The best of our nation are buried at Dukla – young boys less than twenty years old
ThDr. Jan Křivka was born October 12, 1926 in Česká Huleč in Volhynia. His parents Jan and Anna, née Zajícová, ran a dairy business in the village. Jan's father graduated from the higher school of agriculture in Krinica, and his mother studied a Russian grammar school in Zhytomyr, where her brother Antonín Zajíc served as a Greek Orthodox priest. During WWI the father worked as a scribe at the military court in St. Petersburg and he returned home to Volhynia when the war ended. He was reunited with his parents in Huleč where they had to move from their native Ivaniče. Here he met Anna Zajícová, who later became his wife and mother of their three children Tamara, Jan and Marie.
Jan Křivka was actively involved in the illegal organization Blaník during the occupation. In 1944 he joined the 1st independent Czechoslovak brigade, which was transformed into the 1st army corps after the reception of new recruits from Volhynia and Carpathian Ruthenia. He completed a school for noncommissioned officers and with the rank of a lance corporal he took part in the defensive combat in Poland and in the fighting for the Dukla Pass. During the last combat operation which attempted to liberate the Dukla Pass he was wounded and transported to a hospital in Lvov. After his recovery he joined the mixed air division which was formed in Przemyśl in Poland. The end of the war and the treaty on the exchange of citizens between Czechoslovakia and the USSR made it possible for thousands of Volhynian Czechs to return to their original homeland and Jan Křivka's family was among them. With the exception of his younger sister Marie, they all settled in Vroutek in western Bohemia, where they were allotted a farmstead. Marie followed her love for a teacher from Kharkov whom she married. After recertification of his secondary school studies Jan decided to study theology at the Orthodox seminary in Karlovy Vary. He completed this study in 1954 in Prešov. He married Božena Zajíčková, who was a teacher in Vroutek, and in 1949 he was ordained a priest by archbishop Jelevferij and appointed to administer the parish in Františkovy Lázně and Aš. He was a member of the National Socialist Party until 1948. In the 1970s he was under the surveillance of the Secret Police (StB). During nearly sixty years of serving as a priest he managed to repair the church and the parish house in Františkovy Lázně and in Karlovy Vary, and to establish communities in Sokolov, Rovná, Oloví and Chodov. He also assisted in contacting people who re-emigrated from Chernobyl, and he helped to organize humanitarian aid for them. Jan Křivka has always kept his native Volhynia in his heart - he was involved in the establishing of the Association of Czechs from Volhynia and their Friends and he initiated the construction of a memorial to the murdered people from Český Malín. He was a member of the parliamentary delegation that was present during the unveiling ceremony of this monument.