“I came up there in early March and I went to see the place. They were there, I went to the beer hall and I grabbed a pickaxe and I dug it out from the snow. The clothes were not burnt and so I recognized them. There were two more, one younger girl and a five-year-old boy. I had a large box in the beer hall, and we placed them all in there and loaded it on a sledge. We carried them to the cemetery, and we dug a hole there and we buried them there.”
My whole world crumbled, all my loved ones were suddenly gone
Martin Tadian was born in Slovakia on March 15, 1903 in the village Kľak. He worked as a forest worker in the mountains above the Kľak Valley. He became the mayor of his native village during World War Two. Part of the village Kľak was burnt to the ground by German soldiers on January 21, 1945. The inhabitants were shot to death as a revenge for their help to partisans. Men from the village together with the partisans took refuge in the mountains and surrounding villages, hoping that the Germans would spare their wives and children. However, on that freezing day in January, Martin lost all his family including his four young children. He had a second family after the war and he died on February 7, 1991 in his native village Kľak.