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Ján Valko (1930) - Biography

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Everyone was afraid, the dictatorship was like that

Ján Valko was born on June 12, 1930 in the Slovak village of Huta in Transcarpathian Ukraine, what was a part of Czechoslovakia back then. In 1936 he began to attend the elementary school; after the Vienna Award in 1938 and annexing the Subcarpathian Rus to Horthy´s Hungary he continued in his compulsory education until 1943, when he had to leave school because of war and difficult family situation. In years 1944 - 1945 his father was in a labour camp in Hungary, thus Ján had to work around the house and farm, and help out his mother with his little two-year old brother Vojtech. After the end of the war and Soviet Union´s annexation of Transcarpathian Ukraine, they were isolated from their homeland, forced to hand in contingents to Soviet authorities, and obliged to attend compulsory labour. On May 15, 1947 within the optation and exchanging citizens between the USSR and Czechoslovakia they left Transcarpathian Ukraine and on May 22 of the same year they arrived in their new homeland, in the village of Sklené near Handlová. For half a year Ján served as a farm labourer at a tradesman Čambor in Kláštor pod Znievom. After the communist takeover in 1948 he worked in sawmill in Diviaky and Sklené. During the time of collectivisation, the Valko family had to hand the farm over the joint cooperative. From November 1, 1951 until January 31, 1954 Ján attended a prolonged military service in Šahy. During this time he experienced a currency reform in 1953 and the army´s combat readiness in case of potential unrests. From February 1, 1954 until October 1, 1955 he worked in the Handlová power station and from 1955 until retiring on his early disability pension in 1985 he was employed as a warehouseman and a railroad conductor in the military unit in Sklené. He got married in 1956 and with his wife he lives in Sklené up to present. His only son Jozef was born in 1957.

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