Hanuš Gibián, the experiences in Nováky labour camp (Slovakia) and hiding in the mountains

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Testimony of Hanuš Gibian, which became a part of the “documentation campaign” in Prague. Gibian was imprisoned together with his wife and son in the Nováky labor camp in Slovakia. During the Slovak National Uprising in the fall of 1944, they escaped from the camp and hid in the mountains near Banská Bystrica. In November 1944, they were caught by German troops. Gibian describes the execution of more than forty Jews. He was shot and survived only due to the fact that he pretended to be dead.

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  1. English
  2. Czech
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Statement

written with Hanuš Gibian, born 15. 8. 1902 in Prague, in the Nováky labor camp, Prijevica district, Slovakia, residing in Prague I., Rybná 8, Czech nationality, occupation bank clerk.

From 1941 to September 1944, I lived with my two-member family (wife and son) in the Nováky camp, Prijevica district, Slovakia. I worked there in the construction administration. We were housed in wooden buildings; families lived together, the unmarried separately. The food was fair. At first, the camp was supervised by Hlinka’s guards, who were extremely cruel. Later, Hlinka’s guards were replaced by Slovak policemen. In September 1944, at the beginning of the Slovak uprising, the camp was abolished and the Jewish inhabitants of this camp were allowed to move freely throughout the space occupied by the Slovak National Council.

As a result of the gradual occupation of Slovakia by the German army, I escaped together with my family to the area around Banská Bystrica, where I worked in the state refinery in Dubová until October 28th 1944. When the German army approached Banská Bystrica, we were forced to hide in the Slovak mountains. After wandering aimlessly for three whole days, during which the Germans twice shot at us, we were captured on 1. 11. 1944. German SSmen gathered all of us together in a meadow and asked us if we were Jews. Those who could provide papers proving they were Aryan were released. The Jews were told to immediately hand over their watches, money, and all of the valuables that they had on them. The SSmen told us that we would no longer need them. Then, the SS leader ordered us to be transported and notified us that a patrol of 2 soldiers would accompany us, promising that nothing would happen to us. On our way down from the mountains, we were joined by 4 more SSmen, so there was a total of 6. They took us to a meadow where the SSmen hung back and ordered us to walk toward Banská Bystrica and to stay together. After we had gone forward for about 10 steps, they began to shoot us in the back. They fired until everyone (42 people) lay dead or half-dead. They then examined each body and took whatever they liked, and murdered anyone who wasn’t dead yet with a shot to the dead. I pretended to be dead as well as a 14-year-old girl who was covered by her father’s overcoat. By a miracle, she was saved. This happened on November 1st, 1944, at 13:00 in the gap between Kozí Chrbát and Prašiva in the Lower Tatra Mountains, near the village of Hiadel.

Signature:

Marta Kratková

Hanuš Gibian

Signatures of witnesses:

Berta Gerzonová

Jan Müll 1Note 1: uncertain

Robert Weinberger

Karel Liewerand

On behalf of the archive: Alex. Schmiedt

Documentation campaign

19. XI. 1945

Zeev Scheck

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Protokol

sepsaný s Hanušem Gibianem, nar. 15. 8. 1902 v Praze, z pracovního tábora Nováky, okr. Prijevica, Slovensko, bytem v Praze I., Rybná 8, národnosti české, povoláním bankovní úředník.

Od roku 1941 do září 1944 žil jsem se svojí dvoučlennou rodinou /: manželka a syn :/ v táboře Nováky, okres Prijevica, Slovensko. Tam jsem pracoval ve stavební správě. Byli jsme ubytování v dřevěných barácích, rodiny bydlely pohromadě, svobodní zvlášť. Stravovací podmínky byly ucházející. Tábor byl zpočátku pod dozorem Hlinkovy gardy, která se vyznačovala surovostí. Později byla Hlinkova garda vystřídána slovenskými četníky. V září 1944, začátkem slovenského povstání, byl tábor zrušen a židovští občané tohoto tábora směli se volně pohybovati na prostoru ovládaném slovenskou národní radou.

Následkem postupného obsazení Slovenska německou armádou prchli jsme s rodinou do okolí Banské Bystrice, kde jsem až do 28. října 1944 pracoval ve státní rafinerii v Dubové. Když se německá armáda blížila k Banské Bystrici, byli jsme nuceni ukrýti se ve slovenských horách. Po třídenním bloudění bez cíle, po kterém Němci dvakrát na nás stříleli, byli jsme 1. 11. 1944 chyceni. Němečtí esesáci soustředili nás na jedné louce, ptali se nás, zdali jsme Židé, přičemž lidé, kteří se mohli vykázat árijskými papíry, byli propuštěni. Židé byli vyzváni, ihned odevzdat hodinky, peníze a všechno cenné, co měli při sobě, při čemž esesáci se vyjádřili, že to už nebudeme potřebovat. Potom nás dal velitel SS odtransportovat s upozorněním, že nás doprovodí hlídka 2 vojáků, a že se nám nic nestane. Cestou z hor dolů přibyli ještě 4 esesáci, takže jich celkem bylo 6. Vedli nás na jednu louku, esesáci zůstali pozadu a dali nám příkaz, abychom šli směrem na Banskou Bystrici a zůstali pohromadě. Když jsme se vzdálili asi 10 kroků, začali na nás zezadu střílet. Stříleli tak dlouho, až všichni /: 42 osob :/ zůstali v mrtvém neb polomrtvém stavu ležet. Pak prohlíželi každou jednotlivou osobu, vzali si ještě, co se jim líbilo, a zavraždili každého, kdo ještě nebyl úplně mrtev ranou do hlavy. Já jsem se vydal za mrtvého, rovněž jedna 14 letá holčička, která byla přikryta pláštěm svého otce, zázrakem se zachránila. Bylo to 1. listopadu 1944 ve 13 hodin v sedle mezi Kozím Chrbátem a PrašivouNízkých Tatrách, blízko obci Hiadel.

Protokol přijala: Vlastnoruční podpis:

Marta Kratková

Hanuš Gibian

Podpis svědků:

Berta Gerzonová

Jan Müll 1Note 1: uncertain

Robert Weinberger

Karel Liewerand

Za archiv: Alex. Schmiedt

Dokumentační akce

19. XI. 1945

Zeev Scheck

References

  • Updated 1 year ago
The Czech lands (Bohemia, Moravia and Czech Silesia) were part of the Habsburg monarchy until the First World War, and of the Czechoslovak Republic between 1918 and 1938. Following the Munich Agreement in September 1938, the territories along the German and Austrian frontier were annexed by Germany (and a small part of Silesia by Poland). Most of these areas were reorganized as the Reichsgau Sudetenland, while areas in the West and South were attached to neighboring German Gaue. After these terr...
This collection originated as a documentation of the persecution and genocide of Jews in the Czech lands excluding the archival materials relating to the history of the Terezín ghetto, which forms a separate collection. The content of the collection comprises originals, copies and transcripts of official documents and personal estates, as well as prints, newspaper clippings, maps, memoirs and a small amount of non-written material. The Documents of Persecution collection is a source of informati...