Helena Študiová, born 1917, Giraltovce
Helena Študiová remembered that she already had five children when they took her husband off to a labour camp. According to her, they took eleven Roma altogether. Her husband was taken to Germany. She described the time he was away as a time of hardship and anxiety about how to feed the children. Helena Študiová’s husband returned in bad shape about a year and a half later – he was brought by a non-Roma Slovak who carted the mail from Prešov. Študiová said that in the camp her husband suffered from beatings, hard work and starvation – hunger even drove the inmates to want to eat their shoes. People later hired her husband, who was the primáš, as a musician at weddings.
-  No further details are given.
After the war Helena Štúdiová tried to earn a living as well as look after the children. How many children there were is not quite clear from her recollections but probably there were eventually ten or eleven altogether. She would make trips to Bohemia – to Dvůr Králové, and to Prague – to sell bacon and other products of which there was a shortage there, [probably she was recalling the period soon after the war when people (not only Roma) from Slovakia took bacon and other products of which there was a shortage in the Czech part of the country and either sold them or exchanged them for sugar, which was scarce in (eastern) Slovakia; the state authorities considered this to be the black market, and anyone caught would often be arrested (ed.)]. They were a large family and therefore she wanted to build a bigger home for them. She worked for ten years in a glove-making factory, then hoed round saplings in the forest, and afterwards worked for five years as a bricklayer. At the end of the interview, to a question about the presence of partisans in the village, she mentioned one man who was still living there at the time of the interview, without giving his name.
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, 568-572 (ces), 573-577 (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/helena-studiova (accessed 11/29/2023)
Origin of Testimony
Helena Študiová willingly granted an interview in her home, partly because the interviewer knew Elena Lacková, who was related to Študiová and who was present at the interview (with two students of Roma Studies and family members).
Helena Študiová’s son-in-law is the son of Elena Lacková’s eldest sister.
-  A leading Roma personality, and writer who lived from 1921–2003; see her testimony in the database.
Where to find this testimony