“On May 8, 1946 they came for my daddy, they also took my granpa´s brother and took them up above the cliff. It was the Polish army with police. They stripped them naked there and interrogated them the whole day like them asking if they are in contact with the Ukraine rebellion army, threatened to shoot them and throw them into the river and no one will identify their bodies. In the end they let them go in the evening, as they learnt nothing, but told them they´d come to chat again. The next day, on May 9, 1946, mum was sitting at the ground window and sewing and I was playing on the bench under the window and daddy came to the church, where there was his office, but that was already burnt in fights of Ukraine rebellious army. A horse carriage came by, a Polish man jumped down shouting at us: ‚They are coming! You got twenty minutes! Someone got killed there.‘ Daddy entered the house in an energetic manner, took several photos, the documents, a loaf of bread, two cans of food, my mum put the sewing down onto an open window, put one more clothes up on her dress, folded two clothes of mine into a small suitcase, took my hand and we sat on a carriage. My father joined us and off we went. It was fifteen kilometres from the border and we were as if to see our relatives. Before that the village of Vydraň near Medzilaborce got my daddy´s older brother as a priest. With him his younger brother with his wife and kid lived on a parish, and a mother of the two brothers, my granny. There was a border check and my dad told the guard we were only visiting, opened the cans and handed them some food and they were glad as they had nothing to eat there. My father then said he was totally nervous as he had no clue how it will end up. The man with a carriage said good-bye and we continued through Palota to Vydran on foot. Up from the hill I saw my uncle coming out in his long dress and ran to him.”
“When my father was arrested, the two younger brothers of two and eight years remained, (the witness was fourteen years old back then –ed. note). My mother could not get any job first, and later found one in the company SPOFA. Secret police was taking her to interrogations, driving her in a car at night all the way to Brdy forests, where they threw her out of car and then took her in in a while and did that all night. They went to see her at work, took her to an unknown place, she didn’t know whether she was coming back home, where there were three children and an old ill granny. Mum was of a strong catholic faith and grew up with nuns and all the time she prayed, which was giving her such strength that they could do nothing to her. In Spofa even the cadre man stood up for her and told her: ‚Ms. Kaminská, no one will bother you anymore and if so, please come to see me.‘ There were always good people, even amongst them.”
v bytě pamětnice, Vodnická 52, Praha 4, 06.06.2016
I still try to explain, what is actually going on in Ukraine
Kristina Jojková, née Kaminská, was born on 11 December, 1941 in a village of Lukové, region Sanok in South-Eastern Poland as the first of three children. Her parents were of Ukraine nationality. In February 1945 the family moved to the Southern border of Slovakia, in a village of Wola Michowa, where her father got a job in the state administration. In 1946 due to growing pressure of the Polish regime leading to displacement of non-Polish nationalities and ethnics, the family ran to relative in Slovakia. In spring 1947 the situation escalated in the Visla operation, so they continued all the way to Prague. With help of the Ukraine community and new Czech neighbours her father managed to secure a job and housing, and the family had two more sons. In 1954 her parents helped persecuted Greek-catholic priest. Due to that the father was arrested in 1955 and in 1956 sentenced to two years in prison. The mother was left behind with three children. Fourteen years old Kristina helped securing the family by taking part-time works in production and they had an important support of her neighbours and friends from Ukraine community. At the secondary school she was bullied by the director due to her father´s imprisonment and was refused to study the high school. She could only apply at the Natural Sciences Faculty of the Charles University in 1965, as a married woman with two small kids. She devoted her professional life to biochemistry, which she studied. In 2003-2006 she worked for the Association of Ukraine women in CR as the chairperson. In 2016 she was retired and living with her husband in Prague.