An Underground Railroad in Trencin in World War II

Today’s post is going to have to be a short one, alas. I got a migraine yesterday evening, soon after posting about how “It could always be worse” on my blog. *Coincidence?*

I think not. (For a laugh, check out the comments on Facebook for that post. They’ve started to reflect the Monty Python sketch quite well . . .)

In any case, looking at a computer screen and thinking aren’t exactly high on my list of “Things that Make Bryce Feel Good” today, so thankfully there’s a link I’ve been wanting to share with you since I came across it yesterday. I was reading Cracked, as I am wont to do from time to time on my iPad, and imagine my surprise when one of the articles was about Slovakia in World War II. (Slovakia doesn’t get many articles written about it. Period.) So of course I had to read it, and then I discovered that not only was it about Slovakia–it was about Trencin! (The city where VODNIK takes place, also the city where my wife is from.)

Being in the Underground was stressful (surprisingly few water slides and ping pong tables in “the Underground”), and betrayal was always a worry. While small towns like Katarina’s were relatively safe since everyone knew everyone else, in the bigger cities paranoia was rampant. Katarina went to college at the University in the city of Trencin, less than half an hour away. That meant she got to know some people well outside of her comfort zone. Rich, powerful folks — who weren’t always the ’80s-style movie villains you might expect.

Going to school, this girl, Tanya, was there. Her dad was a mayor of a big town, so she was wealthy. We always wondered, though: Why would she come from 100 miles away just for school? She was even friends with this girl who was the girlfriend to a member of the Hlinka Guard. She, despite being rich, would go to the poor areas at night. We always wondered why she went there. It wasn’t until after the war we found out why.

Check the rest of it out.

It never says exactly what village the girl lived in, but there’s really only one road to the Czech Republic from Trencin, and it’s right where my mother in law lives and where we go to stay each time we visit. It was fascinating reading the article and seeing what the region was going through then–a side of the city’s history I hadn’t seen yet. (Also interesting that so few Roma were killed in the country in World War II, judging from the book that’s cited in the article. Of course, just after the part that notes that in the book, it goes on to say how Roma were treated after the war, but I’m focusing on the positive here . . .)

Anyway–just thought you might find that all interesting, too. Now I’m off to find a cold cloth and a dark room. Catch you all on Monday!

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