Spectator on facebook

Spectator on facebook

HISTORY TALKS...

Dangerous chalet keeper

THERE are still people living today who claim that during communism, life used to be better. The life story of Štefan Zamkovský may then be meant especially for them. This story contains no blood, but the very essence of communist thievery is obvious here.

During the 1920s and 1930s, Zamkovský belonged among the top Tatra climbers. It is estimated that in this period, he made about 30 first ascents with the most reputed Slovak and Polish climbers. The whole life of Zamkovský took place in the High Tatras where he made his living as a mountain bearer and also as a mountain guide. Since 1936, he was the keeper at the Téry mountain chalet. After long years spent in the mountains, Zamkovský decided to build, together with his wife, his own chalet in the mouth of the Studená dolina valley. He made the construction on his own, with only the support of his closest friend, in 1942-43. During World War II, the chalet was used as a hideout for those politically persecuted, guerrillas, and also for Jewish families.

God knows what expectations Štefan Zamkovský had by the end of the war, but he could hardly have imagined what would happen to him after 1948. The communist authorities forced him to leave his own chalet and managed to close Bilíkova chalet for several weeks. Then he was labelled a former capitalist, and even sacked from this position. And in order not to have such an enemy of communism roaming around the socialist mountains freely, he was banned from the Tatras.

However strongly the officials tried to get rid of Zamkovský, they failed to do so totally. His chalet was preserved – until these days, when hikers still visit it. In this postcard, the Zamkovský chalet is portrayed in 1947, i.e. one year before it was nationalised.

Topic: History talks


Top stories

General Prosecutor filed a motion for the dissolution of ĽSNS

The Slovak Supreme Court received a motion to dissolve the extreme right ĽSNS party founded and led by Marian Kotleba.

Jaromír Čižnár

Russian spies allegedly recruit also Slovaks

They are using martial art clubs in Germany and dozens more in other EU states, in the Western Balkans, and in North America.

Illustrative stock photo

EC scrutinises state aid for Jaguar Photo

There is a question whether the scrutiny may impact the carmaker’s plans to invest in Slovakia.

The construction site of a brand new plant of Jaguar Land Rover near Nitra.

GLOBSEC forum will host guests from 70 countries

The 12th year of the conference will be attended by the highest number of participants in its history.

Slovak President Andrej Kiska gives the opening speech of The Globsec 2016 security conference.