Kezmarok Library

According to a discussion I had with a librarian there, the city of Kezmarok has a fantastic library that survived World War II, at least until the Red Army came through.  Books printed by Guttenberg himself where strewn on the floor by the soldiers and shelves of old religious manuscripts were knocked over and desecrated by the liberating soldiers of the Red Army.  After the soldiers had had their fun and had blown off some steam, the senseless order was given to burn down the library.  In stepped the director of the library, who had squirreled away a bottle of vodka from the beginning of the war.  He invited the commander to sit with him and drink.  By the time they reached the bottom of the bottle, the order to burn down the library had been forgotten, but the library was ordered boarded up and off limits.  Until 1989 rodents infested the building and desecrated those books just like the rodents of the Red Army had done.  Much care has been taken to restore those books today it is considered one of the best libraries of its kind in Europe and it’s hard to imagine such a story having taken place in such a peaceful city, seemingly so removed from the cares of the world.

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