42 Refugees Brought in by Holy Family Parish

Willard , Clark Co., Wisconsin


Slovenians Here R a l l y to H e l p Unfortunates Escape from Reds

Forty-two refugees have been brought out of Europe by members of the Holy Family Catholic church of Willard. Forty of these came during the year 1949. Two of them arrived last Saturday.

Gradually. through the past: year, the congregation has been persisting in this enterprise, wit: one group rescued after another until this impressive total has bee built up. The project adds up to migration of importance in a parish of the size of that at Willard.

With five exceptions all of these 42 refugees are still in and near the Willard parish. Largely they are on farms, giving such help as they can and learning their way into American life. In every case they have sponsors, members ( this parish who have undertake to guide and help them in their new life ..

All of these refugees are Slovenians. All of them had made a run for it from the Communism of JugaSlavia. Many of them had first found their way into Austria or Italy, and had been helped on their way from there. Practical1ly all of them had undergone hardships in their effort to get away and to find a new home.

This enterprise has been chiefly directed by Father Odilo Hajnsek pastor of the Holy Family church at Willard. Himself a Slovenian intimately acquainted with the tribulations of his fellow Slovenians, he has sought and found sponsors, mostly in his own parish and has arranged for the refugees to come on.

The latest arrivals are the members of the Androjna  family who join the two other members .of  that family, under the sponsorship of Mrs. Justina Volarich. Of that family Mary and Joseph have' been for some time in the Willard community with Mrs. Volarich.

Two others, Mary and Frank, arrived last Saturday.

Five refugees, originally brought into the Willard parish, have, moved on into other localities and opportunities. Dusan Surman, a university student, has gone to San Francisco. He is sponsored in this country by Anton Debevec Sr. Frank Brodar, who is sponsored by Anton Debevec, Jr., is now a medical student at Lewi:sburg, Pa. Mary, Stanley and Frank Brecelj, sponsored by Anton Debevcc, Sr., have gone on to Cleveland, O.

The sponsors have in each case undertaken not a little. They advance the money for transportation of the refugees from New York to Willard. This money is to be returned to them when the refugees are able to repay it. They undertake, also, to provide the refugees a place to live and to give them work. It is only when such sponsorship has been arranged it that the refugees can legally be brought into the United States.

Father Hajsek advised The Clark County Press that there are two large organizations which are attending to this refugee work The International Refugee Organization, with headquarters in New York, is responsible for bringing the refugees from Europe to New York. The National Catholic Welfare Conference, also with headquarters in New York, has outposts in various parts of the United States, and attends to the distribution of the refugees. It is in cooperation with these organizations that Father Hajnsek has worked in bringing the refugees into the Willard parish.

For information as to the ex­tent of this movement in the Wil­lard parish, and for the list of refugees and sponsors, The Press is indebted to Anne Champa, the Gorman correspondent, a member of the Holy Family parish. The list of refugees, as prepared by her, follows-

Dusan Surman, sponsored by Mr. Anton Debevec, Sr.

Frank Brodar, sponsored by Mr. Anton Debevec, Jr.

Anton Kocjan was sponsored by Mr. Frank Perovsek.

Alexander Metlikovic was spon­sored by Rev. Bernard Ambrozic.

William Kuntara, was sponsored by Alphonse Volovsek.

Jacob and Martina Beznik were sponsored by Mr. Frank Volovsek, Sr.

Mr. and Mrs. Karol Erznoznik and daughter, Marian, sponsored by Mr. Frank Volovsek, Sr.

Anton Asl, sponsored by Mrs. Mary Snedic.

Mr. and Mrs. Ivan Berlec and daughter, Mary, sponsored by Ivan Ruzich.

Anton, Cecilja and John Zokelj were sponsored by Mrs. John Brezic.

Michael, Catherine, Ant 0 n, Marijanca, Katarina Sisen were sponsored by Mr. Frank Artac.

Frank, Christine, Franc, Milan, John, Miha, Mary, Pauline and Mary Rihtar were sponsored by Mr. John Kutzler.

John Mrzlikar, sponsored by Rev. John Novak.

Mary, Joseph, Mary and Frank Androjna sponsored by Mrs. Jus­tina Volarich.

Mary, Stanley and' Frank Brecelj, sponsored by Anton Debevec, Sr.

Mr. Alozius Gosar and daughters, Antonia and Marian, sponsored by Mr. Frank Gosar.

Related Links

Bio: Yaklich, Evan & Mary


George Plautz



© Every submission is protected by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998.


Show your appreciation of this freely provided information by not copying it to any other site without our permission.


Become a Clark County History Buff


Report Broken Links

A site created and maintained by the Clark County History Buffs
and supported by your generous donations.


Webmasters: Leon Konieczny, Tanya Paschke,

Janet & Stan Schwarze, James W. Sternitzky,

Crystal Wendt & Al Wessel