Austrian-Slovakian Friendship Meeting - 20 Years
Fall of the Iron Curtain
Concert with Slovak and Austrian Music
Sunday, November 15th 2009
Austria in cooperation with UPF Slovakia organized a meeting of Ambassadors for
Peace and guests from Slovakia
in order to get to know each other´s activities while talking about
possible future cooperation.
were contributions from both countries: Mrs. Barbara Grabner, an Austrian
Journalist living in Slovakia,
spoke about the Iron Courtain becoming the European Green Belt, an ecological
network that runs from the Barents to the Black sea.
This project took one of the world's leading symbols of human division and
transformed it into a model of future nature conservation in Europe.
She illustrated this change by showing first a film about the reality of the
Iron Curtain and then beautiful pictures of the ecological paradise which
exists today. Amb. Robert Harencar, chairman of UPF Slovakia, gave a short overview
about the history of Czechoslovakia from the time after World War I when Czechoslovakia
became an independent nation holding 60 % of all the productive economy of the
dismanteled Austro-Hungarian empire until the present time when a separated Slovakia
became a member of the European Union and even the Eurozone. He vividley described
the ups of freedom and the downs under Hitler and during the time of Communism experienced
in his nation during the 20th century.
Maria Riehl explained her situation as a young student from Slovakia, who worked in Austria during the summer of 1968, when suddenly
Warsaw Pact forces took over Czechoslovakia.
She did not return home but continued her studies in Vienna, married an Austrian and became a
medical doctor. Mag. Christian Zeitz, Secretary General of the Vienna Christian
Democrativ Party 20 years ago, spoke on his involvement in projects of
cooperation after the fall of the Iron Curtain and reminded the audience about
the need to protect traditional values in Europe
today. The activities of UPF in the respective nations where introduced by Mr. Peter Haider, Secretary General of UPF Austria and
Milos Klas of UPF Slovakia.
After a break with typical Vienna coffee and cakes the
highlight of the day was still waiting for an audience which grew to more than
100 people. Elena Rozanova, a Russian Violinist living in Vienna, performed with her Ensemble Rondo Danube typical “old Viennese
music” from Mozart, Strauss, Dvorak, Brahms and Lehar as well as Slovak Folk
tunes. Soloists from the Slovak National Theater included Eva Šeniglová as a Soprano. Bohuslav
Smutny gave a performance on the Fujara, the Slovak national instrument. Kvetoslava
Štefeková and František
Šulek danced Folk dances in traditional costumes and classical Vienna waltz following “The
Blue Danube” by Johann Strauss. The only complaint of the audience was
that the evening ended much too early.
Haider, UPF Austria & Milos Klas, UPF Slovakia)
Sponsored by the Cultural department of the City