Erna and Malvin Kürti relaxing

This photo is from the Turiec region, near the village of Motycky, where we were in hiding. It was taken at the end of March 1945, and from left to right shows Erna and Malvin Kürti. Everyone was tanning in the sun that had come out after a long and cold winter.

In the mountains, even everyday trifles were hard to perform. In the first place, we had to have heat. We looked for trees that were already falling apart, and thus well dried out. We had tools like saws and axes. Once by one of these fallen trees we found a box with alcoholic beverages. That day everyone got a shot of alcohol. What a treat that was! Going to the toilet was complicated as well. One C was built, not a WC, but a C. A sidewalk led up to it, on which a ramp was built. Whoever went up would close it. That meant that it was occupied. Of course tracks were erased after everyone.

On a side path we built three walls of snow, on which we’d pour water overnight. The walls froze, and thus a women’s and men’s washroom was made. That was very important, because most people that were living in the mountains were infested with lice. We didn’t allow even one louse. We heated snow and washed. Once a week everyone had to wash with warm water. We had two wash basins. Everyone had his own toothbrush, that was part of the plan when we were leaving for the mountains. Everyone had to brush their teeth. There was an exact program of what people had to do. Doing laundry was also one of the very difficult tasks. We’d heat water. My mother would wash the laundry, and I go to the creek to rinse it. Domin Ruzicka would go with me, with a rifle. We’d push aside the snow, cut a hole in the ice, and that’s where I’d rinse. My hands were so frozen that they were purple.

Photos from this interviewee