Martin Mačok

* 1923  †︎ 2007

  • "They were all released from that prison, but there were about five of them at home. When I saw them, it was just for a while. I didn't stay for long, I wasn't in my own skin. When they saw me when I entered the room, they looked at me, looked at each other and cried too. They thought I am long dead, they prepared my funeral, they did my funeral in advance. Somebody told them untruth, spread a rumour, that I am dead and they accepted it. Because I didn't write and didn't come home for long. I could not write, they were surprised, and I told them, that I am thankful, that I am glad you are alive and I hurried to Poland, as I have mentioned before."

  • "History has been wrong in some cases, it is recalled differently as it happened. But we are speaking the truth. I am alive, I am a real person who experienced it, who went through it from Masaryk, including both wars until the present day. We believed in the war because Czechoslovakia existed, and it was destroyed, Germans were here, they occupied Slovakia, but they not only occupied there abut also took sons and fathers to the frontline to fight against Russians. But we had said enough! Rather die than live like this! And we went there with the belief, that we will resurrect and again create Czechoslovakia as we knew, as we used to live- Czech and Slovaks together, in which we succeeded."

  • "That when we retreated, it was such snowing heavily and all covered in frost. We, who were natives from Low or High Tatras were called "chamois" for enduring it. But what we found on the way back- one sat as if smiling, eyes wide opened, frozen, a little away another one. We took their death belt, it was a small purse with a copper case which contained the curled death belt. We had been instructed to report immediately to the family upon finding our killed soldier."

  • "I experienced a huge horror when some Slovak citizen betrayed us, he told the Germans, we were crossing that valley- Ilanova, and the Germans lined there. They encircled us, made a bypass and stopped us from the back and we could not retreat. It was a fight because it was at night, grenades and light missiles etc... we've seen who is standing in front of us or we touched the helmets. When it was crooked, it was a German. We had captured three hundred and eighty Germans at that time, and ours and the Germans were in a pile. My nerves totally betrayed me and I collapsed from the noise and the shooting, I have fallen asleep and in the morning, at the dawn... I woke up covered in blood. I touched my stomach, but I wasn't wounded, I have fainted from the noise and stress. Other wounded soldiers were transported to Russia from the Three Oaks and the Germans probably too. "

  • "As soon as we moved to Korytnice, we were deployed on Bílý potok in order to defend on the side of Ružomberok. Mostly we were against members of "Strafbattalion", as they called it, it was a German unit comprised of released prisoners. Also in Slovakia and Poland, prisoners were included in the front line. We recognised it due to the grey and black stripe, when we were looking from the observatory- we've seen gray and black stripes, that means the real soldiers, then "Strafbattalion" and in the back the SS men pushed them forward onto us."

  • "I would start with the fact, that that it was preceded by the outbreak of the uprising- that we were, in fact, organising it. Because we already had connections with those villages and small settlements. There were already determined and prepared people- from our side soldiers, also Russians, especially commanders. And we met when we went to the party in the village, so we got to know each other so well that we started to organise an uprising. I for example, before the uprising itself begun, I took fourteen soldiers from the unit POMZDRAV, from my unit- fourteen boys. They took their all their weapons and crossed the fence, and I lead them to Nemecka Lupca, where they were included, as already in case of outbreak of the uprising, into this uprising."

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    Litoměřice, 24.09.2003

    duration: 01:14:42
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
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We fought with the conviction that we would re-create the Czechoslovak state

Mayor Martin Mačok, born 1923
Mayor Martin Mačok, born 1923
photo: Geni

Martin Mačok was born on May 21, 1923, in the village of Rakúsy near Kežmarok in Slovakia. Before enlisting in the army of the Slovak state in 1943, which fought alongside the Nazi Germany, he worked as a porter at Grandohtel in Tatranská Lomnica. After enlisting, he worked as part of the auxiliary medical staff. The unit remained in Slovakia, and when the Slovak national uprising broke out at the end of August 1944, soldiers joined it. He fought in the vicinity of Biely Potok and, together with others, defended the road from Ružomberok towards the Korytnice spa. During the defensive actions, he was wounded by shrapnel from an artillery shell. German troops managed to push the insurgents into the Slovak mountains, where they switched to the partisan form of fight. During the winter of 1944 and 1945, their unit was betrayed while crossing the Iľanovská valley in the Low Tatras, and there was a bloody shootout with a number of casualties. When Martin Mačok found out about the imprisonment of his family in Kežmarok, he decided to leave the unit and set out on a dangerous journey to his hometown Rakusy. In February 1945, after crossing of the frontline, he joined the Fourth Brigade of the 1st Czechoslovak Army Corps in Poprad. With it, he advanced in the fighting to Žilina, Ostrava and finally to Prague. Here he met his future wife, whom he married in October of that year. He left the Czechoslovak army in 1951 with the rank of ensign and together with his wife, he moved to Litomerice. He was employed in the district and later in the regional committee of Svazarm. Finally, he served as Deputy Director of State Estates. He retired in 1983. He died in 2007.