Vladimír Štúr (1930 - 2006)

Photo: Vladimír Štúr

Biography

Motto:“My mom died when I was twenty-two years old. She grieved to death – at least I think so – based on what my father used to tell me. She thought I got a two-year sentence when my father told her I was to be imprisoned not for two but for fifteen years.”

Vladimír Štúr was born on April 24, 1930 in Lubina; his parents – mother Alžbeta and father Pavol as well as his brother Dušan were born in this village, too. There he attended the elementary school and continued his studies in Stará Turá to become a machine fitter. After school he worked at a private company in Nové Mesto nad Váhom, however with the upcoming communist regime his longing for living abroad still increased. Together with his friends Milan Lošák and Pavol Haruštiak he attempted to leave Slovakia, although finally only Pavel had done so. In 1949 when Pavel came back to take his wife with him, he was shot down by the State Security. Twenty year old Vladimír was arrested on January 17, 1950 because of the attempt to leave the country. His friend Milan Lošák did not survive shooting during the apprehension. In the process where twenty-four Lubina and Cetuna citizens were accused, Vladimír was condemned to fifteen years. Twelve of those years he worked in forced labour camps Mariánska, Vojna, and Bytíz. His brother Dušan was shot in 1959 during the compulsory military service in Písek. The circumstances of this act have never been clarified. Vladimír was released under amnesty in 1962, but his parents did not live to see the comeback of their son. After the release he got employed in Trenčín and finished the military service in Ostrava. In 1963 he got married and had two daughters. More than twenty years he worked at the Base of Uranium Industry Development (Základna pro rozvoj uranového průmyslu) in Příbram. He didn´t have easy life even after the retirement. In 1985 both of his daughters emigrated to the USA and in 1992 his wife died. The remaining years he fought with a severe illness. He lost this fight on March 19, 2006.

One Year on Remand

Vladimír Štúr - One Year on Remand (data format Flash Video)

“When they seated me, I saw a man sitting on wooden bench. Under him there was a puddle of blood, I noticed there was something dark. I asked him: “Are you all right?” “Yes,” he said, “My nose just sometimes starts bleeding, that´s all.” And in a while I knew how the nose started bleeding. That evening, when they transported all of us to the county prison at Špitálska Street, I was also being interrogated. Nobody let me rest or think about the questions they asked.”

Winter in Jáchymov

Vladimír Štúr - Winter in Jáchymov (data format Flash Video)

“I remember there was one free bed under the window in Jáchymov. I was so excited about it, because otherwise there were triple bunk beds where three men slept above each other. It didn´t come to my mind to ask why nobody wanted to sleep there. Those were very old buildings with many crevices and the wind blew with snow a lot. In the morning when I woke up there was a big snowdrift on my blanket.”

Community in Prison

Vladimír Štúr - Community in Prison (data format Flash Video)

“They used to meet together and pray, but everywhere were snitches, and that was kind of bad. Well, how did they do it? Into each room they put an informer, according to the old Asiatic manner. Also Vojto paid for this. They put him into the condemned cell.”

New Clothes

Vladimír Štúr - New Clothes (data format Flash Video)

“I turned around saying: “I have a problem. I can´t go for a walk, because all of my clothes are tattered.” She (the prosecutor) said to the commander to ask me: “Have you got parents?” “Yes, I have,” I answered. Then she tells him again: “Give him a postcard to write home and ask for new clothes.” I wrote to my parents, but it took a long time until the parcel came.”

Prepared Breakout

Vladimír Štúr - Prepared Breakout (data format Flash Video)

Interviewer: “What was the breakout you prepared?”

Vladimír Štúr: “It was under one barrack. We were digging an escape tunnel under the building.”

Interviewer: “At which labor camp?”

Vladimír Štúr: “At Bytíz. That was also very interesting. A Slovak called Franta Zeman and an officer Jožko Komka were punished by the two year sentence for this. Since I had twenty-five thousand Slovak crowns on my account, they seized it. I was acting like if that was just twenty-five crowns. I didn´t send anything to anyone, so I saved a lot. My friends incited me: “Go and look around!” But I protested: “Well, I´ll go and they´ll arrest me…” But I didn´t escape it anyway, because then I was at the bunker before the headquarters in winter for a month, in such a hole.”

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