Zdeněk Bajgar

* 1931  

  • "In between the protectorate and the empire, I could travel on my mother's permit, in which I was enrolled. But I had to be accompanied by an adult. It was not a problem on Monday morning, because the workers from Krásné Pole rode with me and anyone of them transferred me. It was worse on the way back on Saturday afternoon. I crossed the border on the river Odra in Svinov. I always asked a citizen there to transfer me. He claimed to be my uncle or something. But it happened to me several times that I failed. I tried it twice, three times, and it was bad, because the financier already knew me and threatened to slap me. So I had to go back to my uncle in Kunčičky. Crying, of course, because I didn't get home to my mother."

  • "At about four o'clock in the morning, there was a banging on the entrance to the shelter, which opened with a trapdoor covered by a lawn. Apparently, our conversation betrayed us. We went out and there were already Soviet soldiers there. They checked to see if there was a German soldier hidden among us. When we asked where the Germans were, they pointed to our house. If the Germans saw or heard us, it could have ended up badly. There were about fifteen of us. So, we went back to the shelter and waited until we could return to the house. It was until about eight in the morning. By that time our house was already occupied by the Soviets. My uncle and another citizen who lived with us went there, but they could not return. It was in the space between our garden and the shelter where a heavy German mortar fire happened."

  • "A few days after the occupation, a German car was driving on the road along our yard. The army came to us on October 9, so it was shortly after that. The first snow had just fallen. My brother and a cousin and I had a snowball fight on that road. And as the car passed us, I threw the snow ball in that direction. The car stopped; a German officer got out. In the meantime, we ran to the yard. He came after us. I don't know what he said, but he yelled at us and it ended up with us all getting a real slap. That was my first unpleasant memory of the German occupation."

  • "On the second or the third day after the liberation, the newly established national committee started to function and ordered work obligation for men from the age of 18. Throughout the village, as well as through the fields and forests, there was an extended order, and fallen German soldiers and animals were buried. There were horses of the German army, as well as some fallen cattle and wild animals. So, it was all taken down and buried, either in the trenches, which were dug out by the Germans, or in the bomb holes, if they were deep enough. The burying was that a German horse was buried in one place and four German soldiers next to it. So those skeletons lie there to this day."

  • "The road that led directly behind our house was the front line. On one side it was terminated by a hillside. Soviet soldiers lay on the hillside, shooting a neighboring house, where the Germans were, across the garden. It lasted until about four or five o'clock in the afternoon. We were protected by that house. I remember that as children we were loading the machine gun belts for those soldiers. They had machine guns with drums. The bullets were distributed in boxes and it was loaded from those boxes. So that's how I helped the Soviet soldiers."

  • Full recordings
  • 1

    Krásné Pole, 26.02.2017

    (audio)
    duration: 02:02:49
    media recorded in project Soutěž Příběhy 20. století
  • 2

    v Ostravě, 03.12.2018

    (audio)
    duration: 03:22:41
    media recorded in project Příběhy regionu - STM REG ED
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I saw so many dead people that I was able to cross over the dead body easily

Zdeněk Bajgar / approximately 1940
Zdeněk Bajgar / approximately 1940
photo: archive of Zdeněk Bajgar

Zdeněk Bajgar was born on February 14, 1931 in Krásné Pole near Ostrava. After the Munich Agreement, the village was joined to Nazi Germany. His father was a National Socialist and a member of Sokol. After the occupation he joined the resistance movement “We will remain faithful!” In 1941 he was arrested by the Gestapo and convicted by a martial court for treason. He died in the Mauthausen concentration camp. The witness witnessed heavy liberation struggles in Krásné Pole in April 1945. Their house happened to be in the front line. After the war, he graduated from the Faculty of Law of the Charles University in Prague and then he joined the Communist Party. He worked, for example, at the Ostrava Regional National Committee, at the Studénka Wagon Association and most recently as the director of the Ostrava railway repair shops. He is the author of a number of historical publications about Krásné Pole and Silesia.