PhDr. Ondrej Demo CSc.
* 1927 †︎ 2020
"The last Germans fled through our village towards Dvory nad Žitavou and with mortars fired from the cemetery on the hill back on the village. And they hit the end of the village, where our boys were outside, they hit and killed three of them. Then they shot to the Russians, some of them, and also some Germans were killed in the village. But the frontline moved and the first phase was over. Everything became silent. But at night the army arrived, galore of soldiers, so we retreated to the cellar. We spend the night there. They occupied what was possible, houses and so on. We were all quiet. But they immediately occupied Dvory nad Žitavou."
"And that were Russian, or Soviet troops?"
"Yes. The frontline. They were front-line soldiers, but wild. The whole Dvory nad Zitavou moved out, because marshall Malinovsky, the second Ukrainian front, moved there. All citizens had to leave, running wherever they could- into the fields. But the Russians when they later came, they lived also at our place, one officer, Jesus Christ, he shot our hens, screaming "Cook for us!" Suddenly my father realised, horses aren't in the barn, my mother realized she has no eggs. You know, Russians... They were chasing girls- my sister. She had my youngest brother in her arms as a son, they had no mercy. But we had to put up with that all. Nove Zamky were not liberated until 29th, before, they were demarcated (by a built defence). It was broken and Russians moved, from Dvory they left to Bratislava. "
"We were occupied by the Russians at night. None of us knew about it. And in the morning we listened to the news when we got up. And we heard that the radio, Bratislava etc... is occupied. We didn't even want to believe it. But I went to the radio building. We lived on Jakub's square, everything was occupied. I went to Zochova, everything was occupied and editors grouped outside, debating what shall be done. Reporters suggested broadcasting with the transmission technology outside of the radio. People with the transmission technology, director Leos Komarek, all from different backgrounds, broadcasted everyday information about the situation. Even we didn't know any details about where they had been meeting. It was secret. But we were still meeting, it lasted almost one month, when the buildings were closed, we used to meet outside of the radio building in the park at the Jakub square, the others on the Zochova street. There, we were given information from the management. I think it lasted for a month until we were able to access the building and broadcast was overtaken by new management. We had problems with the team broadcasting news, those communists, who "failed". Many of them were fired, and interrogations followed."
"These Nyilas took us to the train station and handed us over to the Germans. The soldiers took us over, we were put in the wagons, Nyilas left. The women from Branov managed to see us, they were crying and sent a message home, that we were captivated by the Germans. We were standing on that station, the train did not move. The German soldiers were smoking, debating, they did not seem to pay attention to us. I said: "You know what pals, let's try to run one by one, because where we jump in the village not knowing what." They replied, "No, Ondrisko, they'll shoot us." No one had the courage. Me, as the student of the first year, I knew what's the situation on the front line. So I discreetly took the cup I had there and went to take water to the station Nove Zamky, I poured water from the pipe, drank, filled in another cup and carried the water as if to the carriage. But I didn't enter it, but continued walking along the carriage, hoping that when they would catch me, I would defend myself I went for the water." And they didn't watch you? Do you know? "The Germans were not paying attention to us. I walked as I've described, and they didn't stop me. The train ended, I crossed the rails on the end and continued along the rails in the direction of Dvory nad Zitavou and from there I walked home. Approximately 12 kilometres. Alone, in the dark."
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They persecuted us for bringing ecclesiastical and spiritual elements to the scene instead of promoting the other idea
Ondrej Demo was born on January 14, 1927, in the village of Branovo as the third of eight children. Father Dezider was born in 1893 and mother Johana, born Kalinová, was born in 1898. Ondrej attended a folk school in Branov, followed by a middle school in Dvory nad Žitavou (1942 - 1944). In 1944, he left for the Pedagogical Lyceum in Levice. He did not finish school due to the 2nd World War. In the years 1945 - 1948, he graduated from the Teacher’s Academy in Bratislava. After school, he taught for one year at a primary school in the village of Klížska Nema Slovak language, and then at the musical education at “middle school” in Cicov. After elementary military service in Pardubice (1951 - 1953), he started working as an editor at the Folk Music Editorial Office of the Czechoslovak Radio in Bratislava. Whilst employed, he graduated from the Music Department of the University of Education in Bratislava with a degree in music education and theory (1954 - 1960). In 1975, he received the title of Doctor of Philosophy at the Department of Musicology, Faculty of Arts, Comenius University. In the years 1976 - 1983 he completed an external postgraduate study in the field of ethnomusicology at the Institute of Music of the Slovak Academy of Sciences and in 1983 he defended the rank of candidate of art sciences. In 1999, he became the artistic director and choirmaster of the John-Paul II Choir in Vajnory. He worked in the radio until his retirement, until 1991.