The Freedom Festival in Slovakia is an annual event that includes lectures, film screenings, discussions, stage and theater performances as well as exhibitions. The project is centered around the twentieth century history of the region and is an open event for the general public. Every year, a special educational program is prepared for schools, giving the students an opportunity to get to know their history in an interesting way and to participate in discussions with historians, filmmakers and witnesses of history. The festival is organized by the Institute of National Remembrance (ÚPN) in Slovakia.
In the rich program of the festival, which lasts from 6 to 23 November, there are events with representatives of the Institute of National Remembrance. Wednesday 8 November is the Polish Day, during which the IPN employees will present the activities of the Institute and the process of overcoming the totalitarian past in our country.
8 NOVEMBER (WEDNESDAY)
Venue: Polish Institute in Bratislava
- 10.00 – 12.00 Workshops for students and teachers combined with a presentation of educational materials prepared by IPN’s Education Office. Educational Games. Karol Madaj
- 12.00 – 13.00 Archival workshops combined with a presentation of publications of the IPN Archive (source materials, bilingual publications) and a demonstration of a web portal devoted to "The third pilgrimage of Pope John Paul II to Poland in 1987” portraying the documents kept in the IPN Archive"). Marek Dąbrowski
- 13:30 Lunch Zichy Restaurant
- 16.00 – 16.50 A speech by representatives of the Chief Commission for the Prosecution of Crimes against the Polish Nation concerning the ongoing investigation into the killings of Polish citizens on the Austrian-Czechoslovak border currently being conducted by the Branch Chief Commission in Kraków , with emphasis on the role of the Platform of European Memory and Conscience and ÚPN in the gathering of materials and documentation.Prosecutor Wojciech Pardyak from the Branch Chief Commission in Kraków, responsible for conducting the above mentioned investigation
- 17.00 – 19.30
The screening of “Poland is searching for its heroes”/ “Polska szuka bohaterów” – on the topic of looking for unidentified burial sites of Polish heroes. (The film will be either dubbed into Slovak, or will have Slovak subtitles.)
Marek Hańderek representing the Historical Office will provide the historical background and lead- in to the film.
Deputy President of the IPN, Director of the Office of Search and Identification - Prof. Krzysztof Szwagrzyk and Deputy Director of the Office of Search and Identification, Anna Szeląg
17:00 – 17:30 Marek Hańderek
17:30 – 18:00 film
18:00 – 19:30 Prof. Krzysztof Szwagrzyk, mec. Anna Szeląg - presentations and discussions
10 NOVEMBER (FRIDAY)
Venue: Hall of the University Library in Bratislava
- 16.30 – 18.30 A panel discussion: We did forgive but we have not forgotten – Persecuted and Persecutors in a Struggle for Justice with the participation of, Áron Máthé (NEB), Ondrej Krajňák (ÚPN), Dr Mirosław Szumiło, Director of the Historical Research Office, IPN, Jan Kalous (Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes).
photos courtesy of the UPN