Between March 29 and April 1, 1945, after the front of war passed through Zvolen, six mass graves were officially opened at the Jewish cemetery in Zvolen. The graves contained the bodies of 128 victims (86 men, 36 women and 6 children). All of them were killed by a shot in the back of the head and were victims of Einsatzkommando 14 from the Zvolen district, operating in this area between November 1944 and February 1945. The commandant was SS-Unterscharführer Robert Wich, called the bloody executioner of Zvolen.
After exhumation the bodies of the victims were identified by loved ones. Some Gypsy women said that they had recognised their husbands or sons by their teeth or some characteristic piece of clothing. Pavel Klinec (Junc) was recognised by his pipe and leather pouch, which he always had strapped to his waist.
The names of the murdered Roma were placed on a plaque at the Jewish cemetery nine years after the unveiling of the memorial. The plaque contains the names of the Gypsies from the area of Podpoľania (also called Zvolensk, including the poviats of Detva, Krupin and Zvolen), both those who were murdered in Zvolen and others killed in Kremnička. Both the memorial and the plaque with names were erected as part of the Ma bisteren! Project.
Description of commemoration
The memorial resembles a crematorium chimney stack with a ventilation grille. The grille is forged, hammered and it consists of two parts. It has hinges, thanks to which both parts are movable. Thus, it creates a space where you can put a lamp or flowers. The plaque is placed in the cemetery wall, a few metres behind the memorial. The inscriptions “Ma bisteren!” on the memorial as well as the plaque are made using the same technique as the hammered metal grille.
The memorial: ”Ma bisteren! / Na pamiatku / romskich / obeti / 1939-1945” (Let us not forget! In memory of the Roma victims 1939-1945)
The plaque: ”Na pamiatku romskich obeti / z Podpoľania 1939-1945 / (names) / Ma bisteren!” (In memory of the Roma victims from Podpoľanie 1939-1945 / (names) / Let us not forget!)
Names of victims from Podpoľanie 1939-1945
Juraj Klinec (Plecháň) born 1887 57 years old shot
Mikuláš Klinec (Cvelko) born 6.07.1912 32 years old shot
Gustáv Klinec (Duge vasta) born 1910 34 years old shot
Koloman Klinec (Šmalec) born 1920 24 years old shot
Vojtech Klinec (Trnka) born 1918 26 years old shot
Juraj Klinec (Furiak) born 1.12.1927 14 years old shot
Imrich Klinec (Vursalo) born 1.06.1904 40 years old shot
Juraj Klinec (Bapser) born 30.05.1923 21 years old shot
Adam Klinec (Brlíľ) born 10.03.1904 40 years old shot
Peter Klinec born 19.06.1901 43 years old shot
Samuel Klinec (Sabač) born 5.11.1928 16 years old shot
Jozef Klinec (Bimbó) born 30.12.1923 20 years old shot
Pavol Klinec (Junec) born 8.09.1897 47 years old shot
Viliam Klinec (Sloskáň) born 7.03.1928 18 years old shot
Karol Berky born 3.11.1917 27 years old shot
Ján Berky born 9.07.1919 25 years old shot
Ľudovít Berky (Dlhoš) born 18.03.1902 44 years old shot
Jozef Oláh (Ciblik) born 15.11.1900 45 years old concentration camp
Juraj Berky (Klinec) born 8.11.1922 23 years old missing
Augustín Berky (Dlhoš) born 25.05.1918 26 years old missing
Samuel Berky born 18.01.1919 36 years old landmine explosion
František Berky born 13.02.1896 49 years old landmine explosion
Augustín Berky born 25.08.1918 26 years old landmine explosion
Ján Berky born 20.11.1873 72 years old landmine explosion
Koloman Berky 25 years old shot
Juraj Berky born 1881 64 years old shot
Štefan Berky born 1922 23 years old shot
Ján Berky born 1926 18 years old shot
Július Berky 32 years old shot
Podkriváň Dolná Bzová
11 men from the family of Berkyoviec murdered in Zvolen and Kremnička
Tortured in Vígľašski Zamok, and them murdered in Kremnička:
Ján Čipčala (Jergi; lead violin player) shot
Jozef Klinec shot
Mikuláš Oláh (Šípka; dulcimer player) shot
Date of the unveiling
The memorial: April 8, 2006; the plaque with the names: December 10, 2015
Jaroslava Šicková and Ján Šicko
In Minorita – projekt Ma bisteren!
Zuza Kumanová, Arne B. Mann, Ma bisteren! Pripomínanie rómskeho holocaustu, Bratislava 2014, s. 40.
Zuza Kumanová, Arne B. Mann, Ma bisteren, Nové poznatky o holocauste Rómov na Slovensku, Bratislava 2015, s. 12-13.