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Luboš Horváth

Luboš Horváth – Lajoš (born 1931, Krásna Lúka, Sabinov district) made his living as a professional musician in a wine cellar, playing the violin, the accordion and the electric organ. He was active in the Union of Gypsies-Roma founded in 1969, and after it was abolished in 1973, he tried to help the Roma as a member of what was known as the Commission for the Gypsy Population in Tachov.

  • Testimony abstract

    The father of Luboš Horváth was one of nine brothers and sisters who grew up without a father. From the age of six he looked after a farmer’s sheep, but was not allowed to live with the family and so slept with the cattle. He was illiterate but his son remembered that he was wise and had a good heart. His house stood on a hill at the end of the village of Krásná Lúka alongside five more cottages belonging to Roma relatives. The local people cursed the Roma and were against having Roma children sitting in school with Slovaks. The Roma children could only sit on the back bench, separated from the farmers’ children. His father’s friend, the teacher Markuš[1] gave Luboš Horváth a lot of support at school. He emphasised to the Roma children that they had to learn, because it was only when they knew more than the farmers and knew their rights that the farmers would stop cursing and laughing at them.

    • [1] Christian name not provided.

    After the fighting broke out, the village teacher Markuš wrote reports on slips of paper about where the Germans were, what was happening in the village and what he had heard, and Horváth’s father took them to the forest to the partisans. When the Roma children were not allowed to attend school any more, in the evenings Luboš Horváth would go to the teacher’s house where Markuš secretly taught him the material covered in school, and how to read music; they also played the violin together. When the men of the family were taken away for forced labour to the village of Plaveč – not only Luboš’s father but also his father’s brother-in-law Jaňu, the son of his father’s uncle Valent, and his uncle Ignác,[1] who was nicknamed the “Paganini of east Slovakia” in the newspapers – the family without them was in need. Uncle Valent fled home but the gendarmes caught him, beat him in front of the family and sent him back to forced labour. Horváth’s mother was the family breadwinner, working for the farmers – chopping wood and scrubbing floors, sometimes with the children helping her with other work. When there was no work his mother went begging. The teacher Markuš used to give food to Horváth which he shared with his five siblings at home. The Roma were driven out of many villages in the region – Borovce,[2] Lipany, Krivany, Šambron, Torysa, Plavnica, Okbartovce[3] – but in Krásna Lúka the local priest, on the prompting of Markuš the teacher, stood by the Roma, so they were allowed to stay and, unlike other places, they were allowed to enter the village whenever they wanted. Horváth remembers seeing a board in Krivany with the notice: Gypsies allowed in the village between 12 noon and 2 pm.

    • [1] Full names not provided.
    • [2] This village could not be found either in the Sabinov district nor in neighbouring Spišská Nová Ves. (ed.)
    • [3] This village could not be found. (ed.)

    After the war, thanks to coaching by his teacher Markuš, Luboš Horváth sat and passed the exams for secondary school and among other things, played in a quartet. The ensemble had been founded by the director of the school, Lješinský,[1] and Luboš Horváth played first violin because Markuš had taught him how to read music. His father apparently died in 1975 and Luboš Horváth remembered that a year earlier, reminded by his father’s photograph of Markuš, he called him in Slovakia. He played the electric organ to him over the phone and the teacher was touched that Horváth had not forgotten him.

    • [1] Christian name not provided.

    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, 127-129 (ces), 130-132 (rom). Testimonies of the Roma and Sinti. Project of the Prague Forum for Romani Histories (Institute of Contemporary History, Czech Academy of Sciences), (accessed 11/29/2023)
  • Origin of Testimony

    Luboš Horváth’s narration was recorded by Milena Hübschmannová in Tachov in 1981. His testimony to his teacher Markuš was adapted and prepared for publication in the mid-1980s. The questions have been omitted and the text ordered chronologically.

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