* 1926 †︎ 2019
“In 1944, Bratislava was bombed for the first time. Then there was this order for an alarm to be raised when the planes were over the city. But the sirens went off only when the first bombs fell. The planes targeted the bridge to Petržalka over the Danube. Our barracks were just opposite the bridge. One of the bombs fell straight to our yards, on the hydrant, another on the building. There were these small windows in the building and it all clanked as the bombs fell.”
“I remember a member of our Institute, his name was Honza and he served as a lineman to our topographer, captain Ozábal. Honza stole goods from the captain and joined the partisans, who had stolen as well. During the uprising, Honza and two more partisans were captured by the Slovak soldiers. They were put on a trial. They asked what people suggested and people shouted, ‘Death, death’. So they executed all three of them in Harmanec valley.”
“We spend the night outside. The next day we went out of the forest and saw a path with a house. We were quite hungry, so we went to ask for food. We should not have done this though. As we approached the house, Germans emerged from it. The whole platoon. Had you stabbed me at that moment, no blood would have poured out. They disarmed us and took us captive. Then they led us to a house where there were already about sixty prisoners.”
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As the bombs fell, it all clanked
Otto Hlupík was born on September 1, 1926, in Holíč, Slovakia, into a worker’s family of Catholic denomination. His comes of twelve children and he grew up in poverty. He went to primary school in Holíč, which he completed in 1941. He then went on to study at the Military Geographical Institute in Bratislava, took part in the Slovak National Uprising. As an eighteen-year-old man, in 1944, he became a member of the First Czechoslovakian Army. He fell into captivity on his duty while retreating from the German army. He was imprisoned in Austrian camps in Kaisersteinbruch and Sankt Pantaleon. After the liberation, he returned back to service and then to the Military Geographical Institute in Bratislava, from where he was shifted to Prague. He was a member of the cartography department and the chief of the lithography department, where he was lieutenant colonel. He joined the Communist Party. He has a son and lives in Prague.