Margita Hanzelová, rod. Krčíková

* 1927  

  • “My father was imprisoned because he didn’t like Germans. They found out this about him and imprisoned him for half a year. The prison wasn’t too far from Ružomberok. Back then I was a three or four-grader. There were more workers, who didn’t agree with the German regime, but it was not allowed to speak about that. Poor father was closed almost for half a year. The worst it got during the summer, when we needed him so much, as he could have earned some money. This way we feared we wouldn’t have survived the winter, because the bricklayers earned the family’s living mostly during the summer.”

  • “Jucka Kelermannová had a 3-year-old little sister, a beautiful baby girl, who was also murdered. It was horrible! Jucka was also killed in the gas chamber. When we were at school together, at the class for four-graders, she used to tell me, she would give me a suitcase with her clothes. She used to sit in front of me, she was very smart and could speak German perfectly. The Jews spoke German very well, but no one could find that out as it would reveal their Jewish origin. Juca could speak German very well and once she said, ‘Please, take the suitcase with my clothes. They will fit you; we are the same. I doubt I ever return.’ ‘No way, Jucka! My grandma can stitch me clothes and dresses from different old skirts!’ I didn’t have pretty clothes, but she really dressed nicely. They owned a little shop at Dlhá street. Later I just learned that her mother used to come and wait for each train, and most of all, she cried for the little girl, Monika.”

  • “About two meters away from me, such a meter-long stick fell down. At first it smoked, twisted; if I took a step, it would surely kill me. But I stood still, staring at it. It whirred and tossed; I didn’t know what it was. Later on, I learned it was a mortar shell, which could have killed me. My mom started crying as they heard in the bunker I was near the shell. I threw myself to the trench and until it whirred, I stayed laying, but I kept screaming, ‘Mommy, I have been killed, I have surely been killed already!’ My mom could hear that to the bunker. ‘But since she screams, she must be alive!’ I still held the ham and a big bowl in my hands, bringing it to the bunker so that we had something to eat for the next two days.”

  • Full recordings
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    Bojnice, Slovensko, 16.06.2018

    duration: 01:42:31
    media recorded in project Stories of the 20th century
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With luck she avoided unexploded mortar shell

Profile photo, late 40-ties
Profile photo, late 40-ties
photo: archív pamätníčky

Margita Hanzelová came from family of a bricklayer Štefan Krčík from Bojnice, where she was born in 1927. Her father’s income depended on the season, thus the family earned living by farming, too. When she was little, during the Second World War, her father was as a political prisoner sentenced to a half-year imprisonment for supporting the communist party. During the war she experienced very painful saying goodbye to her Jewish schoolmates, who were deported to concentration camp. During passing of the front, at first, they hosted German soldiers and then also the liberating Romanian army. During the mortar firing a shell fell right next to her. Only by miracle it didn’t explode and Margita was saved from certain death. After the war she worked as an accountant in different offices. She married a construction officer and together they had two daughters. She retired when she was 55 years old and ever since then she studies and writes the history of Bojnice, focusing mainly on the folk legends and songs.