Gizela Dirová, born about 1926, Žakarovce, district Gelnica
As she says, she comes from Košice,
from a village where she says there are "žuže Roma", clean, gentlemanly Roma. She was orphaned and adopted by a Slovak family. They fed her until she was 15, when she met Jozef Diro at a friend's wedding and went with him to live with his father [in Krompachy].
-  Žakarovce is quite far from Košice, on the contrary it is closer to Krompachy, but it belongs to the Gelnica district in the Košice Region. Roma from Košice, however, have a high prestige among others, so whoever can identify with them tries to do so. (ed.)
Gizela Dirová describes how during the war the Germans mistreated the Roma, raping young girls, and how everything was scarce, food and clothing. When her husband left for the front, she remained alone with a year-old child; she lived with her husband's father and his partner. She went begging to Slovaks with her son on her back, telling them that she had a man at the front, but that they were not married and so she was not getting support (we were just living "in faith", she explains). People were nice and fed them; they knew they had nothing to eat. The young Roma used to go to the woods to get firewood for the Slovaks and then chop it up, and the women used to sweep the yards. Later, the Germans herded the Roma into the forest near Richnava to dig trenches; they were not paid anything for their work.
When her husband returned home, she says, things were good again.
How to cite abstractAbstract of testimony from: HÜBSCHMANNOVÁ, Milena, ed. “Po židoch cigáni." Svědectví Romů ze Slovenska 1939–1945.: I. díl (1939–srpen 1944). 1. Praha: Triáda, 2005. ISBN 80-86138-14-3, 263-270 (ces), 271-277 (rom). Testimonies of the Roma and Sinti. Project of the Prague Forum for Romani Histories (Institute of Contemporary History, Czech Academy of Sciences), https://www.romatestimonies.com/testimony/gizela-dirova (accessed 11/29/2023)
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