• SK
  • EN
  • DE

Participant testimonies

Testimonies of those who took part are the best means to describe the atmosphere of the manifestation, where believers were praying silently with candles in their hands, demanding respecting of their rights. Police demonstrated its brutality on the manifesting citizens, as well as on the bystanders:

  • "I saw how the four of them were pulling their victim, a boy, beating him vigorously. They forced him into a car and they were hitting his head until they closed the door… I witnessed a brutal police evildoing and on the other hand unbelievable courage and dedication of believers."

  • "Policemen were rushing directly after the car with helmets, shields and batons. They were hitting us helter-skelter. I myself was hit three times on my back. We were at the front, where almost everyone received one or two, some even in the head. They hit us hard. Some of us fell to the ground. Others were pushed into cars. Policemen with dogs appeared near the Mladost cinema. They were holding dogs with muzzles, assaulting the people."

  • "Then they charged with batons… People that remained the last were hit on their backs and behinds. Men wearing camouflage with batons and shields in their hands were ruthless. They were beating the old and the young… One senior close to me complained: "For 60 years I have been good for them, now they beat me, is that the reward?""

  • "Members of the secret police, who were standing by, suddenly pounced on several chosen victims in twos. A bit further they are running after a young man that managed to slip away; right in front of me, they are pulling an 18-year-old man who is soaking wet, clasping a big candle. The water was running from his black hair through his forehead and face, fear is in his eyes and surprise from the attack, he resists like a child…"
  • "I saw a young man walking. A police car hit him from the back. I ran towards him and tried to lift him up but, he was too heavy. I said to the policeman in the car that the boy was injured, that he should help him. In the meantime people around scattered. A tall policeman was running our way, I said to myself: they are not as bad after all; he is definitely coming to help. But what I saw horrified me! He approached the injured boy, grasped his jacked and kicked him away from the car. Then he beat the boy with a baton. I felt as if he was beating my heart. I leaned over the boy asking him if he was able to walk alone, how I could help him and where was he going. He was sobbing and trying to stand up, but he kept falling down. His knee was evidently injured. At that moment two men were passing by; the boy asked them if they could escort him to the bus stop. They were kind and attended him..."

  • "I cannot state when, but after some time, they attacked the crowd that was gathered in the street. They were policemen with helmets, carrying shields and batons and I think they were wearing camouflage…They caught me at the gate. There they got hold of me, pulled my hands and I fell to the ground. I covered my face with hands. As I was kneeling on the ground they started to beat me. I don't know how many hits I got, or how many policemen were beating me. Then they held my hands and pulled me towards the truck standing by the Bulgarian center."
    Jozef Schottl, 32 years
  • "The square was full of people. After singing the anthem and praying, policemen started to scatter the crowd. There were several men in civil clothes standing in front of the police. These men in civvies cursed at people that were praying and holding candles. One of them approached me and knocked the candle from my hands. He told me to get lost or I would be in trouble. He was telling off and threatening everybody. Policemen were charging the crowd with cars… one police car was standing behind me, it was a Lada. 8 policemen jumped out of it and started to beat the nearby citizens. I know that they knocked one person down and pulled him into the car. This happened many times."
    Ľudmila Heribanová, 21 years

  • "After that, three police cars appeared, they made a raid into the crowd like this: brake - gas. The first time, when the middle car almost hit me, I managed to get out of its way. I indicated to the driver that I am not sure about his sanity - when he was hitting the crowd with a car. Another raid came immediately afterwards. That I couldn't dodge. The car hit me so that I flew over the trunk and fell under the wheels on the right side of the car. I was lying on the ground, when two policemen jumped out of the car and started to pull me in."
    Július Puk, 30 years

  • "Close to "Tempo", I personally witnessed how a 70-year-old man shouted at the policemen that were hitting people with cars. He was asking them why they were doing it, adding that they didn't know what war was. Two undercover agents, or maybe just one, called other policemen that came to this old man, beat him up with batons and, following the orders of the agent, took him away…"

  • "Three policemen in uniforms, armed with batons, shields and helmets, started to beat me with batons. I started to run. Other policemen, standing nearby, armed in the same way as those who attacked me, tried to catch me. Two policemen appeared in front of me, grabbed my arms and one of them hit my stomach. I bent over, they knocked me down, where they were beating and kicking me."
    Jozef Bartel, 17 years