Ing. Oldřich Babka

* 1925  †︎ 2016

  • "We went up to the Prašný most Bridge and the plan was to go up to Hradčany with the support of the President because it was around February. But somehow it didn't happen as the cops and especially the people's militia got word that the students had taken to the streets. When we were in that bend, where the Prašný most Bridge is, they swooped down upon us. And they began to disperse us, catching us and hitting us with sticks. It was unprepared, I thought that there would be many more people from the city and the dorms attending the demonstrations."

  • "The second case: a bomb exploded in Wenzigova Street, where the so-called Blitzmädel had their dormitory. The Blitzmädels were German girls, switchboard operators. There was an air raid, bombs exploded there and of course we were sent there. Twenty-three Blitzmädels after a night shift were naked and torn to pieces there. We'd put them together in the same way as we did at the station. When we saw that it was one girl we'd put her together. It was at that point when we, young boys, saw for the first time what a naked woman really looks like."

  • "We were in the house where the radio transmitter was located and we still lay on the ground. There was still shooting going on in the brewery, so we were there and we didn't know if a unit of the Germans was still not going to come there. There were around eight thousand of German troops there and they'd keep announcing that further SS units are coming. But no one came close to us, so they first fixed the radio transmitter, then launched it and then, for the first time Karel uttered that buzz word: 'Free Pilsen is speaking!'"

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    byt pamětníka, 22.11.2013

    duration: 03:47:02
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There’s no reason to make things up. My life was checkered enough.

Youth portrait
Youth portrait

Oldřich Babka was born on May 31, 1925 in London. His father worked for the State Railways and had had experience of being an Italian legionary during the First World War. The witness spent his childhood in Pilsen in the city district of Letná and later in the Pilsen quarter of Petrohrad. He studied grammar school at the Mikulášské náměstí Square. In 1943, he and several classmates were assigned to forced labor in the Technische Nothilfe in Pilsen and in its ranks they participated mainly in the construction of the air defense of the city and its surroundings and in engineering work like the removal of the rummage left behind the attacks of the American Air Force on Plzeň. In doing so, Oldřich kept contact with his family and peers, and also with the members of the resistance group around Karel Šindler that was called “Wheel on the Střela” (Kolo na Střele). In the final days of the war, the unit was left unattended and the TN thus disbanded. Oldřich got involved in the defense of the radio transmitter that was located in Štruncovy sady Orchards, from which Karel Šindler first aired: “Free Pilsen speaks!” He was one of the volunteers who kept order in a detention camp for Germans that was set up in Karlov. In mid-May 1945, he went to Prague and joined the spontaneous cleaning of buildings and colleges of Charles University. In September 1945, he began to study forestry at university in Prague. In 1948, he participated in the student procession to Prague Castle, which was dispersed by the police and the People’s Militia. He was arrested and detained for a week in the Štefánik barracks. After his release, the revolutionary committee at his school recommended to suspend his final state examination. In 1948, Oldřich married Věra Krásná and in 1950 their daughter Věra was born. Oldřich was employed in the Lesprojekt in Pilsen. Later he worked at the Regional National Committee in the Regional Commission of Popular Control. In 1968, the committee had to resign and all its members fell into disgrace. This also ended his candidacy for a member of the Communist Party. Oldřich Babka henceforth had difficulties to find employment. At first, he got a job at the pricing authority in Pilsen and later he worked in the inspections department of Prefa Přeštice. Here he remained until his retirement.