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Ján Tumi

Ján Tumi, born 1923, Chyžné, Revúca district

  • Testimony abstract

    Ján Tumi served as a soldier in the village of Oremov Laz. There were only four Roma among the soldiers. One of them was Andro Boldi from Mišán.[1] Then the Germans released them and he was at home. In 1944, when the [Slovak National] Uprising broke out, he volunteered to join the partisans in the village of Valaská in the agricultural school. There was a Russian general named Chernov, a Captain Mikhailov and their deputy Kozlov.[2] There were Russian women among the partisans; according to Tumi, they were better than the men; he said they advanced with the speed of a forest fire. Tumi and the partisans blew up a bridge in the village of Východná, then went to Banská Bystrica, liberated the village of Jedľová, and continued to Zvolen, where there was heavy fighting with the Germans. The Germans had heavy weapons, while the partisans’ heaviest weapon was a light machine gun. In Piešťany, the Germans threw a bomb into a cauldron just after they had cooked goulash in two cauldrons and the partisans were coming to get their food. At that moment, Tumi was eating in the woods behind the spa. The partisans were mixed up with the soldiers. They were moving between Banská Bystrica and Zvolen near “Poljana”,[3] where they retreated from Zvolen when it was no longer possible to fight. Everything was occupied by the Germans. In the village of Močiar they were betrayed by the local Catholic priest and the Germans then attacked them with mortars; they shot everyone they caught. Tumi escaped into the forest, and while fleeing witnessed an incident in which four Germans were riding a motorcycle with a sidecar along a forest road when a Russian and his wife came out of the forest. They caught and tortured them, then poured gasoline on the man and burned him to death.[4]

    When the Russians arrived in May, they attacked the Germans with Katyusha rocket launchers.

    • [1]Not found.
    • [2] Their first names not given.
    • [3] Probably the Poľana Mountains east of Zvolen.
    • [4] See also the testimony of Zuzana Tumiová.

    In May the Russians came and quartered the partisans in Zvolen Castle.

    How to cite abstract

    Abstract 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, 748-755 (ces), 756-762 (rom). Testimonies of the Roma and Sinti. Project of the Prague Forum for Romani Histories (Institute of Contemporary History, Czech Academy of Sciences), (accessed 4/13/2024)
  • Origin of Testimony

    The interview with Ján Tumi and his wife Zuzana Tumiová[1] took place in November 1995 in their house; it was attended by students of Romani Studies and a photographer. Roma from neighbouring villages alerted the editor to Mr Tumi as a former partisan (hence his nickname). He had just caught a cold and was lying down, and at the age of seventy-two he was blind and hard of hearing, yet his wife insisted that the interview take place. She interpreted for the interviewers (often conducting the interview herself) because he was used to her voice. The Tumis spoke Slovak at first, switching to Romani at the request of the interviewers. The interview was published unedited; the editor omitted parts of it that were not related to the war.

    • [1] See also her testimony in the database.
  • Where to find this testimony

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