The beginning of this story is before the War, when I was the daughter of a wealthy Jewish family that owned a large farm in Parovske Haje, in the vicinity of Nitra. The farm employed most of the people in the area. Among the workers was Frantiszek Melo. In those days his relationship with my parents was of employee and his employers.
With the beginning of the anti-Jewish measures, when the Nazi threat to the Jews began to materialize and the Gestapo was looking for Jews to be sent to ghettos and gas chambers, my father was arrested and his entire property was confiscated. The Melos went to the authorities and asked for his release. They did it as neighbors and friends, and did not get any financial reward. They helped our family when our property was confiscated and offered us to stay in their home. It should be noted that the home consisted of a room and a kitchen where all the survivors (a total of seven) and the Melo family lived.
The rumor about the hiding Jews spread and we decided to flee to the forests. Angela visited us from time to time and brought us food. She never stopped asking us to return to their home. After two weeks we conceded and returned. We were surprised to find that another woman and child were present in the small room. Frantiszek had found them and brought them home.
The situation worsened and the Germans were searching every corner and wherever they suspected people to be hidden. Angela's home wasn't safe any longer. The best solution was under the stable. We dug a hideout under the stable floor and all of us – nine people – moved there. Angela supplied us with food, and every night we would leave our hideout for several minutes to breathe fresh air.
While we were hiding in the Melo's room a special situation developed that added weight to the already existing danger. One day Gestapo people came to Angela's home. We were all in the room at the time. They called Angela and Frantiszek's young son who was on their list. When the son saw the Germans arriving at his home, he ran and warned us of the danger. When they realized that the Germans had come for their son, the Melos were clueless. It was clear that if the Germans wouldn’t find what they had come for, they would return the following day. A possible option for the Melos was to have us leave so that when the Germans returned, they would not find us. This way their son would be saved, but nine Jews would be in deadly danger. The other option was to have their son present himself. This would endanger their son, but guarantee that the nine Jews would be safe. The Melos chose the second option – putting their own son in danger in order to save the lives of nine Jews (who in those days were considered by their compatriots to be inferior and harmful creatures - people who had no right to exist). The story had a good ending, because the son, as well as the nine Jews, survived.
This great deed should be recognized as an exemplary act by a couple of peasants who demonstrated the value of humanity and sacrifice above and beyond telling; doing so in circumstances of war, without asking for any reward. Our sages said: 'whoever saves a human soul, it is as if he saved an entire universe'. So what is there to say of a couple that saved nine souls?