Radomír Žingor

* 1936  

  • “Approximately two weeks before Christmas, one sir from Bystrička came on a horse. Only few of us remained there, because my father’s family had already left to Martin and Bystrička by train. They got safely there and we waited for this waggoner to take us to Bystrička, where my mother had her natal home. The house was big, a mansion of 4 – 5 rooms. It was a big homestead, which stands there until today. The first surprise was that we, being two small boys, ran into the kitchen and there were two German officers! They asked us who we were and what did we want, but we didn’t speak German. We actually didn’t understand them at all. Then our mom came and began talking with them. They were quite calm, absolutely non-aggressive and they didn’t ask us anything. They used to sleep in the best room. Then we left from grandma’s house to our aunts’ house, who lived a bit further.”

  • “As the front was approaching closer and closer, they said: ‘Well, we have to go to the mountains again!’ So we went on Prašivá, into such lumberjack’s hut. There were about 15 or 18 people just from our family, and then others, who were already there before us. After Banská Bystrica was crushed, all of the people were dissolved and spread out. According to the command of general Viest or Golian to be on retreat, it was the end of defense. Those were terrible moments in that hut, though. One morning we woke up, I think it was on November 2, 1944, the weather was cold, damp and foggy, and suddenly – shooting and grenades were exploding around the hut. My father’s brother Bohuš Žingor divided us into groups; I was with my brother and my cousin. The three of us went to hide to place of windthrows, there were such glades, where my uncle hid us under blankets and said: ‘Here you have to wait, until I come back for you.’ This chase lasted, I would say, for about an hour, maybe two. The soldiers were running back and forth, the horses running around; back then I didn’t get it all. We just stared, squatted and waited until he’d come. There was big shooting, of course, around us. When it all subsided, they gathered us together; we were quite a big group. There was also a deputy of the police office, Mr. Kuna, a driver Mr. Vorba and my uncle Bohuš, my father’s brother. They were all hairy, they didn’t shave themselves as they didn’t have time or tools to do so, I think. Then my uncle told us: ‘Now you have to go down to the village and manage it by yourselves.’”

  • “So we went to the village of Pohronský Bukovec, back then it was only named Bukovec, and there were the Germans already. Firstly they questioned us who we were and everything. We were lucky our mother went to school to Český Těšín for two or three years and she spoke a bit German. We had in our IDs names after her maiden name Vilimová, what probably saved us. I was the eldest from all boys and my sister was even two years older, so they set us apart immediately. I don’t know what those Germans wanted to do with us. I remember they threw my sister on the horse and wanted to take her somewhere, but my mom started crying and screaming. She went to the commander, who helped and even found us a place to stay in Bukovec. There we were for 3 – 4 days living in a barn, literally, and you know, my brother still needed some milk. Those were terrible situations. On the next day, a drummer came; there were drummers in villages, since there wasn’t PA system, yet. We as boys were very curious about what were they going to announce. Suddenly, they said there were three partisans killed. And those were these our three mentioned men.”

  • “Well, I don’t know through what connections again, but my mom arranged two waggoners with horses. There were two big wagons and one morning we got on them and wanted to leave Bukovec. My family, as well as my father’s whole family, was leaving even by trains, because all of us didn’t fit onto those wagons. On the wagons we travelled through Šturec to Turčianske Teplice, however, we were really lucky! It was raining during the whole night, and even though we were covered by military blankets, we were completely soaked. There was German control at each of the curves, but since we had those IDs, they let us go. It was so huge luck! We came to Turčianske Teplice through villages Horná and Dolná Štubňa and Malá Vieska. There the waggoners brought us all safely and I hope, they also managed to luckily return back home. We haven’t heard about them anymore. We stayed in Turčianske Teplice, and again, some new people helped us with lodging; we were divided into different houses. There we were for about two weeks and we left before Christmas. They fed us, dried us.”

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    Martin, Slovensko, 30.04.2018

    duration: 01:13:54
    media recorded in project Stories of the 20th century
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“We actually didn’t even have a father. There was the war – he was gone, then there was the Uprising – he was gone again, and when the year 1949 came, he was gone for good.”

At young age
At young age
photo: archív pamätníka

Radomír Žingor was born on September 20, 1936 in Bystrička near Martin. He attended the elementary school in Bystrička and the middle school in Martin. In summer 1943 his father Viliam Žingor refused to enlist in the Eastern frontline and left to mountains, where he organized partisan movement in Turiec region. Shortly after the outbreak of the Slovak National Uprising (SNP), in dramatic circumstances, his family had to hide at various places. In November 1949, Viliam Žingor along with other app. 200 people from his surroundings were arrested and tried. It was one of the biggest fabricated processes in Slovakia as well as in the whole Czechoslovak Republic that took place on October 18 - 21, 1950 in Bratislava. In this trial, he was sentenced to death penalty, which was executed on December 18, 1950. Such fabricated persecution and execution of the father affected the whole family. Radomír wasn’t allowed to study and when being 18 years old, he got employed as an assistant worker in FERONA enterprise. In years 1955 - 1957 he underwent the compulsory military service in Auxiliary Technical Battalions. In 1960 he graduated at evening technical school and since 1965 he worked in Heavy Engineering Plant (ZŤS) in Martin. However, due to involvement in protests against the Warsaw Pact Troops’ invasion, in times of normalization he was hindered to reach further salary and career advancement. In 1989 he joined the politics, became a member of the Public against Violence movement (VPN) and in elections on June 8 - 9, 1990 he was appointed into the National Council of the Slovak Republic. There he became the Head of Parliamentary Committee on Trade and Services. He was reappointed also in 1992 as a member of the Movement for Democratic Slovakia (HZDS), where he resigned in 1994. After leaving the politics, he was a director of the children’s home in Martin. Nowadays he is retired and is the Regional Chairman of the Slovak Union of Anti-Fascist Fighters.