Ján Hanes

* 1960  

  • “They kept saying, we´d go home. They used to talk about it for four – five days. Finally we got to that point and we had to put everything into original conditions. As soon as we pulled out the V3S trucks, we had to fill the holes as well as dried earthclosets up. We tried to even it out so that nothing was seen there. That´s when I knew we were going away. We were cleaning it for two days, filling in the holes and waiting until evening, when we left. On our way we arrived to some other exercising ground, where we slept over, and continued to go home during the next day. We arrived to the garrison, to carpark in Terezín, during the daylight. The cars were pulled under the car ports, everything was put away and we walked to our barracks.”

  • “And there we simply dug everything. Earthclosets, holes, we masked it, so that no one could see us, we waited and guarded. Ourselves. And I know that some Pole used to walk around, so I assumed we had to be close to the Polish borders, or even in Poland already, because whatever we cooked, he would take from the leftovers, from sewage. There really had to be poverty, because from what we threw away, he tried to choose meat and took it away. I only knew, people used to talk about uneasy life because of some Solidarity party being there. But we only heard that. Why? Until now I don´t even know, why we actually were there.”

  • “We didn´t have the live ammunition with us, but we packed it. It was all loaded in wooden boxes, in one V3S truck that was being guarded night and day. There were automats with ball cartridges. So we kind of made up our minds the war was about to begin. In Poland, there is a sea, so the Americans could have come. There were various speculations. Added to that, there was great threatening with penalties because of offenses. Everything had to be obeyed to 100%. Watch closely so that no one walked through. We were simply afraid. We didn´t know, what´s going to happen. Before this, we only used to shoot at the firing range.”

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    Poltár, 05.10.2015

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One expected only the worst, supposedly the war was here

Ján Hanes 1979
Ján Hanes 1979
photo: Ján Hanes

Ján Hanes, born on October 3, 1960 in Lučenec, was drafted in September 1979 to the compulsory military service into army unit 1034 in Terezín. He was ranked to the pontoon company. He enjoyed the work on building construction of pontoon bridges for foot troops´ transfer and for heavy armored vehicles. He took part in many military exercises in Czechoslovakia as well as at the territory of former Eastern Germany and Hungarian People´s Republic. In winter of 1980, related to the Polish crisis, he was among the units called to transfer to the Polish borders. They were supposed to take positions and in the condition of full combat readiness expect further commands. He as one of the rank soldiers didn´t have any specific information about seriousness of the situation he found himself in. Approximately after two weeks, together with his unit he returned back to military quarters in Terezín, where he served until retirement to the civilian life in September 1981.