Alžbeta Ošvátová

* 1935

  • "Even though it was late in the evening, there was light from the flames outside. The village was on fire. Houses were burning on every sides, mines were falling, it was shooting. Tiles and I don't know what coverings in one piece were jumpng out. It was necessary to run away as soon as possible. We didn't even enter our house anymore. We ran away from what we were wearing. But Aunt Anička did not want to leave. They said, God forbid, let whatever he wants happen. They will stay at home. So it happend. All the while, they hid in the cellars with people who didn't have the strength to run away. Thank God, they survived. They were a beautiful and very pious soul and my sister and I loved them very much. At night they ran out of their hiding to feed the farm. " 0:20:45 – 0:22:05 – Čičmany were on fire, Elizabeth with her mother and sister had to run away

  • "Then close to us again, Petráš family, where the upper stop turns and as it comes to us, there on the corner in Petráš's house, there was an infirmary. And we stood on the road as children, where Miro Čecho now lives. We didn't go to school anymore. They were boys, girls but also adults. And we watched them brough on the sleigh - those sleighs had sidewalls, how they brough the dead, thrown on those sleighs head-on. Then they put them in those rooms in the Petráš' s house. Those people moaned on those sleighs, we shook in fear, we didn't know what was going on. That was in 1944. We heard moans, cries, screams of pain. It wasn't until the night that we heard the people scream terribly. Among them were Italians, Hungarians, Slovaks, French - mixed nationalities. I guess there were some of them, maybe they buried them alive. " 0:05:50 – 0:07:31 – There was a partisan infirmary in Čičmany in the Petráš family house

  • "We saw everything as children. For example, one such picture that I know. I was looking out of our window once, that was in 1944. But there was snow and I was looking out of our window towards Paška's hill. And there the soldiers waded, bent over, huddled, it was very cold. And then I felt something in me that I was so sorry that the poor people were probably suffering, that I was warm in the room and that they were terribly suffering and that's when something moved in me and I probably grew up then. And then it started in full. There was a staff next to us in the neighborhood, in house of the Krchová family. There were probably partisans, but some Russian female commanded them. But she was bad, strict, she still had a gun. I was afraid to walk next to that house. " 0:04:35 - 0:05:50 Alžbeta saw the wading men in the snow, there was a partisan staff next to the house

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    Rajec, 10.04.2021

    duration: 03:20:43
    media recorded in project Stories of the 20th century
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We hid in the mountains and cellars for three weeks

Alžbeta Ošvátová as twenty years old young woman
Alžbeta Ošvátová as twenty years old young woman
photo: Witnesses archive

Alžbeta Ošvátová, nee Hlasicová, was born on May 10, 1935 in Čičmany. Her parents’ names were Peter and Irena. She had a 4-year-younger sister, Irenka. Her father was a door-to-door salesman, later working in the woods. Mom took care of the economy. During the World War Second, the Čičmany were alternately occupied by partisans and Germans. The partisan staff was located near their house, and an infirmary was set up opposite them. The villagers helped the partisans, supported them with food and accommodation. In July 1942, the Jewish family of the innkeeper Jozef Glásel was taken off from the village. In December 1944, the first boarding was ordered. Pastor Štrba guaranteed the safety of German soldiers in the village. The greatest disaster came at the end of the war on April 6, 1945. The Germans searched for escape routes from the Rajecká dolina and sent three patrols to the village. The local villagers destroyed them. Tanks with mortars came to the village and burned the Čičmany. Elizabeth and her mother, sister and godparents hid in the mountain, in the cellars and in the bunkers. The father was missing, he went with the other men to earn access roads to the village. The Germans took 65 men to the Mühlberg concentration camp. They spent three weeks in winter, snow and fear for their own lives in the mountains and cellars. Later, they came to the already liberated Gápel, where they were cared for by local and Soviet soldiers. The father came for the family at the end of April and they returned to Čičmany. Nothing happened to their abode. About 100 homes and farm buildings burned down and 500 people lost their roofs. The inhabitants of Čičmany left for the originally German villages, which the Germans had to leave. Elizabeth’s grandparents went to Most na Ostrove. Elizabeth also went to Most, but to school. After four years, she returned and got a job. She worked in Slovena in Rajec. She married and had three children. There she was witness of the invasion of Warsaw Pact troops, as well as the Velvet revolution and the disintegration of the republic. She still lives in Rajec and writes a family chronicle.