RNDr., CSc. Ondrej Pöss

* 1950

  • "Those forms for the population census, they were abused. Our Jewish fellow citizens were dramatically affected by it, as well as the Germans. Based on how they registered for the population census, their property was confiscated or they were displaced. So this concern was always there. However, sometimes they they couldn't speak German in public, meet, create organizations. So they were worried. In the 1950 census, there were 5,100 registered, and the ŠTB said in the news that there were about 25,000 Germans in Slovakia."

  • "From that close family, I'm the only one here in Slovakia, now at this time. The family is scattered. My cousins from my father's side, they already live in Germany. The uncle stayed here in Slovakia and left in 1968. From my mother's side, the youngest brother lives in Fulda, another brother in Schwabmünchen. The sister who was evacuated together with her mother in northern Bohemia was Louka pri Litvínov, they stayed there in Bohemia, the Sudetenland, they didn't return when they knew what the situation was like after the war. They moved in 68 to southern Germany. And one more of my mother's sisters, she stayed in Austria, Salzburg, considering that her husband had some more distant relatives there, who took them in shortly after the war and settled there."

  • "After the end of the Second World War, like other Germans, they were also stripped of their citizenship based on presidential decrees, forced labor was ordered, and their property was confiscated. For example, my uncle, he had a newly built house, he had a young family, he built a house in Handlova in 1943, he moved in there, and when he returned from evacuation in the summer of 1945, the house was already confiscated, so he was no longer the owner, he was already busy. He never got to his house again. Similarly, my mother's family had their house confiscated and occupied in this way. My father and mother also stayed in Handlova after 1946, but no longer in their own houses, but in apartments owned by others. And they were allocated these houses after the Germans, and later they could buy them back in the 1950s. There were quite bizarre situations, I also know people who were also lucky that when they returned from evacuation after the end of the war, they could return to their house, it was not occupied, but it was confiscated, so they lost the ownership of their house and then in In the 1950s, they had to buy their own house. So many of these Germans felt it was wrong. The uncle, that one, he was never involved in politics, he was a miner, he lost the house he built with bloodshed and then when the opportunity came, when it was released in the late 1960s, he moved with his family to the Ruhr, where his sons earned money in the mines there work."

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    Bratislava, 04.10.2022

    duration: 59:05
    media recorded in project Stories of the 20th century
  • 2

    Bratislava, 26.01.2023

    duration: 01:53:49
    media recorded in project Stories of the 20th century
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After my mother’s death, I had nowhere to live and I was left alone from the whole family.

Ondrej Pöss with his mother Anna Pössová, née Schusterová, and his older brother Ján.
Ondrej Pöss with his mother Anna Pössová, née Schusterová, and his older brother Ján.
photo: Witnesses archive

Ondrej Pöss was born into a family of Carpathian Germans in 1950, when a large part of his relatives had already left the territory of Slovakia due to the evacuation of Carpathian Germans. Several people lost their property based on Beneš’s decrees. Shortly after his birth, his father, a miner, died, and hard times came for the family, which could not rely on the help of relatives. Although his ancestors founded the village of Handlová in the 14th century, Ondrej remained alone on the threshold of adulthood. He studied mathematics and physics and later began to study the history of exact sciences in Slovakia at the Slovak Academy of Sciences. After the Velvet revolution, he founded the Museum of the Culture of the Carpathian Germans in Slovakia and the Carpathian German Association, of which he is the chairman (2003 - 2008 and since 2013).