Aldo Mijandrušić

* 1928

  • „There you go...we haven't seen but two trucks, because others haven't arrived yet, and from the hill a (?) our view was blocked, later when shooting started we saw tri trucks and two cars, one in first and other in place. We started shooting and that people were jumoing from the trucks, we don't know if someone escaped or not, were they tied or not but sudenly heavy artillery started to shoot, and shoot. Commissar and I, with three men were down low, and all above us, eight or nine of them, didn't shoot. Commissar told me. „Aldo go and check out why aren't they shooting.“ I was crawling, nobody was there, I turned around, they were already across, across that meadow, more on the other side where stream is flowing. It wasn't deep, but it was cold, so I look up because I heard the gunfires from the hill, above us and there were Germans, God knows how many! Maybe hundred, two hundred I don't know, there were plenty of them..I returned to commissar and said to him. „Look commissar, take a good look who is shooting.“ We ran without any notice. There were trees, and three of them who were close to us, hid in a tree. Germans didn't notice them. If we were close to each other, but it was only me, but you dont' think just go and run. We ran but didn't made to the stream because it was he was on the other side, me being on his right and he was older he was 48, the oldest in battalion not just our detachment. With my left eye I was able to see that he fell down, I could only hear „AAAAA“, he fell on his back, he only shouted „A“ and nothing else. I made a couple of steps more, the ground was sputtering, smoke was everywhere, luckilly I wasn't hit in my body just my coat. I threw myself in that stream. There were many willows there so I threw myself into the stream and hid beneath the willows with only my head above the water, and my machine gun. Everything else was in the water. It was a spring water and March 12th, it was cold. Germans were chasing the others because they saw them running into the forrest. That was commander of the other group Juričić Josip. He was in the group which escaped without notice, they thought to run, and we didn't hear them. He was shot under his knees with two bullets. He hid in a bush, others were in the forrest and I heard someone yelling on Croatian: „Stop mother of yours! Hell! Surrender yourself!“ Suddenly I couldn't hear anyone yelling and when we...The Germans were her until around 11 o'clock, and I couldn't...I couldn't hold anymore in the water so when I had heard them going back to the road I pulled myself out of the water, crawled couple of meters in the forrest and after that went back to the top...“

  • „Last time in October I haven't slept at home. My dad said: „Aldo sleep at home, I will keep the watch, don't worry. Dogs will not bark but on enemy, on Germans and fascists.“ He said: „If they're our own, the dogs will not bark.“ That was the truth. I said: „Dad, I better go.“ I had dinner, washed myself, they were able to heat up water, there were no bathrooms back then. When I finished washing he said. „Try to get some sleep, when was the last time you slept in bed?“ I couldn't remember when was the last time I had slept at home... I went sleeping, and early in the morning, I was still in my clothes, I only took off my shoes because I had a English machine gun which I kept by my side, sleeping with it in my arms. Then the dogs started to bark and woke me up. I was outside and could hear down the road, some 300 meters from the house, that an army was coming. A lot of footsteps, that's what he told me. I didn't tie my self, just put my shoes, ran outside, and my father went in the opposite direction. He said 10 or 15 minutes, they didn't arrive right away, they were certain that no one lives in the village. They were throbbing on the door. They did it to everyone, but my house was first. A fascist asked about me, not Brljafa, Brljafa was behid him, he said: „Aldo?“ „Aldo who, I don't know where he is.“ Brljafa then said. „How come, your son came here around 10 p. m.“ I did arrive home at 10 p. m. That means that someone...“ „ the village.“ „I don't believe it was from village, because there wasn't anybody in the village, only the late Rudi's nephew, his brother, the younger with whom wi joined the partisans, but the older was sickly and didn't join the partisans...He was good, but didn't join the partisans..Zgrablić Franjo, he was born in 1915 too, he was committee man so it couldn't be him. Vlahović Poldo and Bepo, two brothers, one was phisicaly disabled, barely walking on cane. Poldo was involved in every action, he was twenty years older than I was, but he was involved in every action which we had organized. Even at night he was alwys with us. Accordingly, it wasn't anybody from the village. It most certainly that Brljafa, because Iw as...I don't know...“

  • „Four or five times they have been looking for me, and my father answered the same, that he doesn't know since the Germans had arrived, that he doesn't know anything about me anymore. But the hell he didn't know, he was the one who saw me when he had returned from the hospital, he saw me hundred times and we watched his every step. But still they, because they were everytime. First time, there were a lot of Germans, that was in first month after New Year's eve, when they captured my cousin and his took his sister into camp. Then there were lot of Germans, it was mixed, but later there were only fascists and only two Germans who have spoken to my father. We weren't done with my father.... until October when it happened. They looted, took some wine and ham. One of them said to my mother, she couldn't understand Italian, but he said it in Italian that left a bag of flour and put a blanket on it. He showed her where it was. She didn't speak Italian, he was probably from Italy, he showed her, and Franjo strucked her with gunstock in the back. Grandmother was sitting in the kitchen, a big kitchen we had, three times bigger that this room right here. He tied her with a red scarf and pulled out a rope and said that was meant for me to be hanged on a mulberry. He tied her with that scarf. „You're“, he said, „a communist like your grandson. Your grandson Aldo.“ He added: „Or he leaves the house or I'll burn it to the ground.“ She replied to him: „franjo, I will not leave the house. I came in this family because the house is big, and I came as 24th in that house, when I married to my late husband. I'm not going. If you are going to set this house on fire, do it, but you'll have an old lady of 95 on your conscience.“

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Four or five times they have been looking for me, and my father answered the same, that he doesn‘t know...

Aldo Mijandrušić
Aldo Mijandrušić
zdroj: Pamět národa - Archiv

Aldo Mijandrušić was born in 1928 in a village of Mandalenčići. Father Josip and mother Franica (maiden name Bursić) were both farmers with 8 children. During Italian administration their surname was changed into Miandrussi. Aldo joined the war with while he was only 16 years old, joining the „Učka“ detachment. He left Pazin for Marubor to join 43rd division. Because he was only 16 years old, a minor, he was sent to Pazin to join tje police forces. He took part in Youth Organization‘s resistance which was founded by Rudi Mijandrušić and Viktor Zgrablić. He helped NOP by fulfiling his duty as a translator, translating from Croatian language. In February 1944 he passed through whole of Istria: Barban, Kopar, Buje...In October of that year he was located in Labin. His brother, Lojzo (b. 1929), who also took part in resistance, was captured by the Gremans in 1943. He was taken to Pazin, and then Trieste. His brother perished in first days of May in 1945. In September 1944. , Žminj, Barban, Labin and Šumber were surrounded. In Boljun, Mijandrušić was keeping watch from the bell tower. From Boljun he headed to Hrstenica, into German occupied territory, which initially retreated but then returned and occupied it again. He witnessed the end of the war in Pazin, taking part in final battles for liberation of Istria. After the war he stayed in military service, having to keep watch on prisoners of war. He witnessed the explosion in Raša mine, a tragedy that struck Raša in 1949. He highlighted that many people from Labin died in explosion but also some Germans. He was employed in Labin in 1947 as deputy  commander. He was transferred to Raša in 1950 and stayed until 1951 when he decided to leave the police and he was let go in July 31st 1959. He received his new job in August 1959 in Uljanik shipyard and worked there until his retirement.