Leo Bachner

In this photograph is my brother Leo Bachner. It was taken in Topolcany at the Aladar Vermes studio, in the 1920s. The second to be born was my brother Leo. It was in 1904, when my parents were trying their luck in America. Leo was born in the city of New York. Because my parents didn't succeed in the States, they came back. Leo's life story is quite moving. He was quite a staunch Communist. He often participated in various demonstrations and strikes. Despite the fact that he was a locksmith by trade, he worked as a driver. At one time he also worked as a taxi driver in Topolcany. In 1936 he left for Spain, secretly, without us knowing about it, as a volunteer in the international brigades. He fought there on the side of the Spanish Republicans. He was wounded in battle and ended up in a hospital in the town of Teruel. After the Republicans' defeat in Spain, he returned to Czechoslovakia, which was already after the proclamation of the Slovak State in 1939. Soon after that they arrested him. He was imprisoned in Ilava, from where he was among the first to be deported to Majdanek.