Adam Droppa (1929)

Photo: Adam Droppa

Biography

“The communist ideology was the most dreadful in the entire human history.”

Adam Droppa was born on June 10, 1929, in Bodice in the district of Liptovský Mikuláš. He comes from a peasant family which owned a large homestead, and which was heavily affected by the communist regime. In 1951 Adam Droppa ended up in the Auxiliary Technical Battalion where he spent 34 months. In the year 1952 the state authorities fabricated a trial against his father, who was accused of a wilful failure to deliver quotas and thus ‘harming the working class and kowtowing to American imperialism’. His father was arrested on September 9, 1952, and sentenced to five years of imprisonment, forfeiture of property and ten thousand crown fine. Next year the whole family was forcibly moved out to Bohemia. After coming back from the Auxiliary Technical Battalion, Adam Droppa got married and moved to the village called Svätý Kríž. He also got trained in the leather industry and worked for the Leather Manufacturer Company in Liptovský Mikuláš. In 1955 he tried to get together a petition for his father’s release, thanks to which he was presumably released from Jáchymov one year earlier. After the fall of communism, Adam Droppa got involved in founding of the District Association of Auxiliary Technical Battalions in Ružomberok, Liptovský Mikuláš and Liptovský Hrádok.

Saving a Partisan during the Slovak National Uprising

Adam Droppa - Saving a Partisan during the Slovak National Uprising (data format Flash Video)

“We became actively involved in the events connected to the Slovak National Uprising. You know, we didn’t participate in fighting, but we supported and fed partisans who carried out their tasks and were moving from the Low Tatras to High Tatras. Considering that we had the biggest homestead in the village, everyone, who needed it, dropped by our house. I can responsibly say that we really saved life of a partisan who came to our house from mountains at Christmas 1944. We regarded him as a member of our family. Sometime in the year 1964 when I was already working in the Leather Manufacturer Company in Liptovský Mikuláš, a porter called me because somebody came to visit me there. So I went there and suddenly saw Jožko Miko. He was the partisan. Of course, I gave him a warm reception and asked our foreman for leave. We went to see my father, mother and brother because they lived really close to me. There was just one house between our houses. And Mr. Miko told me and my father: ‘Why didn’t you call me or write me when they had arrested you? I would have come as a witness and told everything at the court. I would have told them how you saved my life, looked after me and regarded me as a member of your family.’ And my father responded: ‘Jozef, if you had come here they would have arrested you as well. Your testimony would have changed absolutely nothing.’”

“Lackey of American Imperialism”

Adam Droppa - “Lackey of American Imperialism” (data format Flash Video)

“When they took legal action against my father, that renowned comrade, the district prosecutor Sásik accused my father that he supported American imperialism. He said that my father hadn’t paid and carried out his duties intentionally only to harm working class because he was a lackey of American imperialism. I have to add that my father finished just three grades of school. He attended school only for three years, so he even didn’t know what the words American imperialism meant.”

Really Sad Father’s Leaving

Adam Droppa - Really Sad Father’s Leaving (data format Flash Video)

“On September 1, 1952, two members of the National Security Corps took my father, didn’t allow him even to have a wash or eat something. They thrust him into the car and abducted him to the District Court in Liptovský Mikuláš. My father was arrested on the September 9, 1952, and sentenced to five years of imprisonment, forfeiture of property and ten thousand crown fine. There was an attorney at the court whose name was doctor Trombauer. He brought papers confirming that my father delivered all the quotas in the year 1951 and thus he proved that there was no proper reason to try my father. However, when the district prosecutor, doctor Sásik, looked at him, at the father’s attorney, he only sat down and kept quiet till the end of the proceeding. When the judgement was passed, my father appealed to the Regional Court in Žilina. And there at that court of appeal they even deprived my father of his house.”

Forcible Resettlement from Home

Adam Droppa - Násilné vysťahovanie z domova (formát Flash Video)

“In the morning of March 15, they drove a bus up in front of our house. On the bus there were smashed windows but pasted up with some paper. The bus driver was wearing some fur coat. My family could take only their duvets and clothes, but they couldn’t take any food or flour because they had no reserves at home, so people from the village brought them everything necessary. One brought flour, another one a piece of bacon, simply said, everyone came with something. Everyone who sympathised with my family. Of course, except from the communists. Then my parents were jammed into the bus along with the family of Mr. Krivoš from Ondrášová village. That family was dropped somewhere in the eastern Slovakia and my parents ended up in Čáslava.”

Interviewer: “Didn’t they tell you something about the journey? How did they travel?”

“How did they travel there? Well, exactly that day, that night it was minus fifteen degrees Celsius. And my sister, who had yet been married, and my sister in law as well were pregnant at that time. And my sister gave birth to her child. It had happened at home, so they had to take her child with them and since there was such a chilly weather, all the diapers got damaged by frost. Thus they had to stop somewhere in the village and police officers, you know it’s hard to talk about it, they asked people in the name of law to open the door and let her to change the baby.”

Covered with Snow in Barracks

Adam Droppa - Covered with Snow in Barracks (data format Flash Video)

“We stayed in a kind of wooden huts (barracks) made of wet wood, wet boards that dried up during summer, so later such a small cracks appeared in walls. And in winter we slept on plank-beds where we had just two blankets. And when a snowstorm came, we were suddenly covered with snow. Completely covered. I tell you only what I really experienced back then.”

Turncoats

Adam Droppa - Turncoats (data format Flash Video)

“Communists thought that somebody would wring their necks, but they saw that nothing would happen to them, so they perked up, lifted their heads and denationalised everything. They turned their coats, denationalised everything and became tremendous democrats. They used to call farmers exploiters, and usually said that enterprisers of leather manufacturer companies were exploiters as well. Back then we all were exploiters and suddenly they became the owners of those enterprises and just look what they were doing then. They dismissed people from work and in my opinion communists also caused the entire grievance and dissatisfaction that is now in our nation. They turned their coats and usurped everything as for the national economy. Almost everything. And now, we are only victims of communism, standing on the edge of society, and they bask in the glory. It’s about sixteen years since this celebrated democracy was established in our country. However, this is a kind of communist democracy, my dear. It’s not the democracy which we know from western countries at all. No, it isn’t. Moreover, we have to take it to the court just to get at least something from what actually belongs to us.”

The story and videoclips of this witness were put together and published thanks to the financial support of EU within the programme Europe for Citizens – Active European Remembrance.

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