Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Soviets and the Slovak

The identity card of Maria Gulovich, 1942.
Museum of the Slovak National Uprising, Banska Bystrica, Slovakia.

"The Soviets did not trust the Americans or the British. They interrogated Maria more than the others since she was the only one in the group who spoke Russian. What had the Americans been doing in Slovakia? Why was she traveling with them? Why didn't she admit to being a spy for the Americans? Maria didn't tell them that one key aspect of the Dawes mission was to gather information on Soviet activity in Slovakia. She repeated, again and again, that the Americans had been in Slovakia to help the CFI and to wage sabotage warfare against the Germans, their common enemy. They didn't believe her and grew increasingly hostile, at last forcing her to sign a paper stating that she would now work for the NKVD, the Soviet Secret Police, for an unspecified amount of time. Maria had no choice but to sign.

When the others were ordered to be shipped to another location, Maria was told that since she was now employed by the NKVD, she would have to remain behind. She was able to escape this fate by pretending to be married to one of the men, Guilliam Davis, a British sergeant who had been protective of Maria since he had joined the retreating Dawes team.

The Soviets consented, with the stipulation that Maria would return later to fulfill her duties with the NKVD. They were all put on a train going to Odessa. When they learned that their train was going to stop in Bucharest, Romania, where there was an American army post, they devised a desperate plan . . ."

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