Miroslav Cipár

* 1935  

  • “In our village, the partisan war began very early, mainly in the Silesian area, the partisans gathered together quite early. The paratroopers were landing there too, subsequently organizing the military resistance. All of them were volunteers, who needed some commandership and knowledge about how to lead a partisan war. I remember it quite exactly, when the parachutes fell and we as small boys ran to a beechen forest to cut away the slings. These were of unknown material, something like nylon strings. Those paratroopers were no longer there, but the parachutes remained hanging on the beech trees. This way we brought home parts of those parachute slings, that we found really precious back then, unheard-of. So, the war was really happening there; the war events took place in our village since 1943. In 1944 when the uprising broke out, it was a very fiery area, because the units of partisans and paratroopers intervened there. We often saw them, but at the same time, we also saw various German units, which used to meet the partisans on the road in open conflict. Thus, it was quite common for us to see pulled ladder wagons with corpses, as there was another gunfight. And it repeated. We could still see the war very alive and heinous.”

  • “At the very end everything reached its peak, when some amateur partisans laid mines on the road very unprofessionally. It was a surprise for one late, devastated and demoralized Vlasov’s unit. One of the soldiers was killed during the explosion, along with a horse; their wagon and everything was destroyed. You have to imagine those wagons as gypsy’s ladder wagons having canvas cover, a roof, and being pulled by horses. On such wagon, tired and demoralized, devastated soldiers travelled. These men were often expelled from their homelands, belonging to Vlasov’s units, forced out by their own people to foreign territory. Thus, you can only imagine what their emotional condition was like. After the explosion, however, they took a revenge – they set the settlement on fire and shot 21 men. The 21st man was my father, who survived the tragedy with his head shot through. Well, so this is probably the frame of era we lived through, how it looked like, how we attended school and learned. In reality, we still had some reason for not going to school! Many reasons!”

  • “I received a note that I should come back as my father was feeling very poorly. Saying “very poorly” was precisely meant in psychological way, as he had a nervous breakdown. On one hand, it was such a manly crisis, quite normal for a man in his 55-years, but then it was also a crisis of one’s reason for living. He opened a business, built a house, ran his business very boldly, along with his farm, and was an authority among other people, who trusted him, if I can confirm that, as his son. But then he found himself at the collapse line. Thanks God, he managed to overcome this crisis and as a pensioner he achieved at least some appreciation, also for the resistance. At our school, one room of traditions was arranged with exposed documents of the burnt-out village. Since my father lived next to the school, he used to go in and give speeches to school excursions, which quite often visited the tragic place. This man would always come and tell the whole summarized story, as he had it uniquely figured out.”

  • Celé nahrávky
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    Bratislava, 04.06.2018

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    délka: 01:49:29
    nahrávka pořízena v rámci projektu Příběhy 20. století TV
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    Bratislava, Slovensko, 02.08.2018

    (audio)
    délka: 01:49:29
    nahrávka pořízena v rámci projektu Stories of the 20th century
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What arises from courage, lasts

Portrait 2
Portrait 2
zdroj: pri natáčaní ED

Miroslav Cipár was born on January 8, 1935 in a settlement called Semeteš, belonging to the village of Vysoká nad Kysucou. His father owned a business in the village, which was later nationalized. Miroslav became a witness of the Second World War and its tragic climax in Semeteš, when the Vlasov’s soldiers set his native village on fire and shot 21 men. Among these men was also Miroslav’s father, who survived his head being shot through. After graduating from the Žilina grammar school, in years 1953 – 1955 Miroslav Cipár studied at the Pedagogical College in Bratislava, from where he continued to study monumental painting at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava (VŠVU) (1955 – 1961). Later, he changed this study for graphical studies, tutored by Vincent Hložník. In years 1971 – 1972, he was in Children’s Book Institute Delhi, India, in 1985 he led a workshop for illustrators in Sri Lanka and in 1987 he got a scholarship in the USA. He was one of the initial supporters and organizers of Bienále ilustrácií (Biennial of Illustration (BIB) of children‘s books in Bratislava) as well as of other significant cultural projects. He also had an important role in revolutionary year of 1989, when he became one of the co-founders of the movement Public Against Violence and actors of the Velvet Revolution.