Margita Lebdovičová

The Lebdovič family lived in the small Slovakian village of Mlynčeky, not far from Kežmarok, in an apartment owned by the local flourmill, where the father, Ján, was employed. Ján and his wife Žofia had three daughters, Margita being the youngest.

The Lebdovičes knew the Goldmann family prior to the war. When the persecution of Jews started, the Lebdovičes hinted to the Goldmanns that they could turn to them for help, if needed. In September 1944, Maximilian Goldmann, his sister Gisela, and her 18-month-old son asked the Lebdovičes to afford them refuge. The Lebdovičes also took in seven additional people – Dr. and Mrs. Fried, and Dr. and Mrs. Shick, and their three adult daughters. Ján prepared a hiding place for all of them in the cowshed, which he separated from the cows’ section by building a partition. On evenings when it was not dangerous, those in hiding were allowed to venture outside the cowshed for much needed fresh air and room to stretch. Throughout their time in hiding, the Lebdovičes took care of all the fugitives’ basic needs.

 (Eventually Gisela left this shelter with her young son and they survived the war elsewhere.)

At one point retreating German soldiers stopped to stable their horses in the Lebdovičes’ yard and billeted themselves in the home. For the Lebdovičes and those who were hidden, those two days were spent living in even greater fear than usual. No contact passed between them until the soldiers moved on.

A major challenge to the Lebdovičes’ rescue effort was the presence of Ján’s intellectually disabled brother in their house. The fear that he would not be able to remain quiet prompted the Lebdovičes to hide the presence of the fugitives from him.

All those hidden with the Lebdovič family survived to see the liberation at the end of January 1945. Margita has expressed that not a moment goes by that she doesn’t think of her family’s action. The Lebdovičes’ religious faith and their love of humanity had motivated them to rescue people. The Goldmann family stayed in touch with the Lebdovičes even after the war. On September 4, 1991, Yad Vashem recognized Ján Lebdovič, Žofia Lebdovičová, and their daughters, Margita, Emília, and Anna, as Righteous Among the Nations.