Zdeněk Baueršíma

* 1934

  • "A false accusations were made up that they wanted to poison the [communist] party secretary, using potassium cyanide. They interrogated us, students. 'We know you stole the cyanide from the teacher´s office. We know it!' So then they arrested them, these people. They arrested Šlezinger together with our class teacher, professor Kučera."

  • "My mother went [to Switzerland] ten or twelve times and each time I had to fill in everything for her. Of course, I was the closest at hand. The strangest thing was that I was actually saving people, because when they asked me about someone, I didn't keep quiet, I defended them. And quickly, they changed topics. So I have no pangs of conscience about that and all my friends know about it. I have a perfectly clear conscience, I have never signed anything. It was only registered that I used to go there and they could interrogate me, but I have never signed anything in my life."

  • "When I arrived at State Security, there were double bars. I can even name the one who interrogated me. You could see how he was turning it [recording device] all on, and he asked me about people, he told me: 'You are from Stavoprojekt, there is an engineer Sedlák who goes to church, is that true?' I said that yes, he was a great friend, a classmate, that he went to church, but there was nothing wrong with that. Then he asked me again about someone. He told me that he had heard that the person had done such and such things. And I said that it was nonsense. Every time I came back from the interrogation, I immediately ran to the people and told them what they had asked me about, 'Hey, they asked me about you making some anti-state poster.' That's how I always told the people."

  • “When I was in the Technical Auxiliary Battalions, life was very tough there. The wake-up call was at 4 a.m., the working time was around ten, twelve hours a day. Once a week we were working in these nuclear…, that meant in gas masks on scaffolding and so on. And who didn't meet the standard… The civilian standard was 150 %. We didn´t work to meet 100%, but 150 %. Whoever didn't meet the standard had to go finish it after the lights out and report when he was done. And it was really tough. And of course there was excavation work, too - hardest jobs, earthwork, masonry work, concrete work.”

  • "I know that we were organizing Majáles and I was kind of the main one in the parade. And I remember it was even being broadcasted. There were strongly anti-state slogans chanted there. I never knew who did or didn't report me, but supposedly they were filming it with a camera from a ledge and from windows. So I can't say who denounced me or anything... Actually, after that, they took advantage of the fact that I was handing in projects and they used it as a pretext. They couldn't say the reason was political. So they said I handed in a project an hour later or something like that."

  • “In Sezemice it was a big textile factory that was, however, suddenly being converted as the war had started. The Germans came, they seized the textile machines and started turning it into toy manufacturing. It was a secret production of weapons, of course. And I remember that the Germans were making quite a mess there. They occupied houses and so on. My father had been the director of the factory. He had even had a Hetzen car with a driver at his disposal. We had had a swimming pool in our garden, a beautiful life really, but it finished because my father didn't want anything to do with the Germans.”

  • Full recordings
  • 1

    Jihlava, 21.11.2019

    duration: 01:20:26
    media recorded in project The Stories of Our Neigbours
  • 2

    Jihlava, 06.04.2022

    duration: 02:05:57
Full recordings are available only for logged users.

During State Security interrogations, I praised everyone

Zdeněk Baueršíma
Zdeněk Baueršíma
photo: Witness´s archive

Zdeněk Baueršíma was born on 21 March 1934 in Jihlava. He and his family moved frequently, depending on which textile factory his father was working at. They left the Sudetenland in 1938 and spent the Second World War mostly in Světlá nad Sázavou. He graduated from grammar school and after a year’s work experience at the Military Project Institute he was admitted to the Faculty of Architecture, majoring in civil engineering. He participated in preparations for and took part in the student Majáles [students´ festival held in May], and probably due to it he was expelled from the school in the fifth year. He spent his military service partly at the Technical Auxiliary Battalions, but also working on the construction sites of the airport and apartment buildings in Krnov. The witness´s brother Ivo was one of the co-founders of the Club of Committed Non-Party Members (KAN) and after August 1968 he emigrated to Switzerland, where the witness and mother visited him in the 1980s. State Security registered the witness as a confidant. He worked at Stavoprojekt and as an architect he has over 250 projects and numerous awards in his portfolio. At the time of filming he was living in Jihlava (April 2022).