Pavel Balúch

* 1952  

  • "I liked music. Rock and roll and hard music, hard rock and such. And there were practically no records in our country. In Croatia, I always could choose. And at the border, they would let in a maximum of five records. And I took forty. I saved up for a whole year. So I distributed them among various cars, and then I picked them up again behind the border. So that I wouldn't get in trouble."

  • "That Plavecký Mikuláš, when the end of the World War II was approaching, in April 1945 the Red Army was already quite close, in Slovakia. And somebody started to settle accounts with the Germans who lived in Plavecký Mikuláš. Three of the Germans were ambushed and shot. But the Germans didn't tolerate it, and they surrounded the whole little village, it has few numbers [houses], to this day, I don't know if there are two hundred little houses there, maybe even less, so they surrounded the whole village with tanks, they caught the inhabitants, who had fled in all directions. It's similar there to here in the Moravian Karst (Moravský kras), there are various depressions, abysses, caves and quite a deep forest. So the people fled into these caves, they hid, but the Germans found the vast majority of them and caught them. They didn't catch my father, they were shooting at him, and as far as I know he was wounded in the right leg and he was hiding. He survived the chase of the inhabitants. The Germans gathered them next to the church, shot ten men there, and the others were taken away the next day. I would call it a death march today, and they were supposed to go to the concentration camp somewhere to Austria. That's what I managed to find out."

  • "When I was ten years old, my father died tragically in a factory. It was quite strange. He was a technician there, a repairman at the Moravian Ceramic Works, where they produced generator gas to heat the ceramic kilns. The machine broke and the safety officer told him to go fix it under the machine, there was a shaft down there. And, of course, to wear a gas mask. Only it was the safety technician's fault because he had a normal military gas mask in there, and it worked for all sorts of gases, but not for carbon monoxide, which goes through. So my father went to fix it and the safety officer was instructed to give him the oxygen bombs, but he didn't. He [my father] fell down that shaft, and five or six other people were pulling him out, falling down on him, and before they could get him out and before they could find out what had happened, my father died from the injury, terrible. I was about ten years old then."

  • Full recordings
  • 1

    Blansko, 12.04.2022

    (audio)
    duration: 01:41:13
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
Full recordings are available only for logged users.

They had complete records of every person´s life

Pavel Balúch (1970s)
Pavel Balúch (1970s)
photo: Witness´s archive

Pavel Balúch was born on 16 March 1952 in Rájec nad Svitavou (today Rájec-Jestřebí) in Blansko region. At the end of the World War II, on 2 April 1945, his father Pavel witnessed a bloody incident in Plavecký Mikuláš, where the Nazis executed several local inhabitants and sent many others to concentration camps. During the war period, his uncle Josef Kříž tragically died during interrogation at the Gestapo in Pardubice in 1941. At the turn of the 1950s and 1960s Pavel Balúch finished primary school in Rájec, after which he graduated from the apprentice school of Metra Blansko. He then studied electrical engineering at the Brno University of Technology (VUT) for three years. He did not finish his studies for long-term health problems and in 1977 he received a draft order to Poprad. During his military service he worked as a typist. Due to persistent health complications, he was discharged from the service early and he joined Metra Blansko, where he worked until the Velvet Revolution. After the change of regime, he completed his education at a medical and rehabilitation course and worked for ten years as a medical staff member at St. Anne’s University Hospital in Brno. At the time of the interview (2022) he was living in Blansko.