Peter Bedlek

* 1928  †︎ 2019

  • “There was a directive passed in February that all from Krušetnica were partisans. Back then, there weren’t mayors, but commissars. So the commissar received a request to enlist all men aged from 18 to 30 years. There was a drummer appealing in the village that all the men being from 18 to 30 years old were supposed to line up by the church. It was such a village centre near the church. I don’t know how many men came, but there were only very few missing. My brother and our neighbor decided they wouldn’t go there. They hid themselves. However, there was a second drumming, where the command was clear – families of those who didn’t enlist themselves, would’ve been shot down. Thus at last they went to this church and got enlisted. The sledge riders got ready, since there was a lot of snow, and at three o’clock they went though Dolný Kubín to Martin, carrying food for three days and their clothes. In Martin’s military barracks they were taking off the roofing tiles, as they had nothing to eat. The Germans didn’t feed them.”

  • “After the so-called ‘čepobitie’, such a military music march in Bohemia, there was an evening assessment around nine or nine-thirty. There were line-ups or full combat gear readiness, and the assessment was carried out according to what was the order like. I don’t want to go into details, since you know it from the stories already, but there was a lot of swearing and jawing. They called us different names – traitors, enemies, and so on. It was everywhere. And those political workers, officers, ranked as second lieutenants or such, always viewed us as enemies and traitors. If one was somewhere later on, he mustn’t have said he belonged to the PTP or that he owned black shoulder loops. This way he would’ve revealed the military secret.”

  • “The Germans needed to find out, whether there were partisans in Lomná. So they took a motorcycle, on the ‘side’ holding a machine gun, and they went to Lomná. My brother’s friend was just returning home from Lomná; it was about eight or nine o’clock in the morning. The Germans stopped him and asked if there were partisans in Lomná. He said there weren’t, so they went on, remembering this young guy. However, as they came up, at one road curve, there were partisans in a house. One German was shot dead, the other one managed to save himself and run away. But these Germans remembered the young boy, searched for him, and found him. He was my brother’s friend. They took him to interrogation, roping his hands behind their horses. There were seven men marching to Námestovo, where the headquarters was. They dragged him, but I don’t know how he managed to arrive there. There was a road to Námestovo by our house, so we had such experience.”

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    Čadca, 17.11.2017

    duration: 25:07
    media recorded in project Stories of the 20th century
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A recruit from an enemy family couldn’t serve in arms

bedlek dobova1.jpg (historic)
Peter Bedlek
photo: Dobová: z čias vojenskej služby v útvaroch PTP (1950), Súčasná: z natáčania rozhovoru 17. novembra 2017

Peter Bedlek was born on January 6, 1928 and comes from the village of Krušetnica. As a young boy he witnessed local events of the Slovak National Uprising. His brother Anton was kidnapped to forced labor in Italy, where he gradually, through local partisans, joined the Anglo-American Army. After the communist takeover in 1948, Peter received a cadre evaluation of a class enemy because of his brother’s membership in west army, and also due to alleged unwillingness of his father to found an agricultural cooperative in the village. Resulting of that, in years 1950 - 1952 he had to undergo a penal military service in units of the Auxiliary Technical Battalions (PTP), which dwelled in hard manual labor in mines, woods, and building constructions. After his release to civilian life, he was forced to work for the state enterprise Stavoindustria, where he was still under military supervision. In later years he attended various courses and trainings, and stepwise he became a national expert on agricultural education as well as on regional pedagogical inspection. In 1962 he got married to Angela, née Gajdlanová, and together they’ve had four sons. As an active pensioner, Peter Bedlek nowadays lives in Čadca.