“Since I wasn’t born yet 50 years ago, I have no personal memories of the invasion of Czechoslovakia and I also don’t recall this topic from my school years in the late eighties and the early nineties. My first opportunity to come in touch with the Prague Spring was a novel The Unbearable Lightness of Being written by Milan Kundera, which describes also the tense atmosphere of the time through personal stories of main characters. Looking back at those historical events in 1968, one cannot neglect an enormous step forward that has been made since then in the field of political freedom, freedom of speech, economic development and human rights, especially in Eastern Europe. It gives us hope and courage to cope with the challenges of the present. Then, it includes awareness of the mistakes that were made by our societies in the past and thus avoidance of a repeat. On the other hand, it also includes strong commitment to peaceful and democratic development and the improvement of our local communities, regions, states, whole European Union and the whole like thinking world.”
Uroš Brežan is Mayor of the Slovenian city Tolmin.