Ján Gadžo

* 1949  

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He managed to escape on the third attempt

Ján Gadžo as a soldier in US army (1971 - 1973)
Ján Gadžo as a soldier in US army (1971 - 1973)
photo: archív pamätníka

Ján Gadžo was born on August 29, 1949 in Strážske into a family of rich landholders. Since childhood he longed to live in America, where several of his ancestors and relatives lived at the turn of the 19th and 20th century. He tried to cross the borders of communist Czechoslovakia for three times. He managed to emigrate successfully in April 1969 through Yugoslavia, spending five months in the Traiskirchen refugee camp. In August ‘69 he immigrated to New York from there with the help of a Catholic charity. He lived with his uncle Michal and worked in various places. From January 1971 to January 1973 he served in the US Army at Fort Wainwright, Alaska, thus getting the US citizenship. He lived and married in Minnesota and went on business trips all over the USA. He led the family company, Andrej’s Potica, which produced and distributed walnut strudels according to an old family recipe. He returned to Czechoslovakia in 1990. In spring of 2019 he and his wife Jean moved permanently to Košice.