Juraj Bartusz

* 1933

  • “All of the Budapest bridges were blown up. You could get round only through the bridge in Kamenín. Kamenín had the strongest bridge out of all bridges. Heavy machinery could only cross through this bridge. There was a heavy fight for Kamenín. Once Russians tried to take over the bridge and defeat Germans, then the Germans fought against Russians to push them away. Fights were in winter and rivers were frozen, but the ice wouldn’t carry heavy machinery. Solders with machine guns were able to cross, but the heavy machinery no.”

  • “They wanted to force father out of his business.” “Did he come back from prison after two months?” “He never came back. He jumped under the car in Štúrovo. There wasn’t canteen in the prison, so they walked to one nearby. They had to walk across a busy road. When they went for lunch or from there, he jumped in front of a car. He lost it. He was born in Štúrovo and everyone knew him as an honest person. There he was now with cuffs on his hands.” “What was an official report of your father’s death?” “He died in tragic circumstances during the walk before lunch. They said that he slipped, you know. But those who knew him, they knew how it really was. Štúrovo wasn’t big town, everyone knew everyone else and he just couldn’t bear the shame.”

  • “What year did the interrogation take place?” “It was in 1973.” “How long did it last and how did it go?” “They called me in and kept me waiting for a quite long time. I guess it was a method that they used. They heard about my exhibition in Hungary and I confirmed it. They informed me that my works weren’t approved by ideological committee. I didn’t know about requirement of having my works approved by ideological committee. They asked me who took my works to Hungary. I told them I did. 'And did you know you could be arrested for that?' One of them asked me and I replied: 'No.' I asked him: 'Did you see those paintings?' As I saw they didn’t, I continued: 'What are you talking about then? Paintings are ideologically unsuitable?' They knew nothing except that I avoided the ideological committee, that I just avoided them. Hungarians didn’t request the committee's approval. It was much looser in Hungary back then and artists weren’t under such pressure of bullying.”

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    Košice, 25.04.2017

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Juraj Bartusz - former portrait
Juraj Bartusz - former portrait
zdroj: archív pamätníka

Juraj Bartusz was born in 1933 in Kamenín into a family of mason foreman. His father started his own business, which was very prosperous before the war. Young Juraj followed in his father‘s footsteps and after the war, he took entrance talent exam at the Secondary School of Art in Prague. Bartusz‘s talent shined out at the exam and he was accepted. However, after February 1948, Juraj father‘s company was nationalized and because of his resistance, he was arrested in Štúrovo prison, where he unfortunately after two months committed suicide. Juraj Bartusz was able to finish his studies and after graduating from university he earned a degree of Academic Sculptor. After school he married his schoolmate Mária Vnoučková (well-known Košice sculptor) and moved to Košice, where he started to work at the advertising department of East Slovakian Ironworks. Work at advertising department wasn‘t satisfactory enough for a young artist, thus he regularly entered Sculpture Competitions. After winning his first competition with the created Monument of Krompachy Uprising, he became independent, and began working as a full time sculptor. More and more work orders were about to come, yet, to mention a significant Monument for Luis Pasteur Faculty Hospital in Košice. He was appointed a Professor at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava and in 1998 he founded the Faculty of Arts of the Technical University in Košice. He lives and works in Košice.