Tag Archives: Warsaw Pact invasion

Family • Photo Restoration • 38 • Gabičko • Chapter I

He became what he was destined to become.

• We don’t change to the person we become. Life exposes who we always were from the beginning. As we get older some find ourselves segmenting their lives into chapters. Sometimes they are separated by tragic events. Maybe they’re events that significantly changed the direction of their lives. All our chapters formulate the book of our lives, and shape our destiny.

• Chapter I • 4,649 days

• Growing up I wasn’t the greatest brother. I was an angry kid, and didn’t have a strong bond with my sister. I could say that it was partially due to the example set by my friends. It seemed we all had a love-hate relationship with our younger siblings. Or maybe it was just my perception. Looking back I think my behavior was mainly influenced by the bullying I faced in elementary school. I was “that guy” no one liked. Possibly it was because I wasn’t from the same neighborhood. I went to a school close to my parent’s animal hospital, not where we lived. That way it was easy for me to walk there after school. Our house was far from school, meaning that on the weekends I never played with my classmates. When you’re bullied then your anger is so fixated on the aggressors that you’re oblivious to the fact that you are the bully to someone else. Many people told me I would regret my behavior, and that turned out to be true. My sister didn’t deserve it, and I try to make up for it to this day.

• I don’t even remember seeing my sister when she was a baby. I am six years older than her, and I often used that as an excuse why we didn’t bond. I realized that when she was born I had already starting my first year in elementary school. After school I would walk to the animal hospital and stay there until my father finished work. By the time I got home my sister was getting ready for bed. So there was little chance for us to get to know each other. For most of my adult life I have tried to be a good brother.

• Gabičko

If you missed the other Gabičko posts, you can find them here:

• Digital Photo Restoration

 6 minutes 8 seconds

76 - Burlington · Alica & Gabriel Dusil (church)
76 – Burlington · Alica & Gabriel Dusil (church)
76.Dec.24 - Burlington · Alica & Gabriel Dusil (hug)
76.Dec.24 – Burlington · Alica & Gabriel Dusil (hug)
77.Jul - Jamaica · Alica & Gabriel Dusil (boat trip)
77.Jul – Jamaica · Alica & Gabriel Dusil (boat trip)
78.Jul - Lake Nippising · Gabriel & Alica Dusil (catching pike)
78.Jul – Lake Nippising · Gabriel & Alica Dusil (catching pike)
81.Jun.18 - Burlington · Eva, Alica & Gabriel Dusil (Taci's grave)
81.Jun.18 – Burlington · Eva, Alica & Gabriel Dusil (Taci’s grave)
81.Sep - Burlington · Alica & Gabriel Dusil (1st day of school)
81.Sep – Burlington · Alica & Gabriel Dusil (1st day of school)
84.Jul - Burlington · Gabriel & Alica Dusil (Hug)
84.Jul – Burlington · Gabriel & Alica Dusil (Hug)
85.Dec.24 - Burlington · Gabriel & Alica Dusil (christmas eve)
85.Dec.24 – Burlington · Gabriel & Alica Dusil (christmas eve)
86.Jul - Burlington · Alica & Gabriel Dusil (back yard patio)
86.Jul – Burlington · Alica & Gabriel Dusil (back yard patio)
86.Jul - Burlington · Alica & Gabriel Dusil (back yard)
86.Jul – Burlington · Alica & Gabriel Dusil (back yard)

76 - Burlington · Alica & Gabriel Dusil (church, premiere pro)

Family • Photo Restoration • 31 • Dusil

• In 1963 my father was granted permission to travel abroad. He visited Belgium, the Netherlands and France. At the time his younger brother didn’t know if he would return, but he did, to finish his veterinary studies. And he didn’t want to break his mother’s heart. She died the following year of breast cancer.

• After the Warsaw Pact invasion, on the 21st of August 1968, over 300,000 Czechoslovakians would leave during a laxed 13 month window.  Many escaped without proper documentation – on foot, through tunnels, swimming across channels, or by other creative means. Some paid with their lives.

• For most of my life I described the event as “escaping”, but that wasn’t the case. We legally crossed Eastern and Western borders with proper documentation. The basis of our travel was vacation, but we simply didn’t return. The act of Unauthorized Emigration, i.e. “failure to return”, was a crime.  My parents and others that did not return within the approved timetable were considered political criminals. They were subsequently “convicted in absentia” and would have been jailed if they returned to Czechoslovakia. On the 22nd of August 1969 a new, so called “Truncheon Law” was approved and signed in secrecy.  It was not publicized at the time. But a renewed grip on travel restrictions meant that the borders were essentially closed. My family learned of the new travel restrictions when they arrived in Paris on the 5th of September 1969. In hindsight it was fateful timing. The that day we also celebrated my father’s 27th birthday.

• Dusil

If you missed the previous posts on Dusil, then click on these links:

• Digital Photo Restoration

 2 minutes 53 seconds

 

49.May.22 - Ostrava · Karol, Vaclav, Robert Jr. & Sr. Dusil
49.May.22 – Ostrava · Karol, Vaclav, Robert Jr. & Sr. Dusil
49.May.22 - Ostrava · Maria, Robert Jr., Vaclav, Robert Sr., Karol Dusil
49.May.22 – Ostrava · Maria, Robert Jr., Vaclav, Robert Sr., Karol Dusil

 

 4 minutes 7 seconds

57 - Kosice · Robert Dusil, Robert Dusil Sr., Karel Dusil, Maria Dusilova, Vaclav Dusil
57 – Košice · Robert Dusil, Robert Dusil Sr., Karol Dusil, Maria Dusilova, Vaclav Dusil

• This photo was taken in Košice in the garden of the house where the Dusil’s lived.  The house is still standing today, across from the main police station on Moyzesova street, but has since been converted to offices.

 

61 - Košice · Robert jr., Maria, Robert sr., Karol Dusil
61 – Košice · Robert jr., Maria, Robert sr., Karol Dusil

 

61.Apr - Stankovce · Anna Collakova, Vaclav Dusil, Robert Dusil, Andrej Collak, Maria Collakova-Korytkova, Michal Korytko, Kajo, Michal Jr, Orendas, Anna Collakova
61.Apr – Stankovce · Vaclav Dusil, Robert Dusil, Andrej Collak, Maria Collakova-Korytkova, Michal Korytko, Karol Dusil, Michal Korytoko Jr, Orendas, Anna Collakova

• Anna Collakova stayed with the Dusil’s when she attended high school in Košice.  She was from Stankovce, a village around 25km east of Košice.

62 - Opava · Zsigmondy, Csaba Kende, x, Karel Dusil, x, Igor Fridrich, Nalevanko, Sano Drabcak, Robert Dusil, Vaclav Dusil
62 – Opava · Zsigmondy, Csaba Kende, x, Karol Dusil, x, Igor Fridrich, Nalevanko, Sano Drabcak, Robert Dusil, Vaclav Dusil

• My uncle did his military service from Aug 1961 to Aug 1963 in Opava together with Sano Drabcak, another judoka from Košice.  The other two soldiers just happened to walk by, so they have not been identified.

 

 8 minutes 12 seconds

64.Sep - Košice · Maria Dusilova
64.Sep – Košice · Maria Dusilova
64.Sep - Košice · Karol, Vaclav, Maria, Robert Sr., Robert Jr. Dusil
64.Sep – Košice · Karol, Vaclav, Maria, Robert Sr., Robert Jr. Dusil
64.Sep - Košice · Maria & Vaclav Dusil
64.Sep – Košice · Maria & Vaclav Dusil

• This photo was taken in front of “Dom umenia, Centrá kultúry” situated beside the Dusil family residence. That day my dad came to Košice from Brno where he studied veterinary medicine for one year. It was an emergency visit because his mother had terminal cancer. One breast was removed in February of 1964, but her cancer had metastasized to her entire body. She died on the 24th of October, 1964.

 

63 - Plzeň · Vaclav, Maria & Karol Dusil
63 – Plzeň · Vaclav, Maria & Karol Dusil

• The Dusil brothers, with their mom visiting their father in Plzeň-Bory, while also competing in a judo event.

 

• Tags

Andrej Collak, Anna Collakova, Attila Kende, Csaba Kende, Darina Poprenakova, Digital Restoration, Dusil Family, dusil.com, Edo Novak, Erika Dusil, Eva Dusil, Gabriel Dusil, Ivan Spisak, Iveta Kende, Juraj Bialko, Karol Dusil, Kende Family, Ladislav Kende, Maria Collakova-Korytkova, Maria Dusilova, Michal Jr, Michal Korytko, Nyarjas, Orendas, Pepo Vesecky, Robert Dusil, Robert Dusil sr., Slavo Sykorsky, Stefan Kende, Vaclav Dusil, Valeria Kendeova, Vera Kendeova


 

64.Sep - Košice · Maria & Vaclav Dusil (thumbnail)

 

Family • Photo Restoration • 26 • Dusil • Brothers

“Ultimately the purpose of life boils down to one question:
What do your children think of you?
Our highest value is to live in the memory of our children.”
Karol Dusil

• All three Dusil brothers were competitive and ambitious. This may have been due to genetics and partly because of their environment. All three brothers were denied many things growing up; They’re father wasn’t around during their formidable years so their mother carried the boys through their teenage years and into manhood. The repressive communist regime, was also a contributing factor, where a capitalist definition of ambition was prohibited. My uncle once told me they felt persecuted by the repressive communist regime. The best way for them to get back at them was to get the most out of iron curtain’s education system and use that to thrive in the West. All the Dusil brothers made a tremendously positive mark in this world, using their own resourcefulness, intelligence, and determination.

• One year after the Warsaw Pact Invasion, the two youngest brothers saw their opportunity to escape the regime. The oldest of the three had already settled in Sweden with no plans to return. After they emigrated a local journalist wrote about the Dusil brothers – In so many words he said that they took advantage of the communist education system and abandoned Košice Judo. It’s worth noting at this point that higher education in the communist regime was free. Often candidates were accepted into university, not based on their scholastic achievements, but based on the position their father held in the communist party. Of the 150 students that started in my uncle’s engineering class, only 50 finished. The journalist may have been politically pressured to write the article, although this has never been confirmed. In retrospect, the property their father owned, confiscated by the communists in 1948, would have covered the Harvard education tuition fee for all three boys.

• The brothers fought a lot, but stuck together when necessary.  My dad’s temperament was closer to his mother’s, and the youngest brother was somewhere in between. The oldest brother was most similar in personality to their father. My father was the most sensitive of the three boys. My uncle once said to me, “You could easily hurt his soul”.

• Dusil

If you missed the previous posts on Dusil, then click on these links:

• Digital Photo Restoration

 8 minutes 47 second

50.Jun - Ostrava · Karol, Vaclav & Robert Dusil (portrait)
50.Jun – Ostrava · Karol, Vaclav & Robert Dusil (portrait)

61 - Slovenský raj · Vaclav Dusil & Robert Dusil
61 – Slovenský raj · Vaclav Dusil & Robert Dusil
61 - Slovenský raj · Vaclav & Robert Dusil
61 – Slovenský raj · Vaclav & Robert Dusil
63 - Muráň · Vaclav & Robert Dusil
63 – Muráň · Vaclav & Robert Dusil
59 - Bojnice · Robert & Vaclav Dusil (square)
59 – Bojnice · Robert & Vaclav Dusil (square)
61 - Košice · Vaclav & Karol Dusil (tricycles)
61 – Košice · Vaclav & Karol Dusil (tricycles)
68 - Košice · Vaclav & Karol Dusil (train goodbye)
68 – Košice · Vaclav & Karol Dusil (train goodbye)
73.Jun - Burlington · Vaclav & Karol Dusil (Veterinarian, shaking hands)
73.Jun – Burlington · Vaclav & Karol Dusil (Veterinarian, shaking hands)
76 - Burlington · Karol, Vaclav & Robert Dusil (backyard)
76 – Burlington · Karol, Vaclav & Robert Dusil (backyard)
78.Oct - Kitchener · Vaclav & Karol Dusil (Octoberfest)
78.Oct – Kitchener · Vaclav & Karol Dusil (Octoberfest)

50.Jun - Ostrava · Karol Dusil (portrait, premiere pro)

Family • Photo Restoration • 15 • Dusil

• During the communist era very few citizens of the eastern bloc were allowed to travel to the west, except for politicians and sportsmen. Travelling amongst countries such as East Germany, Hungary, Poland, Bulgaria, Romania, and Yugoslavia were allowed. But even that was difficult, since the authorities only allowed travel to the eastern block once every two years. Travel to the west on a Czechoslovakian passport required both a “vyjazdna dolozka” (an “exit visa” granted by the passport police) and an entry visa granted by the western country. Only after receiving the “vyjazdna dolozka” (specific to the country of destination) could the traveler apply for an “entry visa”. In addition, the traveler’s employment manager needed to approve the application.

• Top sportsmen from Czechoslovakia would have a number of STB minders when competing in western countries.  STB, or “Štátna tajna bezpečnosť”, is Slovak for “State Secret Security”. Essentially they were the Czechoslovakian equivalent to the Russian KGB. STB minders were present as members of the Czechoslovakian delegation at events such as the Olympics, European or World championships. Despite these minders, some successfully defected to the embarrassment of the communist party – Martina Navratilova (tennis), Václav Nedomanský and Richard Farda (hockey), and many others. In the early 1960’s travel rules and political repression was a bit relaxed. But these political changes were not enough and this led to changes in the communist party hierarchy. It also resulted in the attempted reforms of the new General Secretary, Alexander Dubček, referred today as the Prague Spring. On the 21st of August 1968 the Soviet Union and four other members of the Warsaw Pact invaded Czechoslovakia to halt Dubček’s reforms. This meant in a renewed orthodox communist grip on Czechoslovakia for the next twenty years.

• Dusil

If you missed the previous posts on Dusil, then click on these links:

• Digital Photo Restoration

News footage from the 21st of August 1968

• In 1969 my uncle requested travel to Paris, His boss asked what would happen to his children. My uncle lied, saying that his children would stay with their relatives. Essentially he was reassuring his boss that my cousins would remain home as “collateral deposit”. This was sufficient to reassure the authorities that the traveler would not defect. On that basis his manager approved their travel request. My uncle subsequently forged his children into the application. They obtained exit visas from the passport police, and then entry visas into France. Ten days later they “forgot” to return. The rest is history…

• Digital Photo Restoration

4 minutes 40 seconds

68.Nov - Košice · Gabriel Dusil
68.Nov – Košice · Gabriel Dusil

 

• Postscript by Eva Dusil • 2014 October • Gabičko, this a very cute photo when you were about two months old. I still remember Nanika commenting how well you were able to hold your head up. Love you, Mom, with happy memories.

• Postscript from me • 2014 October • I think I could have won the award for the roundest head in Czechoslovakia.

 

8 minutes 00 seconds

69.Jan - Kosice · Gabriel & Vaclav Dusil
69.Jan – Kosice · Gabriel & Vaclav Dusil
69.Jan - Kosice · Gabriel & Eva Dusil
69.Jan – Kosice · Gabriel & Eva Dusil
69.Jan - Kosice · Gabriel & Vaclav Dusil (cradle)
69.Jan – Kosice · Gabriel & Vaclav Dusil (cradle)
69.Jan - Kosice · Gabriel & Vaclav Dusil (kiss)
69.Jan – Kosice · Gabriel & Vaclav Dusil (kiss)
69.Jan - Kosice · Gabriel & Vaclav Dusil (on Taci's shoulders)
69.Jan – Kosice · Gabriel & Vaclav Dusil (on Taci’s shoulders)

 

• Postscript by Eva Dusil • 2014 September • This photo was taken at Slavo Sykorsky’s villa in Košice, where we lived until we left Czechoslovakia in August 1969 and emigrated to Canada. Prior to Slavo’s place we lived in Pepo Vosecky’s apartment for short time. You were about four months old.

• Postscript from me • 2014 September • Look at that little baby… Precious!

 

69.Apr - Košice · Gabriel Dusil
69.Apr – Košice · Gabriel & Eva Dusil

 

 

8 minutes 19 seconds

69.Sep.4 - Košice · Leaving for Paris (#1)
69.Sep.4 – Košice · Leaving for Paris (#1)
69.Sep.4 - Košice · Leaving for Paris (#2)
69.Sep.4 – Košice · Leaving for Paris (#2)
69.Sep.4 - Košice · Leaving for Paris (#3)
69.Sep.4 – Košice · Leaving for Paris (#3)

 

• Postscript from Eva Dusil • 2014 October • These were taken in Košice on the day before we emigrated. We are at the bus station on our way to Bratislava to catch our flight to Paris the following day. In Bratislava we slept over at a rental apartment with Slavo and Milica Sykorsky. We arrived at Orly Airport in Paris, late in the afternoon on the 5th of September – on Vašek’s birthday. As we landed in France we finally felt free. Our first night was in a university dormatory, since the fall semester had not yet begun. You took your first steps that night. During the trip you had a bad cold, runny nose and fever, but a couple days after arriving in Paris you were fine.■ My father-in-law didn’t know that we were leaving, and later told us he would have informed the authorities.

 

• Tags

Alexander Dubček, dusil.com, Eva Dusil, Eva Kendeova, Erika Dusil, Gabičko, Gabriel Dusil, Igor Fridrich, Karol Dusil, Lokomotiva Košice, Martina Navratilova, Pepo Vosecky, Prague Spring, Richard Farda, Robert Dusil, Slavo Sykorsky, STB, Stefan Bartus, Truncheon Law, Vaclav Dusil, Vašek Dusil, Václav Nedomanský, Vlado Makovsky, vyjazdna dolozka, Warsaw Pact invasion, Štátna bezpečnosť, Štátna tajna bezpečnosť


69.Sep.4 - Košice · Leaving for Paris (#1, thumbnail)