“The actors were very willing to help the revolution. They used to go in small teams, consisting of a student, a VPN member, and an actor, and give speeches in factories, institutions not only in Nitra but also elsewhere. For example, I was in Zlaté Moravce in Calex and we talked to people about what was going on, what happened on Národní třída in Prague, how it all developed, why was the Civic Forum formed, why the VPN (Public Against Violence) and what it all meant. We shared our goals and needs to care, so that nothing like that kept repeating, intentions to take down the leading role of the Communist Party, and so on. These were the ‘anti-communist agitprops’ carried out in institutions. There the people learned what was going on, that something needed to be changed and that it was possible. ‘So, let’s start the changes here as well. Our boss is a communist, doing this and that, and he should be replaced.’ People were interested in that, however, needed to say quite frankly, that many times it just slipped to revenge and settling personal accounts. For sure, there were cases, when the head employee was replaced for not someone better or smarter, but just to be set aside due to personal grudges or conflicts.”
“Back then it went like hotcakes. It was the bestseller. As soon as we got out with a little pile of the paper, people were taking it, tearing out of our hands, and paying nice money for it. I remember once somebody paid a hundred crowns for just one volume! If you recall those nice green-color one hundred banknotes… It was the time when everyone wanted to help somehow, to contribute and assist when knowing what was going on. And many had probably a much better feeling that the situation could definitely change. I still hadn’t seen it like that.”
“Once we went on a trip with the choir to Belgium. I found out, there was a ´secret agent’ with us – a person that was supposed to watch us. I know there was surely a man on the bus with us. He was watching where we went, who we talked with. Our conductor, professor Podhorný also warned us, ‘Don’t say this, don’t go there…’ He took care of us, of how we behaved, not only regarding the good manners but also regarding the agent not to see something inappropriate. It was my first real contact with something, what was quite not fair back then.”
Young people need solidarity much more than advice
Lujza Bakošová was born on December 28, 1957, in Zlaté Moravce. She grew up without father, who died when she was little, so her mother took care of her and her sister. Lujza went to elementary school and grammar school in Zlaté Moravce, where she enjoyed choir singing. She graduated from the Faculty of Education in Nitra, from Slovak language and psychology. After graduation in 1982, she was unable to find a job as a teacher, thus she employed in the Center of Czechoslovak-Soviet Friendship for two years. In 1989 she cooperated with newly establishing the Public Against Violence movement in Nitra, where she transcribed and distributed materials related to Velvet Revolution. She was a co-founder of the newspaper Nitranska verejnosť, which she led as a managing editor since 1990. In 1998 she became a member of the Third Sector Gremium led by Pavol Demeš. The Gremium initiated the formation of Civic Campaign ‚98, which contributed to an end of the Mečiar era in Slovakia.