M.Eng. Zuzana Bartová, rod. Špitzerová
“One of my friends, or better, classmates, I don't even know from what reason, told me off and called me a dirty Jew. However, I slapped her. She didn't protest, moreover, she even asked me for forgiveness…”
“I remember one place in Žilina, where we were as my father led me to my first class. He told me: 'You know, you shall hear about God at this school.' That's when I went to the Jewish school. 'But do not believe that. No God exists.' He told me this, in spite of the fact that he came from a very religious family, and maybe this was the reason why he resisted that so much. This is what I had in my mind even years after, although, I have to admit, that when we were baptized and I began to study at the Christian school, I began to really enjoy the Catholic religion. I used to attend also litanies as well as holy masses.”
“I don't know what she did. Maybe she also had some books, I don't remember that, but she was very optimistic. We saw how once some Gestapo members came into that house. I was convinced they came to take us away, but they stopped one floor below our flat and searched for somebody. I don't know whether they found someone or not. My mom calmed me down as I was terrified and said: 'Don't worry, we will be all right.' And that's what happened. So, although I really trusted my mom before, especially after this, I believed each of her words until her death. Truly.”
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The noble profession saved their lives
Zuzana Bartová was born in Žilina on January 8, 1934 in a family of Jewish doctors. In 1942 she was baptized as a Catholic to avoid the deportations. During the war she studied in Žilina “Sirotár” (Orphanage), where more Jewish children were hidden. Later she and her mother were hiding in the attic of Gajdošík family and this way they survived the war. Zuzana completed studies of electrical engineering at the Slovak University of Technology, finished associate professorship and stayed at this school teaching electrical measurements. She met her husband at the communist party meeting and they got married in 1957. Zuzana’s husband was a teacher of Marxist philosophy at the Department of Marxism and Leninism; however, after 1968 he put an end to philosophy and was dismissed from the university.