Mgr. Marian Lacko

* 1962  

  • “During the first couple of days, many of those who spoke publicly in the square had turned their coats overnight, and suddenly ardent communists became revolutionaries. The worst thing about that was that we didn’t have enough time or space to screen them properly, and we didn’t even know how to do it. Only later someone came up and told us: ‘Listen, this one is a communist through and through; he can’t be trusted, he was a snitch in 1968.’ But if I wanted to act democratically, when someone approached me and wanted to speak, I had no other choice: I let them speak. And that was the worst thing, we didn’t know how to tell apart those who should be there and those who shouldn’t. As a result, unfortunately, some of those who weren’t supposed to be there nevertheless appeared in front of the public.”

  • “As the days and hours went by, we started to realise that something had begun, something unstoppable. We already knew that even the TV – the TV is full of artists, you know – was on the side of the revolution and that gave us courage and strength. In addition to that, we saw that our former grammar school student Heňa Hrinková from Rimavská Sobota was the leader of the student movement in Bratislava. She was on TV very often and we were proud of her. And we just knew that the general strike planned for 27 November was a sure thing. But we didn’t know who would be in charge of it, how things would go, whether there were State Security agents, policemen, you know, cops who would try to stop us, in a city like Rimavská Sobota. But what we saw on TV, and the fact that they were so open about it, reassured us that there was no way back. The leading position of the Communist Party had to be removed from the Constitution and that would be the first step in the process of the democratisation of society. Two days before the beginning of the revolution, the commotion was so strong that my friends called me on the phone: ‘Listen, let’s make a banner.’ So we secretly went to the House of Culture…’’

  • “There were ten, maybe twelve of us and we had statements from the Civic Forum, Public Against Violence, and the student movement which we had to read. But who should read them? There were no volunteers. Suddenly, Peter Lebovič turns to me: ‘You should go, you’ve already hosted some events in the House of Culture, and you know how to speak into the microphone.’ And I realised that someone had to go first, and I saw that none of them was likely to go. It was a risk because the square where we were supposed to be was right in front of the State Security building and there were agents watching us from the windows. They had binoculars, and some of them even rifles, probably unloaded but with scopes on them, so those who didn’t have binoculars could use scopes. But I decided to believe that nothing bad would happen, there had been events like this all over the republic for ten days already. Even in Rimavská Sobota, which is a small city and people say that every city like that is kind of a republic of its own. So I went first. I introduced myself and then I read the texts. And soon, others followed."

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    27.07.2019

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The communists failed to realise that by imposing collectivism on us they also taught us how to fight collectively

Marian Lacko was born on 1 April 1962 in Rimavská Sobota. His parents had four children. Marián’s mother was born in Uhorské (now part of the Poltár District) and she worked as a court reporter. Marian’s father was born in Vyšná Pokoradz, a village which later became part of Rimavská Sobota. He was a secondary school teacher. Marian attended both primary school (1968 – 1977) and grammar school (1977 – 1981) in Rimavská Sobota. While at grammar school, he was an actor in the Poetry Theatre for four years. Between 1981 and 1986, he studied Slovak Language and Literature in combination with Arts at the Faculty of Education in Banská Bystrica. At the university, he was a member of the KNAP Student Theatre (A promising amateur actors club of students of pedagogy) at the Department of Slovak Language and Literature at the Faculty of Education in Banská Bystrica. After graduation, he started working as an independent professional officer at the Municipal Cultural Centre. He became involved in the Velvet Revolution during the general strike on 27 November 1989. He then became one of the three leading members of the coordination centre of the VPN (Public Against Violence) in the Rimavská Sobota district. He has been the director of the Primary Art School in Rimavská Sobota since 2004. Today, he still teaches and organises the LETAVY International Artistic Workshops.