Karol and Vojtech Kürti chopping wood

This photo is from the Turiec region, near the village of Motycky, where we were in hiding. It was taken at the beginning of 1945, and shows the brothers Karol (at left) and Vojtech Kürti chopping wood.

The younger of the Kürti brothers, Karol, was in charge of our group. We were relatively well armed. We had guns and ammunition. In the meantime, we had to leave the lumberjacks’ cabin. We ended up under the open sky. But we needed to live somewhere. Well, and because our group was all builders, engineers, we began to build. There was a very steep rise there, so that’s where we decided to build. We made L-shaped trenches. It was raining buckets. Great attention was paid to everything. Trees were cut right above the ground. Nothing could be allowed to betray us. Each mistake could cost us our lives. From the trees we built temporary scaffolding. We also made tent sections with which we covered the scaffolding. There we spent the first night. We lay on branches we’d cut. At least it wasn’t raining on us anymore, but on the other hand the wind was blowing at us from all sides. We lived though it. In the morning we worked busily on.

After two or three days we already had a roof above our heads. The roof was made from a tarp and branches. Again nature helped us out. We stuck branches into the ground close to each other, which we then also crisscrossed together. November was approaching. It started being cold. We were constantly improving our dwelling. We even discovered a half-ruined cottage made of bricks. So we carried those bricks over and built ourselves a stove. At least we had something to warm ourselves by. Close by, about two kilometers away, we also had a source of drinking water. It was some sort of spring. We widened its channel. You can imagine how much we enjoyed carrying it.

Photos from this interviewee