“He stood there, being completely stiff. I gave a tug to the heavy wardrobe, placed a stool behind it and said: ‘Stand on this chair and God forbid you step down!’ I pushed it back, ran to the other wardrobe, also setting it out of square and ran to the exit. The Germans were already there! They opened the door so fiercely that they bumped into my hand as I reached for the handle, injuring my wrist. I could see them lurking suspiciously. One of them remained standing behind me at the door; the other one went to mess up the bed, also looking underneath it. He went to the wardrobe on the left, behind which there was nobody. Inside were clothes on hangers. He moved it piece by piece with his rifle, looking down into the wardrobe. Then he rested his rifle – and I almost died at that moment – kneeled down and peeped below the closet. He kept looking, it took about a century. Then he got up and said: ‘Gut.’ He took his rifle again and went to the other wardrobe. Inside it was linen. He searched through it with his bayonet. Then he rested his rifle against the wardrobe and slowly kneeled down. At that moment I looked at myself and saw myself trembling, my dress shaking on me. And he was kneeling down, peeping, kneeling down, and peeping – for another century. I began to move around because I realized the other soldier at the door was looking at me and I did not want him to see me shaking. The other one kept looking. I thought to myself: ‘Jesus Christ!’ Suddenly, he got up and said: ‘Gut.’ I was still walking around. They left the room and the yard. I closed the door and tried to pull out the wardrobe behind which he was hiding. But I could not move it an inch. Hanka entered the room. I told her: ‘Ondra Slanina is hidden in there.’ – She replied: ‘You don’t say.’ I also told him to push. Finally, we managed to pull it aside. I have no idea how I previously managed to do it on my own. As they say, one is capable of great things in moments of horror.”
“There was some space in the barn house and they built a shelter there. It had a wooden frame with some boards through which the air could pour in. They would create a rectangle from those boards. There was some hay and straws, everything trod down. It was impossible to get in there from above. One needed to go from below and to count the girders. At the third one, one would make a turn, climb up and then get down to the shelter. There were plenty of blankets there, cans and a bucket for excrements. When the men wanted to take a pee, they could move one of those boards aside, not having to go to the bucket. One day they got stuck in there for ten days because the Germans kept their horses down there next to them. They could not get out and therefore had to survive on canned food.”
“On Monday, my dad got dressed into two civilian clothes. He was tall, thin, and slim. He took on two shirts. The Germans allowed the civilians to bring food to the thirty arrested soldiers because they were not ready for them, not having the food. So the civilians could bring food over in saucepans. The Germans inspected them and let them into the classroom where the prisoners of war were accommodated. There they would feed them and be inspected again upon leaving. And my dad wore two clothes; my mom preparing food into the saucepan. The German searched him through and let him in. Mr. Telgarský shaved dry in the corner because he was very hairy. He changed his clothes, leaving all the military things behind, perhaps only taking some documents with him. My dad gave him one of the saucepans and a string bag. It had all been prepared for both to have something in their hands. They both got out. My dad took him to a family which was ready to transport him to safety immediately. Jozef was my daddy’s friend and this way he saved him from imprisonment… I do not know what happened to the other prisoners.”
ne is capable of great things in moments of horror.
Lýdia Kovářová, née Kordíková, was born on the 9th of January 1928 in the village of Jasenie, in the Southern part of the Low Tatra mountains, near the town of Brezno. She grew up at a family farmhouse kept by her parents. Her father Elígius Kordík also worked as a blacksmith. Following the Slovak National Uprising of 1944 and its suppression, the family supported partisans who were hiding in the mountains, supplying them with food and clothes. For two months, the Kordíks were also hiding three medics of the second airborne brigade in their barn house shelter. Later, two of these soldiers left to join the partisans in the mountains. Her mother Angela Kordíková managed to obtain the ID for the third one - Pavel Svoreň - which he had at his parents‘ in Zvolen, thus allowing him to legally reside in the village. Lýdia‘s father saved the lives of several people. The Kordík‘s were later honoured for their resistance activities. In 1947, Lýdia concluded her studies of the Slovak academy of pedagogy in Turčianske Teplice. In the 1960‘s, she graduated from the Faculty of Pedagogy in Pilsen, specializing in biology and physical education. She worked as a teacher in Modrý Kamen - Riečky and in Pilsen. She retired in 1984 but as late as the 1990‘s she would serve as a temporary replacement at some of Pilsen‘s schools. Lýdia died in 2017.