‘We shall give you such a stamp on the inspection report that you will find no more work in your whole life!’ told me the chairman of the party.”
Miroslav Žbirka was born on January 25, 1936 in Trnavá Hora near Zvolen. He attended elementary school in Jalná and later studied at the secondary technical school in Zvolen. Since 1955 he lives in Martin, where he received a job admittance to Heavy Engineering Company (ZŤS). In 1960s he started to pursue mountaineering, later traveling and cycling, and he also reached behind the so-called Iron Curtain. In 1967 he and Michal Orolín managed to climb Elbrus (5.642m) in Caucasia. He was a member of the communist party, but he resigned during the Prague Spring, when he learned about existence of political prisoners, forced labor camps, auxiliary technical battalions, and further iniquities of the regime. In times of normalization he had been hindered in salary and career advancement and for a long time he was unable to travel abroad. He also had an experience with the State Security, which monitored him mainly due to his hobby to travel. After the fall of the communist regime and opening of the borders, he traveled a lot and his life experience was visiting the USA. Currently he lives retired in Martin.