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Bernard J. Lotka and Tillie Michalski Trials: 1943

Child Of A Secret Relationship

Dating since 1939, Lotka and Michalski's relationship was not perfect. In April 1941, Lotka severely beat Michalski and assaulted her mother. Brought before a judge, the young man was released when he promised to marry the girl. (That promise was never kept.) A year later, when word came that Lotka would be drafted, the two "stepped over the line and became intimate." As a result, Michalski was six weeks pregnant when Lotka was inducted into the army on June 12, 1942. Once she learned of her condition, Michalski wrote to Lotka who told her to have an abortion. Her doctor, however, advised against it, so Michalski followed Lotka as he was sent to Denver, Colorado, and then to Camp White.

Things did not improve in Oregon. On Christmas Day 1942, Lotka left Michalski alone at their cabin to have dinner at a local home. In early January of 1943, he returned to Cleveland on a two-week furlough, but refused to allow Michalski, then eight and a half months pregnant, to come along lest their families found out about their living together and Michalski's condition. (None of their parents approved of the relationship.)

On January 25, 1943, the couple's son, William Lotka, was born. The parents were listed on the hospital's records as Sergeant and Mrs. Bernard Lotka.

Lotka still refused to marry Michalski. He also refused to allow the baby to be adopted for fear that his parents would somehow learn that he and Michalski were living together. Lotka never provided the young mother and child with anything. In addition, he wanted to get into the Army Air Corps, but that could happen only if he were single.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1941 to 1953Bernard J. Lotka and Tillie Michalski Trials: 1943 - Child Of A Secret Relationship, Baby's Body Found At Motor Court, Both Parents Face Death Penalty