Memory of Nation


Juraj Stern (1940)

 Juraj  Stern (1940)
I just cannot explain what our rescuers have done

How to survive

“Mr. Zelenay dug out a hole in the middle of his yard and there we were supposed to hide if something happened. Once such a report came, I remember it quite lively, that we had to hide there. He covered the hole with planks and layered them with potatoes, so that it looked like a potato pit. However, somebody snitched on us. Fortunately, the guards that came were so drunk and lazy to move the potatoes away that they just fired shots onto that pit. Now imagine a mound, the hole and we were standing near the upper edge. They came from the top and all the shots were fired above our heads to the opposite wall. I know that my father held my mouth not to shout. My mom held my brother's. We survived it. None of us got shot down. Afterwards the guards left the place laughing, how well they had killed us. And the shooting was really dense. I used to hear it as a child – it was a nightmare that used to wake me up.”

  • born in 1940 in Bratislava
  • during the war he was hiding with his parents in Michalovce and Hlohovec
  • several times his father ran away from the death transports
  • during the communism he was unable to study or find proper job
  • he was monitored by the State Security
  • became a significant opponent of Vladimír Mečiar in 1990s
  • he was a rector at the University of Economics
  • for two years he was a Chair of the Slovak Rectors' Conference
  • nowadays, he is a rector of the Pan-European University in Bratislava
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