Jozef Babiak

* 1929

  • “It was the Christmas Eve, the first Christmas in Technical Auxiliary Battalions (PTP). Dinner was nicely prepared in the canteen, we even had fish. There was one political officer of the whole unit, his name was Kopřiva, who began his speech, ‘Dear comrades, one Georgian night, our comrade Stalin was born!’ And such stupidities. When the speech was over, he wished us to enjoy the food. My friend Lojzo Jurkáček said, ‘Do you want the Stalin’s dinner? I don’t.’ Thus we stood up from the table and went to our room. We had some stuff in packages from home, so we ate that. However, this political officer came to ask us, why we didn’t eat dinner. Lojzo asked him, ‘Comrade Captain, what are we actually celebrating today? Birth of Christ or birth of Stalin?’ He said, ‘Birth of Stalin!’ And Lojzo continued, ‘Stalin was born on December 21, and today is the 24th!’ He kept questioning him, because at the seminary, they also studied Marxism-Leninism, so the officer was completely finished! Then he used to come to Lojzo and ask him to work as a political officer!”

  • “He wrote that on the paper. He gave me 4 days off exceptionally, since we didn’t have any vacation days. He let me go home and I just had to have it confirmed from the village office. I came to the office and asked them for signature. They read it; looked at each other, they were acquaintances of mine, we all knew everyone at our village, and they told me, ‘We cannot sign it for you, the official procedure must be followed. We will send it to you in formal way!’ When I came back to the barracks, the commander was waiting for me, ‘Give me the paper!’ ‘I don’t have it. They told me, they’d send it by mail.’ ‘They lied to you!’ And I convinced him, ‘No, for sure they didn’t, they all are my friends, almost a family!’ But he was right. A week later he called me, ‘Come here!’ They wrote on the back side of the paper that they wouldn’t sign it as it was not well-grounded.”

  • “They came over and wanted to buy our tractor. I told them, ‘Excuse me, but our tractor is not for sale. Go to Brno, we were in Brno, where they have brand new tractors. We already have this one for the second year!’ But they insisted saying they had to buy the tractor from us. ‘And how much are you willing to pay us for it? We paid 140 000 crowns. How much do you want to pay?’ They admitted they didn’t have any money. ‘So then you are not buyers, but thieves! You steal! Get out of our yard!’ They left and in a while they returned with the security chief, ‘In the name of law, I ask you to hand in the tractor or you shall come with us!’ My mom started to cry. She told me, ‘Please, let it go, let them take it.’ One works so hard, buys such a thing and then they just come and take it? As they were leaving, they told me, ‘Oh, we will take care of you!’”

  • “And when Germans crushed the Uprising, four partisans wanted to get to Oremov Laz, where was the training centre. They set off the bridge in the evening and came so that I took them there, what was more than 20 km. So being a boy back then, at night I went with them to Senohrad and we walked until midnight. As soon as we noticed some kind of light, we were hiding. This way I took them there.”

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    Hontianske Nemce, 13.01.2018

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They had to know, they wouldn’t change our generation!

Black Baron
Black Baron
zdroj: archív pamätníka

Jozef Babiak was born on December 24, 1929 in Hontianske Nemce. He comes from a peasant family that owned 20 hectars of land and some livestock. After the February 1948, the communist authority confiscated their farm and merged it into the joint cooperative. On October 1, 1951 Jozef enlisted in the Auxiliary Technical Battalions (PTP) into the military training camp in Libavá, from where he was assigned to mine in Ostrava. There he stayed until his release into the civilian life on December 8, 1953. When he returned home, he had problems to get employed. In the end he got a job of a factory driver in Central Slovakian Cannery and Distillery in Krupina, and remained there for 36 years. Since 1989 he is retired and lives in Hontianske Nemce.