Friday, June 24, 2011

And to think I whined about quinsy

My great-grandparents' wedding
Rudolf and Jozefina
Still haven't found those pictures of him in uniform, though my grandmother swears they're around somewhere. She did, however, tell me an amazing story about him today. As I mentioned, he was a veteran of the Great War. Apparently during one battle he was bayonetted in the gut and shot in the arm-- the bullet went through his hand and up his arm. The Austro-Hungarian army, at this point, couldn't be bothered with its wounded, and so threw them all into a ditch to die-- my grandmother says the surviving officers even tried to poison the ones they threw down so that they would die more quickly. My great grandfather somehow escaped, and a passing farmer hid him in his hay cart and took him to a hospital.

When the war ended, he apprenticed for four years and eventually became a master brick layer. He was already married by this point-- I'm not sure whether he was married before or after the war, but was still living in Slovakia. His wife died, however, and he eventually moved to the States, where he met my great grandmother (also Slovak-- they had actually both came over the same year, though they hadn't known each other in Slovakia) in Astoria, NY.
Yes, it's a German sounding last name, no, that doesn't mean he was German
He died in 1943, when he was only 55, which I guess is why there aren't too many photos of him (not a whole lot of shutterbugs running around in early 20th century Slovakia, where he spent most of his life).

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