Viliam Záhora

* 1930  

  • “I was also in Púchov for half a year, because they took us there from Nitra. There were 32 novices, when the State Security members cam;, the Barbarian Night began and I was terribly surprised they found us in Nitra. They had long coats and that night they pointed their guns to our foreheads. It took only 5 or 10 minutes and the whole Zobor was occupied by the armed service. I don’t know if they break opened the door or what they did. The ŠtB members sneaked away and two policemen were guarding us near the bus. They said: ‘You are young, the future is awaiting you!’ Well, it was the future that after Stalin’s death I had to mine 800 meters below surface.”

  • “Then I went to Košice to apply for studying at the Faculty of Medicine. One woodsman was there from our village, as there was also a forestry school in Košice. He came from a religious family and they allowed me to sleep over at their house. Above his bed he had a picture of Stalin! I told him: ‘Jozef, do you know who Stalin was? Why do you have him above your head?’ He told me: ‘You know there are some students so powerful here that they even can send their professors to jail! That’s why I have Stalin here.’ ‘Oh, come on, you want to say they would kick you out of school?’ And he said they could. So I was quite sad because of that situation. My friend, coming from such a religious Christian family, having Stalin above his head!”

  • “They called us one by one. Those ŠtB members had ties and ribbons! They told us that if we signed up to three years in a mine, they would release us to civilian life! But we had no clue about any Helsinki Accords. I said: ‘You know what? I am innocent and I won’t sign anything. I want to work in mine for the rest of my life!’ ‘Well, it’s impossible to talk to you, you shall remain unreliable, classified in E category – hereafter politically unreliable.’”

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    Bziny, 07.10.2017

    duration: 02:27:01
    media recorded in project Stories of the 20th century
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A man can be worse than an animal

In youth
In youth
photo: Archív pamätníka

Viliam Záhora was born on January 25, 1930 in Bziny near Dolný Kubín. He attended the elementary school in his native village and during the summer holidays he used to work in the field. He studied and successfully graduated at grammar school in Dolný Kubín. He witnessed the beginnings of persecution of the Catholic Church and the communist Catholic Action in Orava region. When being a novice of the Society of the Divine Word in Zobor monastery he was struck by the so-called Barbarian Night on April 13 - 14, 1950. He was taken to Kostolná near Trenčín and for half a year he worked on building the Youth Dam. On September 18, 1950 he had to enlist in the Auxiliary Technical Battalions (PTP) where he spent almost four years in Libavá, Plzeň, Přerov, and Orlová. After the return into civilian life he worked in foundry factory in Mokraď and besides his job he studied at High School of Industrial Engineering in Ružomberok. Several years he lived in Dubnica nad Váhom, where he also worked in Heavy Machinery Works (ZŤS). Later he returned back to Orava, got employed as a locksmith and as a safety officer in Istebné and Široká. He is married and lives retired in Bziny with his wife Margita.