Anna Malá

* 1940

  • “That miserable year 1968 came and we didn’t want to believe when they came to tell us what had happened. My brother Jozef used to go for a weekly work to Krajná Poľana village, where they, workers from Piloimpregna, repaired machines in sawmill. Another brother of mine, Mišo, went for manoeuvres and was called to Olomouc. He left home on Tuesday evening, but already at night army tanks were passing our house, so we worried about him as we didn’t know where he was and the like. And then, on Wednesday at about one in the afternoon, they let us know that my brother Jožo was shot dead in Poprad. However, nobody believed it, because we didn’t believe he went so far.”

  • “Later, we had to be quiet, because we were identified as belonging to him and he was considered to be a counter-revolutionist. It means I was watched when I was putting flowers there, at that place, because I simply had to go there with a bunch of flowers when I was in the town. Although they got the board broken I put flowers there and when I walked few meters away I saw them kicking the vase or throwing it away. Or when the board was still there, I put flowers there and they disappeared till the next day. They were doing these things, such bad they were. However, after I had been warned to be careful because I had been pursued, I let it be, I didn’t want to tease them. I let it be, he remained in our hearts either way. We know how it all happened and how much it still hurts.”

  • “I worked in Svit when my children grew up a bit, so I went there. There was a plaque (commemorative) in Svit in 1972. It was placed where my brother Jozef was shot dead. I am on the verge of tears. Every time I was in the town, I put a bunch of flowers there, but, unfortunately, the chairman of the Communist Party ordered to break that board and throw it into a rubbish bin. A man, who used to sweep there, came to my brother, Mišo, who worked in a bank, and told him that the plaque was broken and thrown into the bin. He took it from there and along with his brother in law glued it and brought it to our house. Then, we had that board at home for several years. After the revolution, it was an initiative from a mayor of Poprad and a chairman of the Democratic Party, Kubík, who suggested placing the plaque on the house where my brother had been shot dead. At that time my mother was still alive. Then, the plaque was there for about two years. However, the owner of the building planned to destroy it, so the plaque had to be taken from there. Subsequently, it was placed on the wall of the Kostol svätého Egídia church with assistance from the mayor Kubík and the Confederation of Political Prisoners, Czechoslovak prisoners.”

  • “Twelve young boys were injured. One man, he was only a boy then, now he has a sort of restaurant, then, his calf was shot. One woman working in a clothes shop had a shoulder shot, two boys their bellies, so there were twelve injured people in Poprad. Only my brother got it into his liver and bled to death there. Although people tried to help him right there near the pharmacy, the pharmacist said that he wasn’t able to do anything for him and advised people to take him to the health centre. Doctor looked at him and ordered to put him on a stretcher and on the lorry and to drive him to the hospital in Spišská Sobota. However, the ambulance driver told us that when they came to Spišská Sobota, he only could close his eyes as he had already been dead. At least he told us that.”

  • “Only a few meters from our house there was a main road and we saw army tanks going along it. On Tuesday evening, August 20, my brother left for manoeuvres, because at that time the Czechoslovak republic had already been in ferment. Therefore we really worried about him. Later, in the evening we watched TV and there was Mr. Svoboda, who urged people to calm down, to avoid doing anything wrong, so that there would be a peace in Czechoslovakia. Unfortunately, we even couldn’t sleep, because the tanks roared all around us. It was horrible, I worried about my children. I experienced the Second World War when I was a child, so I still had all those horrible things in my mind. I saw Russians at that time and I witnessed all the terrible things they had done, despoliation, and my memories came back to me... People started saying, ‘War, it will be the war!’ I feared for my children. We couldn’t sleep for the whole night, we were watching TV and they still urged people not to do anything wrong, urged soldiers not to shoot. Then, when we woke up in the morning, we saw army tanks passing our house. Some of them didn’t move as they were broken. I just took my children inside as I wanted to protect them. Then, we waited for the whole morning, because they still urged people via radio or TV to calm down. Then, general Svoboda entreated people, soldiers above all, not to start firing. It was horrible, not only then, but also today, when I think about it, when I cast my mind back, because it is impossible to forget about it.”

  • Celé nahrávky
  • 1

    v Hôrke (okres Poprad), 20.06.2011

    nahrávka pořízena v rámci projektu Witnesses of the Oppression Period
Celé nahrávky jsou k dispozici pouze pro přihlášené uživatele.

When we woke up in the morning, we saw army tanks passing our house

Anna  Malá
Anna Malá
zdroj: Archiv - Pamět národa

Anna Malá nee Bonková was born on June 3, 1940 as the oldest of seven children. Her father was a miner and her mother was a housewife looking after their children and household. Anna spent her childhood as well as youth in the village of Hôrka in the Tatras region and she also started attending the elementary school there. However, after the fifth year, she pursued her studies in the near town of Poprad. She got married and left her natal home as the first of all children, but she often returned home to help her senescent parents. She had six children and later, when they grew up, she found a job in Svit. However, in the year 1968 the tragedy affected the whole Bonk family. Anna‘s brother, Jozef Bonk, a nineteen-year old keen football player and trained locksmith, became one of the ninety victims of occupation forces‘ arrival in Czechoslovakia on August 21, 1968. As he was single, he lived with his parents and helped them with everything necessary, because their father had already been retired. He worked in Krajná Poľana in Svidník in the local factory of Piloimpregna. He was on the way from a weekly work when the tragic events occurred and when a Soviet soldier shot him dead. He was hit by a bullet into his liver, and though people tried to rescue him, he succumbed to his injuries. That day fifteen people were injured in Poprad, but only Jozef didn‘t survive these tragic events. There is a memorial plaque on the Námestie sv. Egídia square in Poprad.