Juraj Steiner (*1946)

Juraj Steiner (2019)

Parents did not burden him with their traumatic experience, and being a restless child led him to become a makeup artist

Juraj Steiner was born July 13, 1946, in Bratislava, as the second child of Alexander Steiner and Edita Steiner, née Goldschmidt. Juraj´s grandfather on the father´s side was Artúr Steiner, a Bratislava wholesale flour dealer. During the war, grandfather’s store was Aryanized, and shortly after the end of the war, the store was nationalized which eventually led to the family losing the store. Juraj´s mother Edita came from Ernst Goldschmidt´s family who worked in the sugar industry. During the war, she lost her parents, sister, and the major part of her family. Juraj was a restless child. It was thanks to his nature that he discovered the profession of his dreams. One time, the film producers of the “My z 9. A” (We, Children from the Class 9.A), directed by Štefan Uher, were looking for a child such as Juraj. He was shortlisted for one of the main roles. At last, he was not cast, but the experience of finding himself in the make-up room was enough to know who he wanted to be. In 1966, he graduated from the Secondary School of Applied Arts in Prague and was later employed as a makeup artist in the Slovak Television. In 1986, Juraj was a married man and a father which enabled him to attend alternative civilian service, thus avoiding the mandatory military service. As a result, he experienced the August Warsaw Pact invasion as a workman. He came back to work for the television when the normalization was well under way. The Velvet Revolution caught Juraj Steiner working at the Filmové ateliéry na Kolibe (Koliba Film Studio). As Gorbachev came to power, the mood of society started to lose its rigidity, and Juraj expected the regime to fall. What saddened him the most about the dissolution of Czechoslovakia was that he could no longer call Prague, the city where he spent the formative years of his youth, the capital of his motherland.

The full story of the witness can be found in the online archive Memory of Nation.