30th anniversary of Velvet revolution, Nanonowrimo day 17


Note: I logged in 1, 135 words in the National Novel Writing Month 50K word challenge earlier this morning. I will be at the Lowell Area Historical Museum (LAHM) today from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. along with eight other vendors ranging from candles to jewelry. Stop by to pick up an autographed copy of my new book Secrets from the Shifting Sands Short Stories collections.

Christmas through Lowell, Sunday Nov. 17

I have a special today: both of my books “Secrets” and “Short Stories” are for 25$. They make an excellent Christmas gift or a souvenir from Michigan. All the stories are set in Michigan; the flagship story “Silk Nora” is set at the turn-of-the-century Belding, when it was known as the Silk City Capital of the World. The silk mills employed young women who were known as “Sweethearts in Silk.”

Sweethearts in Silk

Sweethearts in Silk, at Richardson Silk Mills

By Emma Palova

Lowell, MI -Today is the 30th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution that toppled the socialist regime in former Czechoslovakia on Nov. 17, 1989. It is a national holiday in Czech Republic known as the Day of Battle for Freedom and Democracy.

The student protests started in Prague and swept the entire country for 10 critical days that culminated in the General Strike on Nov. 27, 1989.

I was still in living in Czechoslovakia when these demonstrations broke 44 years of silence under the Communist Party rule.

Excerpt from Greenwich Meridian: Where East meets West

Velvet Revolution, 1989 

The journey to return back to the USA was long and painful, to be exact it lasted 16 years. Those years were filled with normal and not so normal life’s events; the most significant being the toppling of the communist regime a month before my departure on Dec. 22, 1989. 

I lived history twice: in Prague Spring,1968 and Velvet Revolution in 1989. I was a kid, so I don’t remember the Soviet tanks invading the country in 1968, but I remember the consequences that my parents Ella and Vaclav described so eloquently in their own words. The results of Prague Spring took us on a roller coaster ride from Czechoslovakia, to Africa, Canada, Texas and back to Czechoslovakia. 

But, the second event. Velvet Revolution, that changed the course of history for Eastern and Western Europe, I recall as if it had happened yesterday. I documented it myself in a diary with a blue hard cover and bought an important publication published by the Czech Press Office: “Chronicle of Velvet Revolution” in 1989 for 10 crowns. It is the most important document that I own, other than the American passport. 

The communist block, which Czechoslovakia was a part of, started collapsing in neighboring Poland under their leader Lech Walesa. I remember, we had no dairy products, as they were all being shipped to Poland. While it was an act of camaraderie, the Polish people didn’t unload the train with the food and let the products spoil. 

After that it seemed like a domino effect with one block collapsing and knocking down the other countries of the Eastern Block.

Sometime in the summer of 1989, I spoke with a friend attorney about matters pertaining to my pending departure to the U.S.- I had to get rid of all possessions, including my citizenship, pay for my education and such. After discussing matters at hand, Mr. H said: 

“The bell is tolling for them.” 

I stared at him in awe; we were used to speaking in riddles. 

“What do you mean?” I asked. 

“I can’t say.” 

Copyright (c) 2019. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

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