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Military service Tag

   

Jiří Pehe

And then finally we got across the border and we heard the car going, and then the car stopped. They went from the main road to a corn field. It was this dusty road in a cornfield. They opened the trunk and we just fell out. We couldn’t stand; we had no blood circulation. I remember, my first sight of the west was lying in dust on this dusty road.

Stan Pechan

We talked about communism, even during communism. You know, in groups you talked, sometimes alcohol was involved, and then you started to talk, you know. People did talk. Sometimes you were unlucky and somebody maybe turned you in, you know? But this did not happen too much, it did not happen too much.

Karel Paukert

So this was one thing that we had to do and then eventually, towards the end of the War, he would say ‘Take this and drop it off there and there.’ And it was obviously for partisans, guerrillas, so you know, he said ‘It’s extremely dangerous and you can do it, as a little boy.’

Jan Pala

I was 15 then, and we were curious. I went into town, where they were shooting. Then we went to the airfield. We gave the Russians beer and wine and they gave us gasoline for our motorbikes. We brought them some cigarettes too. Then there was shooting on SNP Square…

Bruno Necasek

I do remember bananas before the War came. And I didn’t see bananas again until I got to Germany in 1951. The first thing I bought there was bananas, honest to god! Because I remembered the taste, I remembered what they looked like, but we couldn’t buy them.

Rudy Misurec

Yes, yes. The American planes were coming through that area, going most often to bomb Austria, mainly Wiener Neustadt, where there were some factories which they considered important, and we many times had an alarm and we were so pleased because they had to chase us out of the buildings.

Joseph Masin

Our mother, she was jailed twice, and she spent a long time in German jails, and during that time our maid was still with our family and also our grandmother, who came also from a family which was German speaking, so she was looking out for us and actually, it was our grandmother and our maid who saved us when our mother was taken prisoner, when she was in the jail.

George Malek

We went to the streets, we talked to them [the soldiers], and it essentially was pretty much hopeless. There were some guys who would throw the Molotov cocktails at the tanks, but it was pretty much useless. You cannot fight the tanks and an armed army with bare hands and with stones. And if you do, they will shoot you. So then I went home.

Vladimir Krman

This was in 1952 when I was getting pretty well persecuted because of my political inactivity. We got together with my cousin and a friend from the aero club – we got together and decided there is no way, no future for us. Because pretty soon my flying career ended; they stopped me from flying, and my two friends were mechanics whereas they joined the Air Force for the purpose of flying so that they would get flight training.

Joseph Kmet

Well, it was the Depression, and my father – he was afraid that he wouldn’t be able to raise the family here, that it would be easier in Slovakia. You know, you’ve got a little farm there, a little garden, so you can grow some of your own stuff. Or maybe, I don’t know, kill a chicken or maybe a rabbit. So, it was easier to be there than here. Here you’ve got to buy everything, so…