“I thought I would never come back and would never see my family nor the Republic. I regretted very much that I didn't stay at home. My friends fooled me. I had a good time because I worked at the butcher's. It was like behind the gate of Heaven. And then I found myself in such distress, poverty, difficulties... Many times in summer I sat down on a stump, blueberry bushes were so high that you could lie down on them, and I cried every now and then.”
“We were placed in one room. When we arrived there was one cell completely full already. There were people from our village, including women. They started interrogating us. Everyone was interrogated just that evening. Because I was dressed in a very smart way – I always let the others know about this – for this reason I was interrogated twice. What I said in the first interrogation I said in the second one as well. I was speaking to them in a common way, in Ukrainian. It came to an end, we were placed in one cell where there were thirty of us! There were plank beds there and we lay on them. There was nothing like bed whatsoever, no way! We lay one next to each other and if you wanted to turn on the other side, well, yo-heave-ho, all at once...”
“The year 1939 came and I was conscripted in Spišská Nová Ves in spring on March 1st. I was there for fifteen days. The Germans occupied the whole of Bohemia and we were released on March 17th. We were taken over by the Hungarians on the Soviet borders. Because Slovakia declared its independence we were taken over by the Hungarians. All soldiers, whatever weapons they had, led us all the way to Budapest. We were placed in wooden barracks where we slept overnight. The next day we were each sent by train at his birthplace. On foot, by train etc.”
“They said I would get a draft-card and I would be conscripted back into the Hungarian Army. Many boys fron Carpathian Ruthenia were forced to join the Hungarian Army in a violent way. As I didn't want to join the Hungarian Army, I had the funny feeling I would get the draft-card – I had an acquaintance in a notary office that was just opposite our place – I said : No way! About eight of us agreed on our flight. There was a bricklayer from Uzhhorod among us who worked on building the local Hungarian barracks. One worked as a road-mender, he was an older guy in his forties, as well as the bricklayer. The other boys were as old as I was. We arranged it all and we got ready on June 3rd in the evening. The Hungarian police were already searching for us!”
“When the train stopped the guard brought us a bucket of snow for thirty people. Instead of water. And some frozen bread and that was all.”
A retired Major, Dimitrij Lupej was born in Carpathian Ruthenia in 1917. He was forced to join the Hungarian Army for a short time in 1939. Then he was dismissed and worked as a butcher’s assistant. In order to avoid his second forced conscription in the Hungarian Army he decided to flee to the Soviet Union. However, after crossing the border he and some other members of the refugee group were arrested and imprisoned. After the interrogations by the NKVD (the People’s Commissariat for Internal Affairs) followed imprisonment in the Soviet jails and camps. His imprisonment was ended by his conscription for the Czechoslovak troops in Buzuluk. He went through the army training and he was placed in the anti-tank company. He fought at Kiev, Bílá Cerekev, Dukla and he took part in many other fights during liberating of Czechoslovakia. He was committed against the Ukrainian Nationalists after the war. He became a professional soldier in 1947 and he stuck to this profession till his retirement. Dimitrij Lupej passed away on November, the 29th, 2013.