Viola Valachová

Viola was born in Bratislava in 1928, where she later lived in the Old Town on Tobrucka Street near Comenius University. As a teenager she decided to join the liberation struggle against fascism. She was first a member of an illegal youth organisation with the Novork brothers. She helped in the printing shop, posting and distributing agitation anti-fascist leaflets. These were extremely important at the time - together with the radio, they were one of the main methods of communication for the resistance. This work could easily have cost her her life.

At the age of fifteen, she decided to take matters into her own hands and joined the Slovak National Uprising with her partner being a partisan fighter in the village of Slovany in the region of Turiec - only a short distance from Martin and Turčianske Teplice.

Viola was a member of the brigade of Red Army under officer Alexei Seminovich Yegorov , who was dropped off in Slovakia in early August 1944. Yegorov had previously helped with the Ukrainian partisan resistance. He came to our territory as a commander of a 22-man group to the Nízke Tatry and actively communicated with other resistance fighters not only during the war.

In addition to distributing anti-fascist leaflets, Viola also took a direct part in the fighting. She first served in a reconnaissance unit, later working her way up to participating in more dangerous confrontations. These became fatal for her.

Together with ten other partisans near the village of Turčiansky Svätý Ďur, they attacked the transports of the Nazi battle group Schill. Viola threw a grenade at the car, blowing up three fascist officers. The remaining soldiers opened fire on the partisans hiding in the earthworks (a field planted with potatoes). Viola was wounded and then brutally attacked - after kicking, punching and pulling her hair, she was killed in action on 21 September 1944. She had turned 16 just a short time before. Only one of her comrades in arms survived the whole event.

Viola's memorial plaque can be found on Tobrucka Street near the Faculty of Arts of Comenius University. Viola's story proves that anti-fascism is a movement of people of all ages, backgrounds and origins.

Alžbeta Csillaghyová

Alžbeta, or Perža, as she was called, was a fresh graduate of the Gymnázium in Dolný Kubín when she joined the SNP in 1944.

Her mother wrote a letter about Perža in 1964 at the request of the Pioneers for the 20th anniversary of the SNP. ' she had distinct views, ideals, and even a goal, she was able to distinguish the good from the bad, the right from the reprehensible.' She excelled in languages, knowing Slovak, Czech, and Hungarian, learning German and French, and reading Latin.

She voiced her opposition to the fascist occupation regime loudly. In a religion class taught by a representative of the HSĽS (Hlinka Slovak People’s Party), who was responsible for the deportation of her relatives, she pointed out the contradiction between the beastliness of fascism and what they were being taught.

In September 1944, she was hit by shrapnel from an armoured car while performing combat and reconnaissance duties. Severely wounded, the Germans transported her to a school in Trstena, where they had a dressing station. Richard Schott, a German orderly, asked her if she was Slovak or Czech. Perža replied in French that she was Czechoslovak. The commander in her presence ordered her to be shot, to which Perža replied in German, 'Then I must die so young!'

Richard Schott and a doctor decided to save her and transported her to a field hospital in Rabka, Poland. There, Perža insisted that a picture of Hitler be taken from her room. Seven weeks later, she succumbed to her severe injuries. In 1947, she was awarded the SNP Second Class Order and the badge of a Czechoslovak partisan in memoriam. Her commemorative plaque hangs in Dolný Kubín on the facade of the Gymnázium P. O. Hviezdoslav.

Ján Beník

The Slovak National Uprising was not a simple skirmish with rifles. It was a highly organised campaign that relied on a multitude of brains that accounted for every eventuality. Without prudent logisticians and officials, the uprising would have been defeated in a matter of hours. So it was not only the guns but also the pens that, in the hands of the resistance fighters, struck a blow at the heart of fascism. One such fighter was a man in his twenties, Ján Beník

Citizen of Pezinok, born in Lovasovce (today's Koniarovce, 16 km away from Topoľčany), he experienced a stroke of luck when he was conscripted into the army of the Slovak state. An officer recognised him there and sent him to work in the archives instead of the front. He thus avoided the dangerous eastern front, where he would have faced the onslaught of the Red Army. Later he worked as a scribe in Trnava until the start of the SNP.

Even the troops themselves were surprised by what followed from the so-called allies after the announcement of the slogan Start Evicting! "It was horrible, we were writing up the filing slips and suddenly we heard that the Germans were coming at us from Senica, so we packed up. [... ] We were afraid that they would start shooting at us with machine guns, but fortunately they didn't." This is how he and many others experienced the beginning of the invasion of Slovakia by Nazi troops. So the Trnava garrison gathered up and left to fight in the uprising.

However, this was not the case for all soldiers in Slovakia, as he himself discovered on his journey. For example, the artillerymen in Hlohovec refused to join them, while armored vehicles were waiting for them in Nitra. Ján later fell ill and had to go to the infirmary. He met his superior from Trnava and together they were transferred to Banská Bystrica. In the heart of the uprising, Mr. Beník worked directly under Commander Golian and supervised the course of the uprising.

When the resistance began to be suppressed and the partisans were forced to retreat, Major Lichner's unit (including Jan Benik) went in the direction of Detva. After discovering that a friendly officer had been captured by the Germans, they were rescued by a local lumber hauler. They were given clothes and food along with a German ID card. It was this that saved their lives the very next day when they encountered an Austro-German patrol. The soldiers let them go after presenting their ID cards and Mr. Beník went to Žíran, where his parents lived.

His mother didn't recognize him at first because he was wearing unfamiliar clothes. After two weeks he was called back to Trnava, and later he started attending conscriptions during the spring of 1945. This did not last long as the war ended in May. Even after the war, he kept to administrative life, and was decorated several times for his services during the uprising.

"During the war I was a scribe in the rank of corporal in Pezinok, later in Banská Bystrica. I was just a bureaucrat during the war. I didn't have a gun."

Source : Bojovník

Alexander Deutelbaum-Doman

On the run and in the fight

Alexander was born into a family of craftsmen in 1914 in Nové Mesto nad Váhom. In 1937 he joined the basic military service in Banská Bystrica, where he completed an intelligence course. When the Slovak state began to take its first anti-Jewish steps, Alexander was stripped of his rank as a non-commissioned officer and transferred to a soldier.

At that time, Alexander was already involved with his brother in smuggling people across the border, most often through Hungary to Yugoslavia. Later he also escaped by this route, and this is how he reached France. There, in March 1940, he joined the Czechoslovak Foreign Army and fought on the Western Front. After sustaining wounds he was transported to the UK where he met his future wife Ailsa Cousin.

In July 1944, he was sent from England to the Eastern Front in the USSR to reinforce the 2nd Czechoslovak Paratroopers Brigade. Here he also took part in the fighting at Dukla. He left England with 96 other soldiers, but only thirteen survived. He took part in the fighting at Podbrezova and the famous death march through Chabenec. He subsequently fought alongside partisan units until February 1945, when they joined the advancing Red Army. But his anti-fascist struggle did not end there.

The search for war criminals

After the war, Alexander changed his name from Deutelbaum to Doman. In the words of his wife, "after the bitter experience of the war, he did not want to have a German-sounding surname". Alexander lost a lot because of the Holocaust - almost his entire family was murdered by the fascist regime, and twenty-three of his relatives ended up in Nazi death camps. Alexander was assigned to a search unit whose task was to look for war criminals - officials of the Slovak state and supporters of the Tiso regime. He was assigned to this unit, according to Major General Anton Rašla, because "they had every personal reason to be implacable opponents of both Slovak and German fascism." The team gradually succeeded in discovering the hiding places of Tiso's supporters and arresting them. Among the detainees was the last chief of the Hlinka Guard, Otomar Kubala, or the Minister of Propaganda, Gašpar.

At the time when he tried to capture Ferdinand Ďurčanský, who had been a major contributor to anti-Jewish legislation, Doman was dismissed. The reason was the outrage of the people of Bratislava at the shackled hands of the captured, among whom was the president of the Slovak state, Jozef Tiso. They attributed the idea of handcuffing to Doman.

Subsequently, Doman was sent to Great Britain, where he represented the military attaché. Here he began to meet Ailsa more often and in April 1947 he returned to Slovakia with her. He continued to serve the military until 1949, when he retired. In 1969 he was rehabilitated and promoted to lieutenant colonel. He was promoted again in 1994, and died two years later.

Júlia Maťuchová

Júlia "Uľa" Maťuchová was born in 1898 in the village of Šumiac. She lived in a semi-detached house with her sister Iľa, with whom she often had disputes based on her beliefs (while Uľa was a committed communist and had pictures of Lenin and Stalin around her part of the house, Iľa was a strong believer and had Christian icons on her walls).

During the Slovak National Uprising, she had the courage to help the partisans in their battles. She used to visit the partisans at night, supplying them with food and information. This proved fatal for her, and during one of her visits, she was caught by police troops and taken to the prison in Ilava.

There she underwent severe torture: being stripped naked, having cold water poured on her, being beaten, etc. Despite all this, she did not reveal a single name. After half a year of imprisonment, she managed to escape to the Prašivá hill in Nízke Tatry. It was in Nízke Tatry that she joined the 1st Czechoslovak Partisan Brigade of J. V. Stalin's Partisan Brigade, also known as the Alexei Semionovich Yegorov Partisan Brigade, where she worked in the field kitchen.

Unfortunately, her birth house no longer stands today. However, the memory of Júlia Maťuchová is immortalised in a painting by Andrej Doboš titled Partisan Maťuchová, painted in 1954. The painting is exceptional because Júlia was not painted in a military uniform as a partisan, but in a traditional costume.

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