Unfairly Prosecuted Persons Day in Slovakia Date in the current year: April 13, 2024

Unfairly Prosecuted Persons Day in Slovakia Unfairly Prosecuted Persons Day (Deň nespravodlivo stíhaných) is a Slovakian remembrance day observed on April 13 every year. It was established to commemorate the dissolution of male monasteries in Communist Czechoslovakia.

The Communists took power in the Czechoslovak Republic after the 1948 coup led by then-Prime Minister Klement Gottwald and fellow Communist ministers. In the first few years of the new regime, the ideological principles of Marxism-Leninism pervaded cultural and intellectual life. Gottwald’s government began purging dissidents from all levels of society, including the Catholic Church.

On the night of April 13/14, 1950, often referred to as the Barbarian Night, armed members of the state police and armed forces stormed 56 male monasteries throughout Slovakia and arrested everyone within. The aim was to dissolve male monasteries and intern the monks. The assaults on the monasteries and arrests continued throughout April 1950, resulting in over 2,000 priests and monks being sent to internment camps. The same happened to all female monasteries a couple of months later. The government changed its attitude towards religion only after the Velvet Revolution of 1989.

Unfairly Prosecuted Persons Day was established to honor priests and monks who suffered during the Communist regime in Czechoslovakia. It is an official remembrance day. Remembrance day in Slovakia are working days, but they are still marked with commemorative events.

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