldiers the part of the hand was buried, andon the tomb was written the name of the soldier. However, it soon became clearthat the veteran, whose documents were found is still alive. During theexplosion in the battle he lost his brush, in which he had clutched hisdocuments ...

All guests of the Russian Centre of Scienceand Culture honoured with the minute of silence the memory of all people whogave their lives for our peacefull future. According to the Slovak tradition a Candle of Memory was lighted.



Author- Dmitry Klimov, Bratislava