Marking Czechoslovakia's birth 100 years ago

Czechs and Slovaks are marking the founding of their erstwhile joint state 100 years ago this week. Czechoslovakia ceased to exist when it was split in two 25 years ago but it left an indelible mark, commentators say.

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Lidové noviny (CZ) /

Division without trauma

Lidové noviny explains why memories of Czechoslovakia live on:

“Formally Czechoslovakia no longer exists. But that doesn't mean its founding ideals, which still mean so much to so many people, have also ceased to exist. ... The division into two states took place peacefully and without trauma. Certainly not the kind of trauma we see in the former Yugoslavia. And since our division did not put an end to the bonds that unite us, we can also commemorate a state which no longer exists.”

Pravda (SK) /

Also the Slovaks' homeland

The Slovaks will officially commemorate the founding of Czechoslovakia, which came into effect with the signing of the Martin Declaration on 30 October 1918, on Tuesday. Pravda lambastes the idea that the state first and foremost served the interests of the Czechs:

“We still hear the myth that the division in 1993 brought about the liberation of Slovakia. However, our historic liberation took place in 1918. More than any other time, that was when the Slovaks took their fate into their own hands. A quarter of a century after the division we should stop nurturing old complexes. Since then we ourselves have been responsible for everything good and bad that's happened to us. Without a doubt Czechoslovakia was our state too.”