Medzilaborce Area (2013)
August 2013
August 29th is a National Holiday in Slovakia - the anniversary of the Slovak National Uprising against the Nazis in 1944.
We were visiting with relatives on that day and toured the area guided by my cousin who was 10 years old at the time.

He described the Partizan controlled areas as well as where the Russian/Czechoslovak and Nazi armies were located
The battle was followed by one of the coldest winters in memory
Habura was destroyed and burned by the cross-bombardment of both armies
Now a ski lift gets lots of use in the snowy winters here
This is a replica of Habura's original wooden church
The original was sold to Pardubice, Czech Republic in 1935
In 2012 we located the original church identified as being
from "eastern Slovakia" and dedicated to those who died in WWI
In Habura identical memorials in 3 languages state: "God does not care how you worship only how you live your life"

Bullet holes are still visible on this memorial

We visited the church in Habura and the grave of our grandfather, Gregory Dupkanich
The nearby village of Kalinov was the first to be liberated from the Nazis

My cousin described how after the battles children used to play on the abandoned war equipment
Now many stand as monuments to a past we hope never to be repeated
Medzilaborce is the site of the Andy Warhol museum - the largest outside of Pittsburgh.
He was of Rusyn heritage. His mother was born in the nearby village of Mikova

I am grateful for every opportunity to visit with family
It is so important to know who you are and where you come from

A popular TV Show asks
"Who Do You Think You Are?"

It took a long time and a lot of research, but
finally I know that I am Rusyn.