Bohdan Ševčuk

* 1950  

  • “When the churches started opening during big holidays, the communists were standing there and watching which kids were going to go there. Then they reported it at school and the school started expelling. Those who were in Komsomol or the Pioneer, those would be expelled. You know what that meant, to be expelled from the Komsomol? That was horrible. And it wasn’t for a serious reason. (And you were religious?) Yeah. Not that religious but I do believe in something. But the kids are baptised. The priest was quietly driven by a different car to the cottage. Nobody knew. They baptised my son, we sat down, ate dinner, and then they left. It wasn’t registered anywhere that he was a Christian, that was not common.”

  • “Nobody told us anything for four days. Nobody knew anything for four days, and they still sent people to the 1st of May manifestation. Only the local Jews knew and immediately disappeared as far as possible within the Soviet Union. As people knew that they were fleeing they understood that something was happening, and the following day we were told that Chernobyl exploded. We knew what it was and the first thing that happened was that when it rained, there were these yellow remains afterwards. Something else was also in the air. But what to do, where to go? That’s just how people lived.”

  • “When the churches started opening during big holidays, the communists were standing there and watching which kids were going to go there. Then they reported it at school and the school started expelling. Those who were in Komsomol or the Pioneer, those would be expelled. You know what that meant, to be expelled from the Komsomol? That was horrible. And it wasn’t for a serious reason. (And you were religious?) Yeah. Not that religious but I do believe in something. But the kids are baptised. The priest was quietly driven by a different car to the cottage. Nobody knew. They baptised my son, we sat down, ate dinner, and then they left. It wasn’t registered anywhere that he was a Christian, that was not common.”

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    Maršíkov, 04.01.2017

    (audio)
    duration: 02:13:23
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
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Long live free Ukraine

Bohdan Ševčuk
Bohdan Ševčuk
photo: archiv pamětníka

Bohdan Ševčuk was born on 22nd June 1950 in Tarasiv, Ukraine, back then the Soviet Union. While his father was of Ukrainian descent, his mother was one of the Czechs of Volhynia. Her whole family re-emigrated to Czechoslovakia in 1947 but she had to stay in the Soviet Union because of her Ukrainian husband. Bohdan Ševčuk spent forty years in the Soviet Union. He worked as a bus driver and lived in a town called Mlynov with his wife and two children. He remembers his life in the Soviet Union with a certain nostalgia, which was heavily influenced by the Soviet education system. To this day he recalls the pride he felt when he and his classmates first had their pioneer scarves tied around their necks. However, when the questions turned towards human rights, another world surfaced, one with suppressed personal freedom. In 1997 Bohdan Ševčuk moved to the Czech Republic with his mother, his wife, and their children, and settled in Maršíkov in the Šumperk area, where he still lives as of 2017.