Silvio Lazarić

* 1927

  • "While working in shipyard, we had to make notes for all projects we have done, wether we needed to repair the ship, or constructing it. For every project we needed to report the exact number of day and hours spent at work. All the details were required. If you know what I mean. - Yes, yes. - If you wish I can speak in English. - No, it is ok. - I stayed there till my escape in 1951. I have always been thinking of going away somewhere in the World. I was not satisfied with my way of life at home. An officer found out all about my comments on leaving the country. This officer came to me at work and asked me to go with him to the headquarters for interrogation. Then he started with accusations:” You were saying.. this and that.. we all fought for freedom, isn´t that right?” After interrogation the same officer decided on my sentence, he wanted to send me to Raša, to work in a coal mine. At the end I told him: „ I didn´t do anything;“ and I asked the officer for a permission to let me go home only for a few hours. I wanted to tell my parents where I´ll be sent and to take some clothes. And he did, he let me go. The next day I was gone. - For this and only reason. - How did you decide? - It was a sparkle of the moment, I am going, what happens, happens…"

  • Getaway across the Adriatic sea -" It was April.. 21st, don´t remember the time, but it was surely the month of April. At home we had one small boat, which we found by the pier in Levanić, and I used it for a fishing. We also had a sailing boat, but I was thinking: “ If I take this boat, then my family won´t be able to go fishing”. I decided to take a small boat for escape. So I sailed away at the sunset. My friends and others saw me. I followed direction to Finance, a meeting point with my two friends for escape: Tilio Lorencin - Jano and Pere Čupić. It was getting dark, with the strong, cold wind blowing. We followed direction to the southern part of the coast for an easier escape. When we came to this area I have heard something like bum bum … it was the engine from the other boat, a police boat. The police was waiting for us. Luckily they didn´t see us. With the shining moonlight, it was very easy to notice us. Maybe, they were sleeping or just, allowed us to go away. After, we passed the Premantura cape with the lighthouse, we were free. During the night we noticed a lights approaching us, again. It was a big ship. We didn´t know where it was sailing to, would the people from this ship pick us up and arrest us or what… At some point we noticed that this ship will sail by us following direction of Trieste. Finally we were free. So, we spent the night on the sea. We were sailing the whole night, and in the morning we were able to see the coast – still ours. - From Trieste? - I was thinking we will come … to Italy in one night, but … we spent another whole day floating at the sea. Still didn´t see any coast. Luckily, the wind bura was blowing and then we knew which direction we have to take."

  • "It was getting dark and I saw lights on Italian coast. But, we were, still far away from Italy in a rowing boat. The wind was blowing in opposite direction. We were exhausted. Luckily, an Italian fishing boat came and saved us. Fishermen lifted us up, gave us food and place to sleep till next morning. When next morning came we were in Italy. The owner of the ship invited us to his home, he called the police and informed them about us. We spoke Italian with them. There we spent a day, took a bath and … shave and … they gave us a food. The next day fishermen took us to Bologna’s prison. I didn´t care about the prison as long as I was having food and was purely staying alive. In prison there were interesting people, most of them stole a bike so they have been punished for a week or two. We spent two weeks in Bologna prison. From Bologna prison we have been transferred to Fraschette, a small place close to Rome. There we found ustaše (profascist collaborator), četnike and Germans who have been in this camp since the war. During the night, the guards were at the gate watching, if someone wanted to go out to take a fresh air, but stuffed air, but we constantly had to be in closed area. And so the life has gone away."

  • Full recordings
  • 1

    Medulin, 06.08.2013

    duration: 53:40
    media recorded in project Iron Curtain Stories
Full recordings are available only for logged users.

I rowed over the Adriatic sea to escape from the mineyard

unnamed-vert.jpg (historic)
Silvio Lazarić
photo: Snimljeno prilikom intervjua

Silvio Lazarić was born on April 21st 1927 in Medulin. His father was a fisherman. After the father´s death in World War I, his mother stayed alone with three children. They did not practise religion very often. At home they spoak Italian. Silvio went to school in Medulin and later he found a job in Valelunga. At the end of World War II his mother smuggled them with help of the Red Cross in train to save them.Silvio decided to join partisans. He ended up in hills of Gorski kotar. He was very disappointed when he saw the inequality among soldiers depending on military ranks. For example, there were three different cuisines ( for high officers, low rank officers and for ordinary men). At the end of the World War II he worked on different projects in shipyards. Since he wasn¨t satisfied with his life he escaped with his colleagues to Italy in 1951. From there he left to Canada by an American navy ship. Canada became his new homeland. At the beginning he started to repair hair clipper machines. This business brought him quite a lot of success. He developed a family business and has been involved in it up to present.