Memory of Nation


Ladislav Labancz (1939)

  Ladislav Labancz (1939)
Czechs were more receptive to us Hungarians than Slovaks were

Hungarian schools shut down in Slovakia

“I started attending school in 1945. Back then after the war, things were in confusion. No one knew what would happen. So I started attending a Hungarian school. A few of us also took extra lessons at the teacher’s home because the teacher was a friend of Mum’s. In 1946 they had me enrolled for the second year. But a Slovak teacher came there, greeted us, and we all gaped. She spoke to us, but we couldn’t speak a word of Slovak. So she went to get the headmaster, they came back together in a bit, discussed something, and the next day they informed us we were back to first year again. Because we couldn’t even say hello, we didn’t know a word of Slovak. So I attended year one twice.”

  • born 5 August 1939 in the Hungarian village of Bátorove Kosihy in what is now southern Slovakia
  • Hungarian ethnicity
  • 1938, his native village befell Hungary
  • his father served in the Hungarian army at the end of WW2
  • witnessed the post-war anti-Hungarian repression
  • the family avoided deportation presumably thanks to their relative poverty and the young age of the children
  • refused Slovakisation and retained their Hungarian ethnicity
  • Ladislav repeated his first year of primary school to learn Slovak
  • allowed to return to Hungarian schools after the Communist coup in 1948
  • graduated from the Hungarian secondary technical school in Košice
  • underwent mandatory military service with the engineering corps in Bohosudov, Bohemia
  • married a Czech, lived in Teplice and then in Prague from 1977
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