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The opening of the exhibition "Brothers in faith. Cooperation of Polish and Slovak Catholics during the communist period " (Bratia vo Viere/ Bracia w wierze) - Warsaw, 3 December 2019

The event, organized in cooperation with the Embassy of the Slovak Republic in Warsaw, was attended by, among others Slovak ambassador Dušan Krištofik, the President of the Institute of National Remembrance Dr Jarosław Szarek, the Deputy President of the IPN Dr Mateusz Szpytma and representatives of the management of the Slovak Institute of National Remembrance (Ústav Pamäti Národa - UPN).

"The opening of the “Brothers in faith. Cooperation of Polish and Slovak Catholics during the communist period” exhibition took place on 3 December 2019 at the IPN’s “History Point” educational center. The event  was accompanied by the screening of a Slovak documentary film entitled " Footprints in the Snow "(„Stopy v snehu”), preceded by a lecture by Dr. hab. Mirosław Szumiło (IPN) and Dr. František Neupauer (ÚPN) on the secret cooperation of Polish and Slovak Catholics in the years 1956–1989.

 

 

The exhibition was prepared by the Institute of National Remembrance, the Slovak Institute of National Remembrance (Ústav Pamäti Národa - UPN) and the Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Bratislava. The vernissage was organized in cooperation with the Embassy of the Slovak Republic in Warsaw.

The exhibition presents relatively unknown facts about the secret cooperation of Polish and Slovak Catholics (clergy and laity) during the communist rule in both countries. The persecuted Catholic Church in Czechoslovakia found itself in an even more difficult position than the Church in the People's Republic of Poland. Polish Catholics provided their Slovak brothers with various forms of help, primarily through the transfer of banned religious literature across the border and the secret ordination of Slovak priests in our country. In addition, Slovaks came to Poland on pilgrimages to sanctuaries such as (Częstochowa and Kalwaria Zebrzydowska), to meetings with the John Paul II and the Light-Life Movement.

The documentary film "Traces in the snow" (produced by Ústav Pamäti Národa, 2015, directed by Slavomír Zrebný) introduces viewers to the phenomenon of smuggling religious literature into Czechoslovakia. It tells,among others, the story of three young Slovaks arrested on the border near Piwniczna by officers of the Border Protection Forces.

 

 

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