The biggest massacre was at Dukla
Vasil Timkovic was born on March 21, 1923 in the village of Skotarskoe in Carpathian Ruthenia as the youngest of four children in the family of a forest manager. He studied at the secondary grammar school in Mukachevo. After the German occupation of Czechoslovakia, when the republic also lost Carpathian Ruthenia, Vasil and two classmates from the secondary grammar school decided to run away abroad. The boys believed that the Slavic brothers would welcome them in a friendly way and allow them to fight for the liberation of their homeland. But the Soviet Union opened the gates of the gulag to 15-year-old Vasil. The boys were caught just across the border and transported to the Polish city Skole. They were then transferred to a prison in Kharkov, where they were sentenced to three years for illegally crossing the border. Vasil worked those years in Pechorlag camp (Pechora Correctional Labor Camp), where he built the Vorkuta - Moscow railway line. After the end of his sentence, he was offered to go to Buzuluk, where a Czechoslovak military unit was being formed at that time. He underwent a basic training in Buzuluk, took part in the liberation of Kiev and moved to Slovakia via Dukla. There he was up to the end of the war. As a citizen of the pre-war Czechoslovak Republic, he saw the capital city of Prague for the first time in May 1945 during a ceremonial military parade. He was 22 years old. He never returned permanently to Carpathian Ruthenia, which became a part of the Soviet Union after the war. The family in Scotarskoe had no news about him, so they had him searched by the Red Cross. After they contacted him, Vasil Timkovič went to Skotarskoe. Unfortunately, he no longer found his father, who was taken away by the NKVD (People’s Commissariat for Internal Affairs) two days before his arrival. His brother and three sisters stayed in the Carpathian, Vasil Timkovič returned to Czechoslovakia. He graduated from a high school and was offered to stay with the army. He served in the Czechoslovak army all his life. As a war veteran, he stood at the birth of the local union of the Czechoslovak Legionary Community in Ústí nad Orlicí and for many years he was its chairman. Colonel Vasil Timkovič currently lives in Česká Třebová.