Milan Ballek

* 1931  

  • “It was in 1949 when priests were being imprisoned already. There was also Fr. Bishop Vojtaššák who already assumed he would be interned as they monitored him constantly. Once in November something extraordinary happened, though. An Auxiliary Bishop, named Geberič, came dressed in white like an angel and we didn´t know what was going on. Then also Bishop Vojtaššák came, because a secret ordaining of a new bishop was supposed to take place there. It was our rector Dr. Jozef Barnaš [cor. Štefan – note ed.], who was about to be ordained in our chapel of Zápoľský. Well known professor Hanus was in charge of this event. It was magnificent! However, for sure the ŠtB found out about all of this, what mostly aggravated the situation of Fr. Bishop Vojtaššák. At the end of May, even before we could finish the school year, they announced us that the seminary was being closed.”

  • “We, the soldiers were taken to Ostrava to one soccer field. They told us the miners were rebelling and that we were about to fight against them. We refused it immediately. As we said we wouldn´t do that, they ordered us to guard some building of the Communist Party. We could be there as guards and fortunately, we weren´t forced to join any fights. Although, it was a real luck, back in 1953.”

  • “Then I tried my hardest to get employed as soon as possible. At that time the Orava Dam was being built. I had a neighbor who worked as a machine minder there, so I asked him to give me recommendations. He helped me and I got the job. I was interviewed and accepted by a political director named Dzuroška. I was very surprised I didn´t have any problems. It was my first construction work and a very hard one.”

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    Žilina, 03.06.2017

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Peace of the soul, joy in the heart and a smile on one´s face

7602-portrait_former.jpg (historic)
Milan Ballek
photo: Vyfotené počas návštevy pamätníka

Milan Ballek was born on January 2, 1931 in Tvrdošín, in Orava region to parents Jozef Ballek and Mária née Arvaj. In his native town he attended elementary school; from 1941 he continued to study at grammar school in Dolný Kubín and later in Trstená. In September 1949 he was accepted to a priestly seminary in Spišská Kapitula. On October 1, 1952 he enlisted in the military service to an artillery regiment in Opava, Moravian - Silesian region. In years 1962 - 1980 he worked in Váhostav Žilina as a building site manager and was in charge of many building constructions in Žilina and its surroundings. From 1980 to 1990 he was a head of heavy assemblies for steel and prefabricated structures at the construction company in Žilina. He retired in 1991, but besides his pension he continued working as a building site manager for various companies. Nowadays he lives in Žilina.