Václav Djačuk

* 1920  †︎ 2015

  • “I had no idea what to do. I could pick my leg with a pickax. I said to myself: 'Well, I don't know how this could end up, no.' Or I coul fall off a ladder that we use to climb up – I would injure my head, no either. I had no idea what to do so that I could get at least one day off to have some rest. I came up with this idea. When a track goes up and then down again, I passed by. I pretended to have slid, stumbled or collapsed and left my hand on the little rails. However, I somehow didn't realize at that moment that it could have cut my fingers off. Luckily, no such thing happened. It only did 'jerk, jerk' of course, blood that instant but not a drop dripped on the ground although it was all on the ground. A kind of foam appeared on it, it got frozen and I went to the doctor then. He treated the wound and bandaged it up. I can't tell you how long exactly I didn't go to work.”

  • “Everybody had to parachute three times like that. A friend of mine said he didn't have the guts to go up there. He had an idea: to fly, OK, but to go up there – he apparently found it problematic. I said to him: 'Jirka, you know what, my name begins with D in the alphabetical order and you are M,' his name was Mydnej. 'When they call you forth, I'll go instead.' Nobody noticed that. Well, I did my drops and I did his for him. Otherwise he would have to leave the Air Force for lacking the guts, in case anything happened when flying, there are such failures. It's not like that that there are never any aircraft failures. Well, it was three times for myself and I did six drops altogether.”

  • “If some sinews were damaged I can't say, I don't understand that. It stayed like this. I couldn't release my hold on wheelbarrow, it limited me in my everyday work quite a lot and I couldn't hold anything nor push anything. So I went to the doctor's. Whether he was a doctor or not, that is the question. Do you know what he did to me? He looked at it but it was almost healed, the injury, I can say. He put my hand on his knee and without giving me any painkillers he straightened it on his knee. It only gave a rattling sound, he straightened it, he gave me a splint or a piece of wood, bandaged it up and sent me away. And it all ended up like this, ha, ha...”

  • “We were given a task from major Fajtl – a Jožka Síč from Košice and I. We were asked to fly. I took off, all went well. He was supposed to follow me, we had a task each. However, what he did, he didn't take off for a long time. I did and I was up in the air already. He took off and wanted to get close to me right away. Unfortunately, he didn't have the right speed. Lavočka weighs about three tons and a half, he had a crash and it was his end. I saw it, it was as when the church was in flames. Unfortunately, he killed himself. I didn't fly any further, I wanted to land. I couldn't get rid of that crash in my mind and I did a little bit more with my plane... I didn't place it, as we say, right into butter, but I brushed one of the wings against the ground, oh, well, nothing serious.”

  • “And they came to Buzuluk after some time and asked who wanted to join the Air Force. As for me and the Air Force, I had perhaps seen an aircraft flying in the air, to and fro. I had never seen an aircraft closely, the less so I had any relationship to it or even wanted to get close to it. They came and asked who wanted to join the Air Force. I remembered, I was a boy, I was 23 already, that I survived frosts, horrors, poverty and I didn't know what else. I knew that if I applied for the Air Force, they would not accept anyone just like that and I knew that the applicants had to undergo medical check-ups. And I was right.”

  • “Mr. Djačuk asked originally for his indemnification at the Russian Embassy: 'Russia said that the Ukraine should give us - namely me – our indemnifications. I was said to have the right for 144 thousand karbovance. I had to substantiate with documents the period of my being there, in order to get my indemnification for that particular time... They accepted it, OK, but a liter of petrol was 80 thousand karbovance! If you count it, my indemnification was not worth even two liters of petrol! For almost three years in jail! It was some indemnification! I even do not want to... about it. Can you imagine that?”

  • “They were telling us: 'Well, there is a railway station, there is a little village,' and that way they introduced us to the surroundings of the airport. Each of us was sat individually in an aircraft. Mind you, I had never seen that but in the air sometimes. They flew up, always just with one of us, it was a two-seat plane. They flew up and he did some stunts up there, he set the plane straight again and asked: 'Where is the airport, where is this and that, for example the railway station, where is that little village?' We were supposed to give him the answer within the airport surroundings. He wanted to hear whether it was here or there. Fourteen applicants out of thirty-nine went back to Buzuluk and only twenty-five of us were left there.”

  • Full recordings
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    Djačuk Václav - doma, 18.05.2006

    duration: 01:52:50
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
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Indemnification worth two liters of petrol

djacuk_vaclav_portret.jpg (historic)
Václav Djačuk
photo: Archiv pamětníka

Vaclav Djačuk was born in Carpathian Ruthenia in 1920. His father was a legionnaire during the First World War. After the Hungarian occupation in 1939 Mr. Djačuk expected that another war would break out, so he crossed the border to the Soviet Union with his friends. However, he was arrested and sent to a gulag. He spent more than two and a half years in a Kolyma Gulag, at the eastern tip of Russia. Then he was dismissed and gained a pass to Buzuluk. He applied for the Air Force in Buzuluk and to his great surprise he was chosen. He went through air training in Vjazniki and as a fighter pilot of 1 Air Brigade, was sent to Czechoslovakia. After the war he was placed in the Military Aeronautical Research and Test Institute in Praha-Letňany. After being dismissed from the Army without reason in 1949, he worked as a builder-storekeeper in the national enterprise Baraba. From 1956-1958 he worked as a miner in the mine Nosek in Truchlovice for two years. In the 1960’s he worked as an investment referent for buildings. Then he returned to the enterprise Baraba where he worked until he retired in the 70’s. He passed away on March, 16th, 2015.