Dominik Praženica

* 1924  

  • “If the Germans hadn’t come from the village together, we’d have begun crossfire on that hill and those nine soldiers wouldn’t have escaped. However, if they hadn’t returned, the Germans would have sent tanks like they did to Osada. It was four o’clock in the afternoon or four-thirty and they sent incendiary missiles to Osada, in direction to Revúce. That corner burnt down back then. That moment was really fraught with danger. What a czardas it was! Everyone dashed anywhere and anyhow he could. We then got to Revúce, others to Korytnica, and our captain had his left hand injured.”

  • “The Germans started to entrench themselves up on that hill near the cross, on the way up from Osada. From Hiadeľský príslop, the mountain mortars fired and our people carried the shells there. When the company commander looked in the mirror, he could see everything in there, how the Germans moved and all. He took a pencil, measured it, and gave an order to the mountain mortar thrower on Hiadeľský príslop to fire. He had it measured out and exactly, where they started entrenching, exactly there the mortar shell fell. And the Germans scurried!”

  • “We were supposed to leave to Červená Skala to switch with the first line. As we got an order, the company lieutenant Očenášik said, ‘Soldiers, we have to recede, because out there are 8000 soldiers. We don’t want it to become a human carnage! We have to spread out to villages!’ He didn’t want to see something like that. If the Germans attacked, they would be in superiority on Červená Skala. Then we went from Brezno nad Hronom towards Banská Bystrica not to fall into German hands. When we arrived in Šálková, it was very windy, it rained and snowed! So, we were about to rest in Šálková, it was after midnight. And around half past three, the commander woke us up, ‘Soldiers, do not panic! While you see me, do not be afraid! Once you don’t see me, watch out, be vigilant, straight and frank! When you see me, don’t be afraid, but once you stop seeing me, each of you act on your own and don’t let Fritz capture you!’ These words of him I remembered!”

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    Liptovské Revúce, 26.01.2018

    (audio)
    duration: 01:45:21
    media recorded in project Stories of the 20th century
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The commander woke us up, “Don’t let ‘Fritz’ capture you!”

Profile photo, 40-ties
Profile photo, 40-ties
photo: archív pamätníka

The life story of Dominik Praženica shows inhumanity and horrors of the war in many different forms. As a native of Liptovské Revúce, Dominik grew up in a family with father, who as a young boy lost his eye due to playing with lost ammunition. After he definitely lost his sight, Dominik had to replace his role of the family breadwinner. When he was 14, he already worked in the woods. During the Second World War he had to enlist in the compulsory military service. After the deployment of troops, he returned home and a bit later he joined the Slovak National Uprising. Along with other co-soldiers he spent almost half a year in the woods of lower Liptov region and his life was directly endangered several times. He lived to see the liberation in the mountains, however, he had to complete his shortened military service in times of peace. As a sapper he worked on clearing the fields of mines under Dukla, when he was also in imminent danger of death. After the war he worked in Ostrava mines, but he suffered a severe injury and had to return home to his home village. There he got married and worked as a forest worker until his retirement.