Unforgotten story

The life of the mountains is affected by people. Their stories are noted down in each valley, saddleback or hill. One needs to learn to read from this mountain book, to be able to make connections, to remember messages ... Rudo Žuffa from the Roháče Mountain Rescue Service called me to a commemorative crossing from the Chocholowska valley to Zverovka, through Lúčna. The event is annually supported by Polish and Slovak rescuers who take the journey dressed in the same clothes as in an old story from the end of the Second World War that I was told by Rudo:

In December 1944, retreating partisan units left behind four heavily injured members in a cabin on the hillside at Brestová in the Roháče Mountains. The injured were only taken care of by Juraj Bernard and two nurses. German soldiers, who occupied Zuberec as well as the entire Roháčska valley, cut off their access to human settlements, medicines and health care, as well as supplies. Despite such a difficult situation, the group survived in the cabin for almost two months, after which time the temporary mountain hospital was no longer able to function. They were short of medicines and the nurses were at the end of their tethers.

One day, they learned that on the Polish side of the Roháče Mountains Soviet forces had freed the town of Zakopane. Deciding to seek help for the injured, Juraj Bernard set off on a journey across the mountains. In Zakopane, he urged a group of 14 rescuers who went to help the injured, led by the legendary mountain guide Korosadovicz.

In the morning of 11th of February 1945, the rescue team started the strenuous and risky transport of the injured across the Roháče ridge, using the Canadian sled and avoiding German patrols. Thanks to perfect organization, the rescue team managed to reach the Chocholowska valley at 4 p.m. on the 12th of February 1945. It was the greatest international rescue intervention of that time in Europe.

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