Slovak Immigration to North America (1870–2010)
For the first time ever, the author has told the epic story of Slovak immigration to North America. Based upon forty years of archival and library research, supplemented by the life histories of over two dozen families scattered across the USA and Canada, and lavishly illustrated, this book will satisfy both academics and the general public who have long been waiting for a comprehensive history of this significant member of the family of Slavic nations.
Chapter 3 - Exiles and Americans 71
71 Chapter 3 Exiles and Americans Towards the end of the Second World War, several thousand Slovak refugees, seeking to avoid the Russian front, sought temporary shelter in Austria and languished there until their American coun- trymen came to the rescue. Life in the village of Aurolzmünster was, at times, bucolic; at other times brutal. One member of the Stolarik household decided to return to Czechoslovakia, where life was even worse. Others helped the anti-Communist “White Legion” to infiltrate Czechoslovakia. Slovak Americans, led by the Slovak League of America, had sought to maintain their identity between the two World Wars. As a result, a delegation of the Matica slovenská had visited Ameri- can Slovak communities in the mid-1930’s, and a delegation of the Slovak League had visited Slovakia in 1938. Now both groups, having supported the independent Slovak Republic (1939–1945), were disappointed by the resurrection of post-war Czechoslovakia. The January and February 1945 evacuation of Slovaks to Aurolz- münster in Austria took several weeks; its first leg was uneventful, but then it narrowly escaped disaster. The refugee train, which had originated in Ruz¡omberok, stopped in Martin and moved slowly westward through Z¡ ilina, where it picked up more families. It then proceeded south through Bytc¡a, Trenc¡ín and Trnava, where the women of the local Red Cross provided food and drink. After this, the train moved west to the town of Holíc¡ and the village of Kopc¡any, on the border with Moravia, where...
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