Viliam Žofčík

* 1926  

  • “Then we came to Jáchymov, down to the village. There was a big camp and us – about 1200 prisoners. There were different kinds of people – collaborators, priests, farmers, who didn’t want to join the cooperatives, which were being established, but also informers, who were snitching on others and various criminals. There they brought us, gave us a piece of bread and some water to last out the whole day. And we had to endure.”

  • “I was on my recovery leave. I went to Tachov by train and from there we travelled up to Brynda by bus. There we got off and it was only about 3 kilometers to the borders. So we got off and as we walked, we also ate, but suddenly, we were caught and controlled. They took us to Svatá Kateřina, what was almost at the border, and we were interrogated there.”

  • “I signed up for digging ditches as another 150 men, but only 105 of us were accepted. They took us to our workplace and also to our barrack. It wasn’t good there at all. Our guard was an awful jerk, aggressive sadist, and maybe even something worse. Once after a night shift, I walked to the barrack and I forgot to greet him. He hit my head with keys, but I didn’t say a word back.”

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    Rudina, Slovensko, 05.07.2018

    duration: 01:10:41
    media recorded in project Stories of the 20th century
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When the Germans ruled, there were Hlinka Guards, and when the Bolsheviks came, suddenly, the communists ruled!

In youth
In youth
photo: archív pamätníka

Viliam Žofčík was born on July 23, 1926 in the village of Rudina, in Kysuce region. He came from a big family of workers with eleven children. He was apprenticed to a locksmith. In 1948 he enlisted in the compulsory military service in Žilina. During the recovery leave he and his two friends attempted to emigrate to the West, however, they were detained in the border zone and taken to interrogation to Svatá Kateřina. From there Viliam was driven to Tachov, then to Pankrác in Prague, where he had to undergo various interrogations. He was sentenced to 5 years and sent to northern Bohemia, to coal mines in Most. Sometime later he returned to Pankrác prison, from where he was transferred to uranium mines in Jáchymov. He was released after 3.5 years. Viliam employed in heavy industry in East Slovakian Ironworks (VSŽ) and later in Vítkovice in order to avoid further personal strikes of the communist regime. Later on he returned home and got a job in Kysucké Nové Mesto, where he worked for years in maintenance services as a locksmith. Then he continued working in municipal services of the Žilina city. Even though he retired in 1986, he still continued to pass on his skills as he trained new apprentices. Nowadays he lives in Rudina.