published: 18.02.2013, 13:23 | updated: 18.02.2013 13:56:53
Prague - Human rights activist Dana Nemcova, a signatory of the Charter 77 dissident manifesto, and singer Jaroslav Hutka are among the 18 people to whom Czech Prime Minister Petr Necas gave a certificate of participation in the third, anti-Communist resistance today.
The first resistance movement was against the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the second against the Nazi rule.
"The memory of their unpretentious heroism is of a permanent importance for the whole of our society, as a sort of vaccination against the false nostalgia for 'the old good times', for egalitarianism and Gleichschaltung," Necas said in his brief speech at the Defence Ministry of which he is the acting head.
"Today, we repay a social debt that was due long time ago. Forgive us for having taken such a long time," he added.
Under the law, participants in the third resistance movement will get a financial compensation of 100,000 crowns and their surviving relatives a half of the sum. The resistance members with a low pension will see it raised to the average level.
The law symbolically took effect on November 17, 2011, the anniversary of the 1989 start of the Velvet Revolution that toppled the Communist regime in Czechoslovakia.
The law describes the forms of the anti-communist resistance and fight. It exempts from it the people who worked with the security forces, were members of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia, of the communist paramilitary People's Militia , the National Front's Action Committee and the Czechoslovak-Soviet Friendship Association during the era after the 1968 Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia.
Necas said he rejected any efforts at denigrating the importance of the anti-Communist resistance by pointing to its "minor flaws."
"Our society definitely needs to foster the examples of unambiguous resistance to and struggle with any totalitarian rule that are of a demonstrably selfless nature," Necas said.
The people who stood up against the Communist regime risked with the knowledge that there was no light at the end of the tunnel, he added.
The Defence Ministry registers 3807 applications for the status of resistance member under the law. The number of 275 certificates granted was extended with 18 today.
The office has rejected 490 applications and suspended 146.
In all, 23 percent of the applications have been assessed.
Some 18.5 million crowns have been paid out to the direct participants in the resistance movement and 1.1 million crowns to the survivors.
($1 = 19.046 crowns)
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