Pavol Jozef Šafárik University in Kosice - Faculty of Medicine

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Dean’s wish to students on the occasion of the International Students' Day

      Dear students, on today's International Students’ Day, which is celebrated together with the Struggle for Freedom and Democracy Day on November 17, I wish you a lot of personal happiness, health and success at your study at FM, UPJŠ. I guess you will agree if I address this whish also to your teachers. Because a good teacher needs, less or more, to also be a student throughout his life. I wish you all  plenty of enthusiasm and creative energy that is so naturally associated mainly with youth (fortunately ,age does not define it) - together with determination and ability to fight for the right thing.

      The International Students’ Day has been declared to commemorate the events of  November 1939, when students held a mass rally against Nazism after the funeral of  medical student Jan Opletal , who was shot during a demonstration against the Nazi occupation. The answer to this was a Nazi assault on several Czech dormitories in the night of November 17, 1939, sending hundreds of students to concentration camps and the closure of all Czech universities for three years... A half of century later, in November 89, at the time of the totalitarian regime in the former Czechoslovakia , students held a protest for change in the school system, followed by commemoration of the events of 1939, which resulted in demonstrations for change of the school and the entire political system.

     The political system that did not respect fundamental human rights and freedoms - especially freedom of expression and religion. Political system associated with the persecution of all those who had a different opinion. Thereby, the "different opinions" - new ideas are the source of all progress in medicine. 

The following brutal police crackdown on protesters started the Velvet Revolution associated with the change of regime.

     Not only these two historical events suggests that young people can change history with their agility and determination. Fortunately, for 27 years a lot of positive things have happened and so our task is not to fight for democracy, but "only" to protect it. The word "only" is very vaguely defined, because also in modern history we can  see how is fragile the foundations of the democratic system are and how easy it is to apply the rules of  totalitarian power in some countries.

      Many of you already know the "times long past" only from telling of  your parents, friends, loved ones and of course your teachers. There are also numbers of beautiful movies or other documents that always make us think, how colorful our life can be. Life is always nice and when combined with freedom and health, then also very pleasant. Do not let it return to its bitter-beautiful form, always protect the right, love, decency, honesty and sincerity. It's amazing in a way that you can  fully devote to your only, most difficult and also most beautiful duty – the study and preparation for your future and demanding and responsible profession. To that, I wish you,  on behalf of the entire Board of the Faculty of Medicine, a lot of internal strength, endurance and success.


Daniel Pella

Last update: 27.11.2016