of the Gulag
August Matz was born in Slovakia on 15 July 1922 to a family of four children. His father was a farmer, his mother a housewife. He trained as a carpenter and had begun to work at a factory when at the age of 21 he was recruited into the German army in Spišská Nova Ves. He was sent to Hnilec and dug trenches before the Soviets arrived. He escaped to return home and managed, with a few other young men, to avoid capture by the Germans looking for them.
When the Soviets arrived, he was accused of owning houses the Germans had allegedly given him and was deported to a camp at Nuzal in the Caucasus, where he worked in the mines for four years.
He was released in 1949 and brought back to Frankfurt-an-der-Oder in East Germany, where he worked in a glass factory. He escaped illegally across the border with some friends from the camp. In Czechoslovakia he was arrested and worked his sentence in a sergeant’s house and finally returned to Slovakia. He took up his old job as a carpenter, married and had three daughters. He was rehabilitated in 1995 and now lives in a retirement home at Nálepkovo. He builds fine wooden models that decorate the home.