Ing. Svatopluk Bauman

* 1940  

  • “I remember at least four things from the time when I was nearly five years old. The first: There was a washing basin in the corner and I remember that one German woman spanked me on my naked butt there. I don’t remember anything else about it, but I do remember this for sure. Another thing I remember was that there was a low podium, placed diagonally in the opposite corner of the room, the kind they have in classrooms. There was a closet and from time to time, a guy - it was impossible to tell his age, and he wore a working coat, the kind that warehouse workers wear - would come there, and he would take out a violin from that closet and he would play for us. I also remember that after lunch we always went to rest on the balcony. We looked down from that balcony and there were people who got crippled in the war. There were men who lost their legs or arms. They wore striped pyjamas. (…) When grandpa took me home in 1945, he arrived there for me with a buggy, because trains were still not running at that time, and he asked me: ‘Svata, kommst du mit?’ I replied: ‘Ja.’ We arrived home and grandma wanted me to put on pyjamas. When I saw the striped cloth, I jumped out of the window which was on the ground floor and they had to chase me all over the centre of the village. Grandma then had to sew a nightgown with a flower pattern for me.”

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    Český Brod, 24.03.2012

    (audio)
    duration: 56:06
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
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To remain alone

Little Svatopluk
Little Svatopluk
photo: Vlastislav Janík

Svatopluk Bauman was born June 21, 1940 in the family of a miller in Vyšehořovice in central Bohemia. In 1942 his father Břetislav went to check his fields and he found footprints in the snow. They belonged to Jozef Gabčík and Jan Kubiš. The Bauman family was helping the members of the group Anthropoid by giving them food and transporting the parachuted material. Svatopluk’s father even gave the paratroopers a ride to the train station in nearby Úvaly. The family experienced the fierce retaliation which started after the assassination of Heydrich. The Gestapo arrested Svatopluk’s father in early July 1942 and two-year old Svatopluk with his mother were arrested in August. His parents were transported to Terezín and then executed in Mauthausen on October 24, 1942. Little Svatopluk was sent to the Jenerálka chateau in Prague where children of imprisoned resistance fighters were interned. Since he was a little child, he was placed in the present-day Thomayer Hospital in Prague-Krč shortly after. He remained there until the end of the war and his grandparents (his mother’s parents) then started taking care of him. They lived in Horoušany where they owned a pub. They sold it in 1947 in order to have more time for their grandson; however, they lost most of their savings after the currency reform in 1953.