"What are your memories of the Dukla Pass battle?"
"It was very tough battle. A lot of the infantry soldiers died there; and it wasn´t easy at all. I can´t remember the name of the village anymore, but the Germans caught our soldiers there and nailed them to the gate in the village. They murdered them. Later I was listening to some TV show where some officer said: ´It was forbidden, but I had to let them do it.´ Our soldiers found those Germans who had the blood of our infantrymen on their hands and killed them all. All of those who murdered our soldiers - who nailed them to the door like on the cross."
"Those who had more than fifteen acres of fields were treated as 'kulaks.' And those people were given the three months taxes. If they had one extra horse or cow, they sold it and paid the taxes. On the evening before the pay day they always came to threaten the people. They aim the large reflectors into their house: ´You´ve got the money? Give us the money! ´ This way two people from Hlinsko got arrested. Their names were Nyč and Olič. Mr. Olič apparently died of pneumonia in Buzuluk while the Czechoslovak army troop was being established in Russia. Mr. Nič got there, because he was a Jew. When the Russian army troops retreated, they didn´t transport their prisoners - they began to shoot them. Most of the prisoners were there for not paying the taxes every three months. The intention of this rule was to crush the men and then destroy them. That was their way to do that."
"There was some guy named Rozvon - his wife died there. Later he married some Russian girl. They (the Bandera force) took his horses and at noon took away also his Russian girl and murdered her too - just because she was a Russian. And that´s how it was - they were building ´clean´ Ukraine. There were some Russian girls - teachers. Of course, they took them to the wood. Some Mr. Mrázek used to have old forge there - when he saw what they were doing to these poor girls, he had to leave. They were spiting on them, did all kinds of nasty things to them and at the end they killed them anyway. What a beasts, those Ukrainians! They were young poor teachers. They (the Bandera force) were killing everybody."
"The Germans knew how to do nasty things. They did it as long as they could - until the very end. When I was up at the first battalion of Minčolu - that was the dimension about 1300, across from Strečno vilage- where the SS soldiers kept hiding for so long, I went to swop with another signalman who suffered some toe inflammation. When I got there, people from the second battalion told me that an intelligence group of about twenty one men has been still gone missing. They hide in some villa basement, but the Germans found them and killed them all there. Later they have been buried in Vrútky village. The bastards were doing this crap until the very last moment."
"They kept marching in confusion. They kept asking: ´When do we get our 'lepioshky?.' They thought we were living in some kinds of dugouts or something. But the truth was that the Czech people and a lot of the Ukrainians used to have the zinc sheet roofs. The barns used to be covered also with hay. They walked in: ´This is a town so where is our lepioshky? ´ They didn´t know where they are; it was a propaganda. But it wasn´t their fault though. They were so disciplined that they would never step off the path. They were afraid to lift up an apple that fell of the tree. No way, they would do that! If they only wanted to drink the water they must have their commander´s permission."
“I had to clench my teeth, otherwise if I would have opened my mouth I would have gone to jail.”
Mr. Vladimír Beran was born in 1925 in Hlinsko town in Volhynia (Western Ukraine). After the liberation of Ukraine occupied by Nazis, he voluntarily entered the Czechoslovak army corps in 1944. As a signalman he came through the Dukla pass battle and he also fought in Slovakia battles. After the demobilization he returned back to Volhynia. But later in 1947 - during the re-emigration he left Volhynia for good. He and his family settled in Stará Červená voda village in Jesenice region. There he entered the JZD (former collectivized farms corresponding to Soviet Kolkhoz). However he was dismissed two years later for his ‘negative attitude´. He didn´t like to see how some of the communist are stealing. After that he ran a private business for couple of years; but he was constantly hampered. He was demarcated the worse and the most remote field, and the communists also took some of his farm machinery. At the end he didn´t have choice but to return to the JZD. However, he took the very first opportunity to leave and he begun to work for chain production factory located in Česká Ves. He passed away on June, 29th, 2014.