Socialism in Slovakia
Bratislava, the capital city of Slovakia, was the capital of the Austrio-Hungarian Empire for 300 years. The last 40 years of building socialism had devastating effect on my hometown.
The construction of identical grey flats for all Bratislava inhabitants was the main 'success' of socialism. Me, my parents, my grandparents we all lived there and my children have been born there.
The border of Slovakia and Austria. A lot of my countrymen tried to cross this river during the communist years to get out. Many have been killed by our border police. The castle is from the 13th century - the golden age of the Great Moravian Empire
The 18th century reforms of Maria Theresia raised levels of education and craftsmenship among Slovak people. Her main castle in Vienna, now a museum, is just 30 minutes from Bratislava but forbidden to us.
Churches, monasteries and many historical buildings assumed to be clashing with the communist ideas were locked and left to rot.
The land owners lived in a hundreds of castles around Slovakia. Many of them have been arrested and migrated abroad during the communist rule. Today the majority of casles is in ruin, some have been sold to foreigners.
A Slovak hunter in his past glory. Our rich history and our historical customs and skills have been prohibited during the communist rule.
Traditional Slovakian farmers who owned their own land, how they looked like before the collectivization and socialization of the communist years began.
The farmer's horses are ready for a joyful ride. After World War two they have been confiscated and the building of socialism began.
Slovak farmers during the communist era working for the socialist farming cooperative.
A Slovak farmer loosing all his livehood confiscated by the socialist farming cooperative during the communist era. What else is there to do?
Just work, and work and work more for the communists. And just have a quick nap between.
More a Slovak farmer worked for the common good, less and less he had for himself and his family during the communist era.
When he despaired how to feed his kids, a uplifting communist song about proletariat, work and bread from a local wireless reminded him not to be selfish and work more for the common good.
So he worked more on the vast cooperative fields...
After the fall of communism the owner's right to his land and property including the past injusties have been recognized however a financial- economic crisis, a general decline, out of date equipment and widespread loss stayed there too.
Who are we and where we do come from?
…we came to a moment and a moment of flight, a million accidents rush to meet us,
and we entwine the columns of our hearts like ivy,
we came to live on the land and under heaven…
/Old Slovakian poem/
How we live on this land and on the planet Earth, how we leave this place is only up to us.