Emil Wawrek was born to a Spiš (Zipser) German family in Bušovce, Slovakia, on 2 August 1923. His father was a farmer. He lost his mother at the age of 17 and was living with his father when, on 21 February 1945, he and his brother were taken forcibly from church to work in a labour camp in Levoča, Slovakia. They stayed there a month and were then taken across Ukraine to the Nuzal camp. The three Wawreks lived there for nearly five years. They were released in late 1949 and taken by train to Frankfurt an der Oder in Germany. From there they crossed illegally into Czechoslovakia and returned to Bušovce on 21 January 1950. Their return did not go unnoticed and they were arrested and held for three days for illegally crossing the border. They found few of their friends, because the German families in the village of Bušovce had been expelled to Germany. Emil Wawrek had come home with serious health problems and was unable to work for six months. He took up work with his father again without joining the cooperative farm. Later he got a job in a factory, where he worked for 22 years. Wawrek married Anna in 1961. They now live in the family house in Bušovce.