Ladislav Zošák

* 1929  

  • “When the Hungarians driven us off, I remember, even being just a little boy that my mother asked them why they had come. That we don't get along with people of Hungarian nationality here. He hit her head with a rifle butt. She fell down and I ran to the barn, took a pitchfork and I wanted to prong that soldier, but my father stopped me.”

  • “I got a thrashing, because I ran to the hills with other boys and we carried stuff. When he placed a mortar shell on my shoulder, I didn't even know it was a mortar shell. He placed one and then another one on me and said in Russian that approximately 220 yards away was a partisan group. I should have carried it there. So about six of us went there and I thought to myself that if we had encountered Germans on our way, we would get shot right away. When we arrived there, one man said: 'Those are our boys!' He took the mortar shell from me and pointed: 'Look over there.' There were Germans in a trench preparing food. The Russians began shooting at them as they had three mortars. There were also our soldiers and I guess, one was French. So they prepared it and fired the mortars. The cook place as well as Germans were gone.” “Did you directly see it?” “Yes, I did. The firing was horrible. That was the first time I saw what a grenade can do.”

  • “Only one man from our village was such a fanatic member of the Hlinka Guard. He got into a German car, pointing back and forth. The German soldiers jumped out of the truck and immediately threw the Jews being nearby into the car as if being a wood, including even little children.” “He sold the Jews out”. The Jews used to be nice. For example, when you asked them to make you a winter coat and the work would have cost about 100 crowns, they would tell you to pay it in quarters. He would have such a book and take a note of it. But they took him away and we never saw him again. They burned him.”

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    Likavka, 15.07.2017

    media recorded in project Stories of the 20th century
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Until death I shall bear a remark of communism on my own body

Ladislav Zošák - photo from criminal military service (1951)
Ladislav Zošák - photo from criminal military service (1951)
photo: z archívu pamätníka

Ladislav Zošák was born on August 28, 1929 in Slávikovo (today Orávka). After the Vienna Award had been declared, he and his family were evicted from their home and due to an incident with a Hungarian soldier, Ladislav’s mother died. The period of the Slovak State he spent with his siblings in Martin, where he witnessed events of that time related to the Slovak National Uprising. In 1945 he returned to Slávikovo, where he became a strong opponent of the communist collectivization of agriculture and of surrendering the family property to the joint agricultural cooperative (JRD). This was the reason why he had to enlist in the penal military service in Auxiliary Technical Battalions (PTP) to mines of Tlučná. There he had to manually work very hard on coal mining for almost three years. Unfortunately, he severely injured his hand that it had been permanently damaged. After returning in 1953 he left Slávikovo and moved to Likavka. He spent most of his working life as a construction worker in the state enterprise Doprastav Ružomberok. Since 1989 he has been living retired in Likavka.