Štefan Koma

* 1929

  • “On September 12, 1950 we went to Žilina Regional Military Headquarters. There we had to take off our clothes down to underwear, weight and measure out. Everyone was drafted, even boys with round shoulders. Up to 48 hours we were supposed to present ourselves with a military suitcase in Libava. The first lieutenant came to me while I stood there and said: 'Have you read a novel Humiliation of the Cross (Utrpenie kríža)?' I said I had and he replied: 'Well, then now it's here!'”

  • “There was a retributive court on the second or third day. To Černová one man came, encumbered with grenades asking where is Koma, the guardsman, whose son wants to be a priest. Aunt Beničiaková, probably being enlightened, told him: 'What Koma? We don't even have such a name in our village.' And so he went back to Ružomberok afoot. Otherwise we would have ended up somewhere in gulag, I guess.”

  • “I haven't told you about the Bavarians. They were able to become so voluble. My mom used to give them cup of milk as we had a cow, then they would add some Swiss cheese to that or something for the children. And then they took out their pictures showing us: 'This is my homestead and my family.' Nicely managed homestead, and then he continued: 'When I return home, none of it will be there anymore. Everything has been destroyed and the family is kaput. I was left alone…' And moreover, now with the defeated army he had to return where no one waited for him. Tragedy beyond tragedy.”

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    Liesek, 26.08.2017

    duration: 04:10:02
    media recorded in project Stories of the 20th century
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All, where God is missing, turns against a man in the end

Štefan Koma - 40 years old theologian (1970)
Štefan Koma - 40 years old theologian (1970)
photo: z archívu pamätníka

Štefan Koma was born on April 30, 1929 and comes from the village of Černová near Ružomberok. Since his very young age he inclined to spiritual vocation, what led him after graduation at the Grammar School of Andrej Hlinka in Ružomberok, to study at the Theological Seminary in Spišská Kapitula. As a result of the state intervention against churches, he had to interrupt his study in 1950. In September 1950, he had to enlist in the basic military service, where due to his past, he was assigned to the correctional units of the PTP (Auxiliary Technical Battalions). Here he spent more than three years doing difficult manual construction works for military and civilian projects. After the military service, he worked within several civilian jobs for the state-owned company Stavoindustria and a water-management enterprise Stredoslovenské stavby (Central Slovakian Construction Works). During the political loosening of the 1960s, he succeeded in enrolling at the Faculty of Roman Catholic Theology of Cyril and Methodius at the Comenius University in Bratislava, and after many years of difficulties and struggling, in 1970 he managed to graduate. Later, he worked as a chaplain in the village of Bobrovec, from 1971 in Námestovo and in 1974 he became a parish priest in the village of Liesek, where he lives today. Throughout the period of communist regime, as a so-called “reactionary element”, he was being monitored by the State Security authorities.