Vollbild anzeigenAustrian-Slovakian Friendship Meeting - 20 Years Fall of the Iron Curtain

Concert with Slovak and Austrian Music

Sunday, November 15th 2009

UPF Austria in cooperation with UPF Slovakia organized a meeting of Ambassadors for Peace and guests from Slovakia and Austria in order to get to know each other´s activities while talking about possible future cooperation.


There 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.


Dr. 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.

(Peter Haider, UPF Austria & Milos Klas, UPF Slovakia)












Sponsored by the Cultural department of the City of Vienna