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Juraj Pollák (1924) - Biography

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I was lucky to experience great coincidences to my advantage

Juraj Pollák was born on July 15, 1924 in Žilina. Since being seven years old he attended the Jewish elementary school, later studied at the middle school. After the Slovak State was established and the so-called Jewish Code was adopted, he wasn´t allowed to study on, thus he got employed as a worker in a mechanical engineering company. The textile shop owned by his father was aryanized. Luckily, the family avoided the first deportations even though they were interned at the concentration centre on Závodná Road in Žilina. At the end of 1943, he joined an underground movement at his workplace, but after their activity got revealed later in 1943, in January 1944 he left to Budapest. Here he stayed in a refugee camp, was imprisoned for some time as well as interrogated by Gestapo, until he ran away from the so-called Kastner´s train and got to Slovakia. From the outbreak of the Slovak National Uprising and occupation of Slovakia by Nazis, until the liberation, was he and his family hiding at various places in mountains of the central Slovakia. After the war he engaged himself in professional motorcycle riding, later he worked as a driving school instructor. In 1968 he emigrated into Austria and later to the USA, although after some time he returned back home. When he came back from emigration, he worked in a car repair shop and later in Mototranse Žilina, where he stayed until his retirement in 1984. In Žilina he has joined many discussions, meetings, and remembrance as well as funeral events related to the Holocaust era.

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