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Joint stamp issue ROMANIA – SLOVAKIA 25 years of diplomatic relations

Continuing the series of postage stamp issues dedicated to diplomatic relations, Romfilatelia marks the collaboration and friendship between Romania and Slovakia, introducing the joint stamp issue Romania-Slovakia on Friday, January 5th 2018. The new issue focuses on the 25 years of diplomatic relations and presents, on the postage stamp with the face value of Lei 8, the Romanian Military Cemetery from Zvolen, the largest Romanian war cemetery abroad, where Romanian soldiers participating in the World War II rest.

The postage stamp issue will be available on Friday, January 5th 2018 in Romfilatelia’ own shops network in Bucharest, Bacau, Brasov, Cluj-Napoca, Iasi and Timisoara and online on http://romfilatelia.ro/store/.

The diplomatic relations between Romania and the Slovak Republic were formally established on January 1st, 1993, after the split of Czechoslovakia. Previously, their cooperation had taken place in the framework of the Romanian – Czechoslovak relations, starting with January 30th, 1920. Romania and Czechoslovakia, together with the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, were part of the Little Agreement (also known as the Little Entente), a defensive political organization setted in 1920. During the communist period, the relations between Romania and Czechoslovakia culminated with the Bucharest regime condemnation of the Warsaw Pact troops’ invasion of Czechoslovakia, which crushed the Prague Spring, in August, 1968.

 

Romanian-Czechoslovak solidarity also manifested during World War II. After the liberation of the last Transylvanian territories, on October 25th, 1944, the Romanian army continued the march to liberate Central Europe from the Nazi troops. The struggles for the liberation of Czechoslovakia, to which 250,000 Romanian soldiers participated, ended on May 12th, 1945. The Romanian troops transited Czechoslovakia for 400 kilometers, escalated ten mountain massifs, and crossed four large water courses. During this operation, 1,722 localities were freed, out of which 31 major cities. The blood tribute of the Romanian army was impressive – over 65,000 dead, wounded, frozen and missing soldiers.

At the end of the war, the dead Romanian soldiers lying in the fields of Czechoslovakia were buried in 633 localities. In 1950, the Romanian and Czechoslovak governments decided to organize two centralized cemeteries. The Romanian soldiers killed in action on the Czech lands were laid-down in the Brno Central Cemetery, and those buried in Slovakia were moved to the Military Cemetery from Zvolen.

The choice of Zvolen as the place where the remains of the soldiers fallen on the territory of Slovakia were laid to rest also had a memorial meaning. The Romanian army fought in the area of Zvolen in February 1945, and the city was liberated with great sacrifices, in the conditions of a harsh winter. The operations for the identification and exhumation of the Romanian heroes fallen in Slovakia took place between October 15th and December 20th, 1951. Architectural works were subsequently carried out, and the Central Military Cemetery of the Romanian Army from Zvolen was inaugurated on July 27th, 1958.

In the center of the Romanian Military Cemetery, a mausoleum plated with white marble is placed, on which lays a Romanian voivodal sanctuary. Above the sanctuary, is placed a torse carved in stone, which represents laurel leaves. The imposing monument has an entrance of nearly 50 meters. On the front side of the assembly, the following text was carved in stone, in both Romanian and Czech: “Eternal Glory to the Romanian heroes fallen in the battles for the liberation of the Czechoslovak Republic from the fascist oppression – 1944-1945”. In 1963, the mausoleum was declared a cultural monument by the Czechoslovak government.

Currently, the Romanian Military Cemetery is in the care of the Slovak state, in accordance with a bilateral agreement, signed in November, 2006.

The postage stamp issue is completed by a First Day Cover and as page composition there were used a sheet of 32 stamps, a minisheet of 5 stamps and a label.

 Romfilatelia thanks the Romanian Embassy in Bratislava, the Slovak Post Office and the National Office for Heroes Cult for the documentary and photographic support provided for this joint stamp issue.

 

 For further information, please contact the Public Relation Office:

Tel: 021 / 337 24 42

roxana.herascu@romfilatelia.ro

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