Minister Gajdoš attends the internment ceremony of Major General Schwarz to pay homage to the legend of the fight against Nazism

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The internment ceremony of Major General (Rtd) Ivan Otto Schwarz, the legend of WWII aviation, took place today (2 February 2018) at Brookwood Military Cemetery in Surrey, England. The Slovak delegation, led by Minister of Defence Peter Gajdoš, came to bid their farewell to the last Slovak member of the Czechoslovak Air Force to have served with the Royal Air Force (RAF) in WWII. Major General Schwarz passed away at the age of 94 on 4 January 2018.

In his eulogy, SVK Minister of Defence Peter Gajdoš said: “We have come together to bid our last farewell to Major General Schwarz – a hero that Slovakia has not seen so many in its history. He didnʼt give in to the power of Nazism, because his heart beat for freedom. This commitment made him into a legend, and despite the fact he had lived most of his life in the United Kingdom, he had never forgotten Slovakia, his homeland. Nor will we ever forget him.”
 
Major General (Rtd) Ivan Otto Schwarz, a native of Bratislava, grew up in Bytča. He served with No. 311 Czechoslovak Bomber Squadron RAF during the Second World War. Among his greatest achievements was the sinking of the Nazi blockade runner Alsterufer, for which he was awarded the Czechoslovak War Cross. Major General (Rtd) Ivan O. Schwarz was the first Slovakian President of the Free Czechoslovak Air Force Association. For his successes in the WWII Western Resistance, he received numerous domestic and international military awards and decorations, including the Order of the White Double Cross (3rd Class), a state honour of the Slovak Republic. During his numerous visits to Slovakia he was a distinguished guest at the SVK MOD on several occasions.
 
The last resting place of Major General (Rtd) Ivan Otto Schwarz is Brookwood Military Cemetery. It contains the Czechoslovak section where members of the Czechoslovak military units rest in peace. At this place of remembrance, Minister Gajdoš along with his Slovak delegation and the Czech delegation paid their respects to the memory of the fallen Czechoslovak airmen and soldiers in WWII.

Author: MO SR - KOd, Photo: MO SR - Ivan Kelement - Date: 02.02.2018
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