Spectator on facebook

Spectator on facebook

AROUND SLOVAKIA

Remembering victims of WWII air raid

SEVENTY years ago, on June 16, 1944, the US Air Force bombed 80 percent of the Apollo refinery in Bratislava, claiming the lives of 176 locals.

The Apollo bridge, located close to where the refinery used to stand.(Source: TASR)

SEVENTY years ago, on June 16, 1944, the US Air Force bombed 80 percent of the Apollo refinery in Bratislava, claiming the lives of 176 locals.

Apollo was a joint-stock company, which in 1896 launched the operation of the Apollo refinery, popularly called Apolka, where mineral oils were refined and petrol, kerosene, paraffin, candles, Vaseline, tar and even artificial ice were produced. During the Second World War, Slovakia’s official ally, Nazi Germany, controlled the production, and the refining of diesel fuel and oil was modernised to produce fuels for the German army.

The refinery on the Danube’s left bank was attacked by US bombers in several waves on June 16. Numerous employees of the Apollo facility died, as air raid shelters failed to protect them from the burning oil. The city’s inhabitants were also among the fatalities, as bombs targeted residential areas of Bratislava. To commemorate the victims, Bratislava’s fifth bridge, finished in 2005 near the original site, was named Apollo.

The air raid’s success was in part due to a female industrial spy from inside Apollo, as Slavo Kalný writes in the book Bombardovanie Apolky (The Bombing of Apolka).

In 1946, the remains of the Apollo factory were nationalised, i.e. confiscated by the state, and incorporated into the national enterprise Slovak Refineries of Mineral Oils, which was renamed in 1949 to Slovnaft, a national enterprise. The refinery operated there until 1963, when it was moved to a new location on the city’s outskirts, Vlčie Hrdlo, the TASR newswire wrote.

In May 2005, an exhibition took place in Bratislava’s Primate’s Palace, showing the fate of the Apollo refinery from the founding charter until the tragic events of June 1944.

Top stories

12 places where you can see the works of one of the best medieval wood carvers Photo

The works of the renowned Master Paul are not limited just to Levoča.

St Geirge Curch in Spišská Sobota

Heatwaves to continue in Slovakia over the following days

More than 40 people collapsed due to hot weather on Thursday.

Jourová: Fico not fully informed on all EC’s activities on double standards

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker will meet with Fico to discuss double quality standards of foods on July 27 in Brussels.

European Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality Věra Jourová

Foreigners: Events in Bratislava Video

Tips for performances and other events in the capital between July 21 and July 30, including concerts, parties, festivals, classical music, inline skating, exhibitions and more.