Fascinating talk…

Posted June 24, 2017 9:47 pm by Joanna Bogle

…with a group of young Slovakians, on a Catholic History Walk along the Thames. They were a delightful group and the Walk went well…but what was particularly interesting was the conversations over pizza late into the warm summer night by the Thames…

The teacher remembered the Russian invasion of 1968 and the days that followed. “People filled the streets in protest but what could they do? We were all helpless. And the soldiers…they were Polish, Hungarian… They did not know why they were there. They did not even know they had crossed the border – or that this had any significance at all.  They just thought it was manouvres, routine…”

In elections, you were given a list of Communist candidates and told to make a mark against some of them. “If you didn’t go to vote, they came to the house. They showed the list and said you must make the tick against the names…of course if you refused, things happened…the whole family would suffer, it would go on and on,  all sorts of things, the young people blocked from going to university,and on and on…

Talking about Communism, she used an expression that I remembered so much from the days I spent in Poland  when the system was still in force “All we wanted was normality. To Be normal.”

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