Our parents understood this, so the first decision became to have all three children get U.S. passports and leave together without stopping in a displaced persons camp in Germany. Then, at a later date our parents would find some way out that could include a stay in one of those camps. We went to a photo studio and had a group passport photo made. Parents cautioned us not to say a word to anyone about our plans because we could face certain repercussions if something went wrong. We all understood that. I don’t know how father communicated with the U.S. consulate in Bratislava, but he learned that the best course of action would be to send me to the USA first because as the summer passed, I had less than one year to get out before my sixteenth birthday. With that decision, we had a new passport photo made just for me. Then grandmother Julia, with some financial assistance from grandfather’s half-brother Steve Mihok from Lorain, Ohio, prepaid my travel to the USA on any available ship. As I learned later, with that done, the consulate in Bratislava became obligated to issue me a passport valid only for direct travel to the United States.
When the 1949-1950 school year began in September, we already had a firm decision to have me travel alone as soon as my transatlantic passage could be arranged. Father and I went to Bratislava and obtained my passport on November 8, 1949. Father had a long private discussion with the U.S. Consul Mr. Carey White. The thing I remember the most was his cautioning me about not telling anyone that I had an American passport. This was to prevent anyone from creating roadblocks to my departure before my time to get to the USA would expire. My passport was good for only four months. If I didn’t make it out in that time, it would have to be renewed, but never past my sixteenth birthday on June 18, 1950.