Jiří Lysuk

* 1921  †︎ 2008

  • “He says: ‘Jirka, don´t go! If you show up to them, they say, you are dead. You won´t come back!‘ But orders are orders. So, the Subcarpathian was killed. What was his name?! He was in my company. I don´t remember it anymore. They saw us very clearly... We were on the hill and Germans could see us. I crawled to him. The battalion commander had a dog. The dog was sitting by him and was growling at me. When I got inside to it, it became quiet and was quiet. Then I took him, he was still warm, I put him on my back and hands under me and then I crawled again. The battalion commander was riddled with bullets, I don´t know... there was a hole next to a hole. They saw him so they fired at him from machine guns and from other weapons. To me they only undid my coat, so I came back. I got Czechoslovak War Cross for him and I was allowed to have the one with a twig on it.”

  • “There were eight thousand Jews in Kremenec, and they always drove them there. It was near the sugar factory in Kremenec, they dug their own grave, it was a hole bigger than our house. They drove a group of them there. Children, women, men. They took off their clothes and because I went for the watch, I took their clothes to Belokrenice. There were women who undid the clothes and looked for coins. And there were Germans watching them, so they did not steal the coins. When the Jews took off their clothes they had to lie down on the dead ones and he shot them with machine gun. He killed some of them and some of them not. And then, when they buried the Jews, there was a spring of blood.”

  • “We were attacking next to the station in the second attack. There was a meadow and it was blue with German infantry. And with tanks - Tigers. And we were only twenty in our company. It was a company... today it is two hundreds-sixty. And we were only twenty. And the machine-gunner Babič, he was our machine-gunner and the Germans shot him from a tank and he was smashed into pieces. And I, idiot, was Warrant Officer Class 1 so I jumped there, I grabbed the machine gun and we were given order to retreat so we retreated. Do you know how to retreat? One group stays down, supports the others by shooting and the others run and then lie down and support the first group by shooting. And as I stood up and took the machine gun, I was shot into my leg and it amputated my leg in ankle. It literally cut it off. I fell and I got up again, you do not feel the wound. You only feel as if you were stung by a bee. And I fell again and told myself ‘Oops, I don´t have a foot anymore.‘ It was with a shoe near to me.”

  • Full recordings
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    Měcholupy, 23.09.2005

    duration: 01:31:39
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
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Germans saved him from Gulag, then he fought against them and at last he was taken captive by them

Jiří Lysuk was born on the 7th of May 1921 in Bělecká Dolina in the area of Volhynia. His father was Ukrainian, and his mother was Volhynian Czech who died when Jiří was sixteen years old. They owned a farm and the planned transport of them to a Soviet Gulag was stopped in 1941 by an invasion of Nazi Germany during whose regime he had to collect clothes of mass murdered Jews in Kremenec. He joined the Czechoslovak Army Corps in Rivne in April 1944. He took part in the Battle of the Dukla Pass and he was severely wounded near Liptovský Mikuláš during the liberation of Slovakia and after it he was taken captive. They transported him to a POW camp in a Bavarian town Memmingen. After the liberation of the camp, he was taken to Pilsen by American soldiers. He died in 2008 and he is buried in Žatec.