Cyril Ďurica

* 1931  

  • “We were friends with Ďurkota because nobody wanted to be friends with him. He was imprisoned for six months for a very silly thing, for a drawing. We decided that before a military service we'd go for a visit. I had a brother living in Karlové Vary and his brother worked on Lipno Dam. So we travelled by train from Prešov to Budějovice, Certlov to visit his brother in Lipno. The border guards entered the train, but everything was fine. However, at the train station Certlov we were asked to come to an office for personal inspection. We traveled from as far as Prešov and according to them we were too far from home. We were not supposed to do that. Mom was sending cans to her son, made in Netherland, and bought in Tuzex. They weren’t Slovak, they were foreign. My friend’s dad was a teacher in Čaklov and his mom wrapped the cans for her son living by the Dam. My friend had many cans made in Netherland which were from Tuzex and were sent by his mom for her other son, Ďurkota’s brother. Those cans gave them the proof that we were connected with the West. Even though, they truly were for my friend’s brother at the Dam. Afterwards they transported us to the district, to the county and to Palace of Justice in Prešov, where we were detained for a month practically for nothing.”

  • “A month in solitary confinement. It's hard to believe it, but when the shift change came around 7 pm, he always banged with bunch of keys. Every few minutes there was a ‘BANG’ with keys on my door and shouting: ‘What are you doing?! Stay awake!’ He kept waking us up all night. I spent a month in prison for nothing. And during my whole life it casted a shadow that I wanted to run away from Czechoslovakia. We were released after the month, but immediately there was an officer from the Auxiliary Technical Battalion waiting for us with a call-up order.”

  • “I had tough time in the village Staré, because when I was in the fourth grade, my stepmother sent me from May till October to shepherd cattle for a farmer. I was 8 years old and I had to repeat that year in school. The next year, the same thing happened, and I didn’t go to school again. I finished in my sixth grade. My godmother and I went to see my brother in hospital in Prešov, he had tuberculosis. Godmother told him my story. How I was victimized by my stepmother and how I wasn't allowed to finish school because of work. My brother arranged for me that I could finish the school and afterwards I was able to complete an evening school as well. Then I started to work in former “Krížik” (Industrial Automation Works in Dukla Prešov).”

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    Prešov, Petofiho 1, 23.11.2017

    media recorded in project Stories of the 20th century
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An innocent family trip became lifelong “curse” in cadre file

portret cyril durica.jpg (historic)
Cyril Ďurica
photo: archív pamätníka

Cyril Ďurica was born in 1931 in the village Staré, East Slovakia. He was 6 years old when he became a half orphan as his mother died. Cyril studied locksmithing at the secondary school. During his studies he befriended a schoolmate Ďurkota and before joining compulsory military service, they decided to go for a trip to Czechoslovak border with Germany, where Ďurkota’s brother lived and worked on building the Lipno Dam. During the train journey they were stopped due to suspicion of fleeing from Czechoslovakia. Following month they were detained in police custody for questioning in Prešov. After the month they were ordered to join Auxiliary Technical Battalions. After serving there two years, Cyril experienced difficulties getting a job because of his past. In the end, thanks to his hardworking attitude, he was employed in ZPA Dukla Prešov (Krížik) - Industrial Automation Works. He designed many inventions, but never received any financial reward. After the disappointment of being detained and held in custody he never had an interest in politics and devoted his life to work. He worked in ZPA from 1954 until his retirement. He is happily married and lives in Prešov.