Colonel Imrich Trenčanský

* 1921

  • "How was the life among partisans?" "Quite normal, I´d say. But it was extremely difficult. We had to get up every morning at five. And in the evening, just when it began to get dark, we went to sleep."

  • "When the Slovak National Uprising broke out, the air force took all their aircraft to the Soviet Union. Nothing was left there, so we, airmen, had to fight with the infantry. I fought at Telgart until September 12th. From there, we were transferred, I started to serve as a navigator." "So you continued with your air force training afterwards?" "That´s right, but not in Slovakia anymore, it was in the Soviet Union."

  • "And how about the relations between the pilots who came from Great Britain, and those who served in the Soviet Union from the beginning? How did it work?" "Very friendly. There was nobody who would be bragging ´I was in Great Britain,´and so on. Nothing like that, we were all the same."

  • "But I speak Czecho-Slovak." "It´s fine, you can speak in Czecho-Slovak. I would like to ask you: Where do you and your family come from?" "My family comes from Banská Štiavnica, that´s a mining town in central Slovakia." "So your family also worked in the industry, in mining?" "No, my mother worked in a tobacco factory, my father became unemployed in 1933, he used to be a shoemaker in the Erdiš factory, but when it closed down he lost his job....So this is my family. I moved to Kremnica in 1937, to study to become a typographer. I learnt the profession, even got an award for the best print setter." "Let us stop here for a moment. How many siblings have you got, for example?" "There were six of us. Three were born before the First World War, three afterwards - Ladislav Nemeskurthy - we had a Hungarian surname, Géza Nemeskurthy, Rudolf Nemeskurthy, he changed his name to Trenčanský, the same way I did."

  • "Now about the Trenčanský surname. His surname was originally Nemeskurthy, but as an employee of state he had to change his name to Slovak. So he chose my mother´s maiden name. And when I joined the air force, I got this letter. They wanted me to change my surname to Slovak as well. And I thought: "My father would never allow me to do this." But in this letter, they checked up on me, and asked me about my siblings and about their surnames. So I answered: ´Ladislav Nemeskurthy, Géza Nemeskurthy, Mária Vágnerová and Koloman Nemeskurthy, and the sixth one, that´s me.´So I had to rename myself Trenčanský, to adopt my mother´s maiden name."

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    Česká republika, 12.08.2003

    duration: 50:06
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
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The war I did not want to go to the war And I did not want to fight against the brotherly nation of the Soviet Union But my wish was not granted, and I had to join the army

Imrich Trenčanský
Imrich Trenčanský
photo: Pamět Národa - Archiv

Imrich Trenčanský was born October 20th, 1921 in Bánská Štiavnica in Slovakia. The family had six children and his father was a shoemaker. Since 1937 Trenčanský had been studying in Kremnica to become a typographer. In 1942 he was drafted to serve in the Slovak army, first in the infantry division, but he was soon transferred to the air force. While in the army, he also changed his Hungarian surname Nemeskurthy to Trenčanský, which was the Slovak maiden name of his mother. In 1942-1944, Mr. Trenčanský studied a flying academy in Trenčanské Biskupce and in Bánská Bystrica. Afterwards, he was flying as a navigator and a radiotelegraph operator on observation airplanes. After the outbreak of the Slovak National Uprising, the Slovak airmen took all the army aircraft to the Soviet Union, and the flying academy graduates thus had to join the infantry. At the end of August 1944, Mr. Trenčanský was active in the partisan unit in Špáná Dolina. He fought the Germans at Telgart, Horní Turček, and Triemošná. For these activities, he was decorated with the “Za Chrabrost” (For Valour) medal. The airmen were then transferred to Kiev in the Soviet Union, and they were retrained to fly Soviet airplanes. Since April 1945, Imrich Trenčanský also took part in the fighting for Moravská brána. After the war, he worked as a flight instructor in Liberec, Pardubice, Chrudim and Hradec Králové.