Stanislav Bělík

* 1919

  • “The Hitlerjugend were going there and they had flags and nobody was allowed to pass by them without bowing to them. I did not know it and one of them kicked me because I did not pay respect to their flag. That was terrible. But in Brno on Křenová Stret, if one was careful and did not look at them too much, it was all right.”

  • “It had to be horrible if you were raised by Czechs and then suddenly the Germans came.” – “Sure it was. It was a great disaster for us and great humiliation that we had to experience this catastrophe and to be subject to them. Then I was doing forced labour in a factory in Austria and it was interesting there, the Austrians were good people, they were against the Germans. We stayed in some of their families and they were very nice people but they had to keep quiet, too, because their country had been occupied. And people had to – as we say – to keep the pace and to keep their mouth shut. I endured it for two years and then I ran away. When the end of the war was near, three of us boys escaped at night, through mud, via Znojmo. We were walking on a path and we heard German soldiers, and so we were quiet and we walked around them and then we crossed the border near Znojmo, we spent the night there and then we went on.”

  • “People from all over Czechoslovakia gathered in the camps. We had a party on Christmas, and we cut down a small spruce tree, and we made decorations from paper. I performed some funny stunts there, I had some entertaining talk, and we had fun like that. Germans came there, too, and we spoke in Czech and they did not know what we were talking about, but they were there and we could see that they were watching us. In winter I made large snowmen and I made two snowmen sculptures cut from wood and the Germans were clapping their hands and they loved it so much. I created snowmen who were dancing the Vienna waltz and the Germans were coming to look at it.”

  • Full recordings
  • 1

    Doubravník, 01.06.2018

    duration: 03:45:20
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
Full recordings are available only for logged users.

I am a great optimist and I do not worry about anything

photo: vlastní

Stanislav Bělík was born on October 29, 1919 in Tišnov. His father worked as a weaver, and when his craft became extinct, he started working for factory owner Jan Kopřiva in the paper mill in the village Prudká. Stanislav’s mother came from a family of a shoemaker. Stanislav learnt the machine fitter’s trade, even though he actually had a great interest in fine arts. His family did not have the means to be able to finance his studies. When he began working and having his own income, Stanislav applied for evening classes at an art academy in Brno. However, his initial study of painting became interrupted during the Second World War when he was sent to do forced labour in Sankt Pölten in Austria. He worked as a machinist in a factory which produced synthetic fibres for parachutes. The work discipline there was very strict and every mistake was punished. Stanislav spent two years doing forced labour. In his spare time he enjoyed trips to the mountains where he was painting the surroundings. In 1945 after an air raid on the factory he and his friends decided that they would run away and go home. At night they secretly left the factory and they set out on their journey. Although Stanislav successfully passed the entrance examinations for the Academy of Arts in Prague, he was not admitted due to a large number of applicants. Stanislav therefore worked as a draughtsman and only in 1956-1960 he did a distance study of painting in Prague. Until his retirement he worked as a company artist in the Tesla company in Brno where he spent twenty years. At present he is nearly blind and he cannot enjoy painting anymore.