Slovak National Uprising Monument in Bratislava. This commemorates the brave resistance fighters who rose against the Tisoite clerico-fascists and the German Nazis. They failed… but their bravery is an inspiration for future generations.
A Carpatho-Russian friend sent me the following, and it set me to work to find appropriate essays and images. God willing, I hope that this fills the bill, at least slightly. It is the least that I can do for a people that I respect and esteem highly.
Is there any reportage on Victory Day in Slovakia? Specifically, who talks about the story of the Battle of Dukla Pass? THOUSANDS of Rusnak and Lemko Carpatho-Russians died fighting the Germans there. They KNEW German rule. To fight for the USSR was to fight for “Russkost” and Orthodoxy.
Moreover, it paid off. After the victory, the Unia was abolished and extremist Ukrainian nationalism throttled. Our people, FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER, were full citizens on their own soil. They got education, housing, health care, and infrastructure for the first time too!
I knew a Carpatho-Russian Jewish woman who was a young girl then and fought as a partisan, she picked-off Nazis from tree branches in Eastern Slovakia. She remembered how SAFE the Jews felt when the Soviet troops hoisted their flag in her village. She told me that the Red Army soldiers were very reverent towards the village church and priest and that their commanding officer thundered, “Father, your church is now open. Go serve your Orthodox people. You’re free to do whatever you wish… it’s OK as long as you don’t involve yourself or the church in political matters”. He then entered the church and venerated the icons before leaving. Later, the soldiers erected a nice wooden Russian Cross beside the church. That church thrived until the Uniates violated it in 1968 and then closed it in 1991.
A Coal Cracker
Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico (1964- ) at Victory over Fascism Day ceremonies in Bratislava
Háj-Nicovô celebrates Victory over Fascism Day
For the first time, the laying of a wreath at the memorial of the First Czechoslovak Army in the military cemetery of Háj-Nicovô in Liptovský Mikuláš opened the nationwide celebration of Victory over Fascism Day. “I salute not only the thinning ranks of living veterans, but also those who fought for freedom and are no longer with us. We appreciate the exertion and sacrifices paid by the liberators so that our citizens would have their long-awaited freedom”, Mayor Ján Blcháč said. Prime Minister Robert Fico in his speech stressed that we must pay homage to the freedom fighters. “We must build patriotic self-esteem; therefore, upon the recommendations of military experts and historians we selected Háj-Nicovô as the place where we would begin our nationwide celebration”. He noted that, in contemporary Europe, the most fashionable colour is now black. “Members of extremist movements choose to clothe themselves [in this colour]. Is this just a media-promoted fashion, a creature of advertising, or are Slovak youth consciously using spiritually corrosive symbols?” the prime minister asked. Veterans, government officials, as well as ambassadors and staff from four dozen embassies participated in the celebrations on the World War II battlefield. Fighters and helicopters flew over the site of the ceremony. In addition, commemorative medals were given to towns, villages, and veterans of the antifascist resistance. Approximately three thousand people attended the ceremony.
8 May 2010
A Slovak vet in Bratislava
“The victory over Hitlerite fascism was a common fight against terrorism”
“The victory of the Anti-Hitler Coalition over fascism in May 1945 meant that the forces of good triumphed over evil, and that justice defeated iniquity”. President Dmitri Medvedev said that at a festive reception in the Kremlin on 9 May in honour of the 65th anniversary of the Great Victory over the Hitlerite Nazis, whose terrible ideology condemned whole nations either to death or to enslavement. He also said, “The lessons of World War II should immunise us against Nazism, and we should build strong security systems with the participation of a range of different countries and peoples”.
According to Jozef Migaš, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Slovak Republic in the Russian Federation, the truth about the Second World War, both its heroes and villains, make it easier for us to understand the lessons taught us by the huge price paid for victory over fascism. In an interview with VOR, he said, “Peace is very fragile; violence lies in wait for us. Evil gains strength, if you disregard it or retreat before its horrors! That is something that, unfortunately, happens. Only a common front to combat international terrorism can provide us the hope that we will defeat this terrible threat to peace in the end! I have no doubt that the most important thing is that we need solidarity in the fight against terror, but only real solidarity, not only empty words”.
12 May 2010
Voice of Russia World Service
Video: Victory over Fascism Day
Here is a video of the Victory Day remembrance ceremony in Bratislava. Click on the URL below; it is only 1:43 long, with no dialogue, so, please do attend to it. The countries that suffered under the Nazi boot have not forgotten… but Suburban New Class Americans (the class that most konvertsy hail from) have… what does that say about them?
Laying a wreath on Victory over Fascism Day in Slovakia
The Battle for Dukla Pass
All I have ever done must be measured by my intention to serve the best interests of my people and my country.
Ludvík Svoboda (1895-1979)
Anti-Fascist General in World War II and later President of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic (1968-75)
I should note that President Svoboda is still held in high regard in both Czechia and Slovakia, even after the so-called “Velvet Revolution” for his honesty, probity, and uncompromising integrity.
The Dukla pass is northeast of Prešov, north of Svidník on the Polish border. Westerners are mostly ignorant of the major World War II battle fought here, as only Russian, Czechoslovak, and German forces were engaged. In the autumn of 1944, the Soviet 38th Army, combined with the Czechoslovak First Army Corps launched an offensive into German-occupied Slovakia. On 8 September, the armies attacked southward from Poland, with the goal of capturing the Dukla Pass (at the Polish border near Svidník). The Fourth Ukrainian Front was in charge of this particularly long and bloody Carpathian Mountain operation. The Germans positioned infantry and the First Panzer Army to defend Slovakia; they were well equipped with artillery and combat vehicles. The area of operations was nearly 20 kilometres deep. The Soviet and Czechoslovak troops expected to take the pass quickly. However, the help they expected did not arrive. The Germans suppressed the partisan uprising and disbanded the Slovak Army. Consequentially, the battle lasted over two months. Allied troops took the pass on 6 October, but vicious fighting persisted for another month. More than 46,000 Soviet, Czechoslovak, and German soldiers perished. Over 93,000 Soviet and Czechoslovak troops were wounded. A large military cemetery in Svidník contains the graves of over 9,000 Soviet soldiers. As the Germans retreated, they destroyed the remnants of Svidník.
An old church in Hunkovce, part of the area fought over in the Battle of Dukla Pass in 1944
In 1949, the Czechoslovak government erected a massive memorial tower and cemetery just southeast of the Dukla border crossing in Vyšný Komárnik, the first village liberated in Slovakia. It contains the graves of several hundred Russian and Czechoslovak officers and other designated heroes. Further down the road in Hunkovce is a small German Cemetery containing the graves of 2,648 soldiers. Littered throughout the fields for several miles south of the border one sees abandoned planes, artillery, and tanks. At one point, a road splits off northwestwardly towards the village of Kapišová. The valley of the Kapišová Brook is referred to locally as the “Valley of Death”, in memory of the vicious fighting that took place on 25-27 October 1944. At the intersection, there is a monument with two tanks, a German StuG III and a Soviet T-34. The Soviet tank is positioned in such a way that it appears to be crushing the German tank. On the pathway to the observation tower, a monument entitled “Broken Heart” was dedicated in 1969 at the location where General Jaroslav Vedral-Sazavský died on 6 October 1944. He was the commander of the First Brigade of the First Czechoslovak Army Corps.
Mil Mi-24 attack helicopters of the Slovak forces at a Victory over Fascism Day ceremony
I was impressed at how quickly nature recovered and the land has settled back to its quiet sleepy self, oblivious of its horrid recent past. Mature trees grow again, tank tracks are covered, and artillery shell craters are covered in growth. Unfortunately, there are nasty surprises buried in these farmlands. Throughout the region, people continue to find live ammunition, shells, and landmines. There continues to be annual incidents were a couple of cows are killed or a farmer loses his legs in the field. It is as if the war ended and everyone left. There are planes, tanks, artillery, and planes (Soviet Shturmoviks) scattered throughout the region. While most of the stuff was purposefully placed as war memorials, it’s spread over a vast distance. One couldn’t help but be awestruck by the width and breadth of the battleground. I did notice that you could still see old military trucks in many farmyards, used for a variety of agricultural purposes. Of the military hardware we inspected, all the doors and panels were welded shut, the guns disabled, and most of it was placed on concrete blocks. In a large and rolling farmer’s field at Kapišová, we noticed an abandoned T-34 tank, just sitting there, rusting away. Standing next to the tank, a cow grazed, unaware to what had gone here. It seemed so innocent, tragically humorous, and yet very sad. All of these lost lives meant that someone’s mother grieved. They told us that further down the road we could find gun emplacements, trenches, and foxholes. The major formations involved in these operations included the Soviet First Guards Army (A A Grechko), Soviet 38th Army (K S Moskalenko), Third Mountain Division Corps of the First Guards Army (A Y Vedenin), Czechoslovakia First Army (Ludvík Svoboda), and the German First Panzer Army.
A little girl at Victory Day ceremonies in Bratislava
One can see that Victory Day, as “Victory over Fascism Day” has great resonance in Slovakia. This puts the lie to much that is put out by the SVS commandos about the Carpatho-Russian people. What makes this doubly sad and reprehensible is that many of those attacking the usage “Carpatho-Russian” are Carpatho-Russian themselves, from Russophile families no less! The Carpatho-Russian Russophiles suffered repression under the Hapsburgs, the interwar Czech “democrats”, the Horthy Hungarians, the clerico-fascist Tisoites, and the Galician Uniate nationalists of the post-Soviet Ukrainian state.
For instance, the Hapsburg concentration camp of Talerhof was no joke… it existed from September 1914 to May 1917… over 20,000 Russophile Carpatho-Russians were imprisoned there at one time or another, and some 3,000 died there in the first eighteen months of its existence alone (that is, until February 1916, later deaths are not recorded). Until late 1915, there were no barracks; the prisoners had to sleep in improvised tents. In addition, the Hapsburgs shot thousands of people out of hand in Galicia and Lemkovshchyna, including St Maksim Sandovich (6 August), and imprisoned thousands more in the large fortress compound in Theresienstadt (Terezín in modern Czechia). This was a large enclosed area of 3.9 square kilometres (1.4 square miles), with a capacity of some 10,000 internees (some of the internees were South Slav nationalists as well as Russophile Carpatho-Russians). As a sidelight, does it surprise you that the Nazis used Theresienstadt as a camp for Jews in the next war? Evil two times over… what sadness! The CIS Institute in Moscow has documented everything that I have spoken of here (Professor Kirill Frolov is a particular expert in the subject).
St Maksim Sandovich, the Protomartyr of Lemkovshchyna (1886-1914), his feastday is 6 August. The Uniates blather about being “Orthodox in Union with Rome”… they do not honour St Maksim or St Aleksei Kabalyuk or Fr Gavriil Kostelnik. Hey, JP! Why don’t you tell the RCs that you won’t come to their conference until they canonise these guys? Good idea, no?
I can see why the Slovak people in general, and the Carpatho-Russian people in particular, celebrate Victory over Fascism Day with such intensity. They have felt the boot of oppression on their necks for nearly their entire history as a people. Taking this history into account, and observing that the Unia was the willing handmaiden of the oppressors, I will state that the intention of Jonas Paffhausen to take part in the upcoming “Lumen Gentium” conference is reprehensible and disgusting in the extreme. These people were and are the oppressors of the Carpatho-Russian Russophiles (who still make up the majority of the OCA faithful in the lower 48). I am not Carpatho-Russian myself, but we Great Russians have always stood by our Carpatho-Russian co-religionists. Ask yourself a question, “Why does Jonas Paffhausen wish to suck up to both the Anglicans and the papists?” I am against hatred of any sort… I wish no ill on anyone. However, these people are outside the Church, and that is all there is to be said on the matter. It means that JP does not believe as the Church believes… he believes in the mistaken Florenskyite notions of Sophiology taught by Gleb Podmoshensky, a cleric who was deposed for good reason (I might add that Schmemann was enamoured of Florensky as well).
God do help us… this particular scenario is not going to end quickly or neatly. As for the present, let’s take a lesson from the long-suffering Carpatho-Russian people… they kept the flame alive any way they could. “The times they are a’ changin’”… and such times of transition are always difficult. Keep the faith until the buggers leave us (and leave us they shall). It’s what we owe Almighty God…