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View From Your Table

Bratislava, Slovakia

That’s a schnitzel at Zylinder, a Habsburgiana restaurant in the heart of Bratislava. I am back in the Slovak capital, a place that became dear to my heart when I was researching Live Not By Lies. It is here that I first learned about Father Tomislav Kolakovic. It is here that I first learned about Dr. Silvester Krcmery. It is here that I met some leaders of the second generation of the underground church, including Jan Carnigursky and, below, Frantisek Miklosko (left) and Vladimir Palko:

It was my honor to present both men with copies of my book (which will not be published in Slovak until the fall). At the lunch table today, I introduced my son Matt to both of them, and told him they were both great men. Frantisek, for example, helped organize the Candle Demonstration of 1988, which was the first major demonstration against Communist power since the 1968 Soviet invasion. Here is some video of it.

Thousands of Slovak Christians gathered in the rain to sing hymns and pray. The police, caught by surprise, attacked them with water cannons. At lunch today, in a restaurant on that very square, Vlado Palko told my son the story of how he decided that he had to risk everything to take a stand that day. Frantisek had been detained by the police, and could not be there, though he was an organizer.

These men. This place. This is where it happened. Come to Bratislava if you can, and see for yourself. It’s incredibly powerful. I am so blessed to be here again, in the company of such men.

about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. A veteran of three decades of magazine and newspaper journalism, he has also written three New York Times bestsellers—Live Not By Lies, The Benedict Option, and The Little Way of Ruthie Lemingas well as Crunchy Cons and How Dante Can Save Your Life. Dreher lives in Baton Rouge, La.

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