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Podkonice/Banska Bystrica Slovakia Records

Discussion in 'Military Service Records & Genealogical Research' started by strelok, Apr 9, 2014.

  1. strelok

    strelok New Member

    Apr 9, 2014
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    My grandfather, a US citizen, grew up with his mother in Podkonice in what is now modern day-Slovakia. Podkonice is a small village located just North of Banska Bystrica which was the site of the Slovak National Uprising. I have read that the mountains just beyond his village were full of insurgents throughout the war.

    He never spoke much about the war, though the few events he let slip are quite terrible. He was only eleven when the war started, and since he was an American the Germans frequently weeded him for bits of gossip on any partisan activity since they thought he wasn't as dedicated to Slovakia. He witnessed many of his neighbors executed in the streets. At one point during the occupation there were so many bodies that a bulldozer had to be brought in to prepare a mass grave. Even when the Germans retreated, the Soviets were suspicious of him because of his citizenship and the fact that he had learned German by the end of the war.

    I found a record of his return to the US. In June 1948 he appeared in Cherbourg, France and bought a ticket for the RMS Queen Elizabeth. I suspect he fled somewhere in the panic of the coup d'etat when the Communists took over.

    Most articles and books I have found about Slovakia during the war cover the National Uprising and focus on Banska Bystrica. However, I am interested in finding records for Podkonice itself. Perhaps there are German or Slovak documents circulating about which can provide me with a timeline of the village during the war. I can only find one translated record of Podkonice during the war detailing the German retreat as the Soviets approached.

    I am also curious as to how somebody would travel from Banska Bystrica, Slovakia to France in 1948 considering that much of the infrastructure and railroads of Germany were destroyed. He only had two suitcases with him for his journey back to America, so it makes me wonder if much of the journey was done hitch-hiking or on foot.
  2. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow

    Jun 3, 2011
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    The Land of 10,000 Loons
    If you haven't done so already, I would suggest you also post your question on our sister forum, WW2Talk.com which is more UK/Euro-oriented.

    As for your last comment, I would guess that your assumption is probably correct. Though, it is possible that once he got to France, the transportation infrastructure may have been in better shape. It may be worth doing some research on the post-war reconstruction of Germany and France to get a better understanding on that point.

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