Bohumila Bělounová

* 1930  

  • “Well and it happened one day that I was walking close to my home in Břežany and Heydrich with his children were driving in an open car. Really? And the children started waving at me and he called: ‘Kommen Sie hier!‘ Yes? And I said: ‘Nein! Nein!‘ I: ‘Frau Procházka.‘ You know [it meant] that I had to go to Mrs. Procházková, to aunt Procházková. And he: ‘Eh.‘ So we waved and I ran. Really? And our uncle ordered us: “When you eat cakes with poppy seeds, do not in front of...‘ There were two booths in front of the castle, the same as are near Prague Castle and soldiers were standing there. Do not eat the cakes in front of the soldiers so that they could see that they were with poppy. Poppy was for bombs, it was somehow needed. So poppy was not allowed, the punishment for having poppy was horrible.”

  • “The worst was when - Boris - he escaped from Bystrica where they had sent them to unload coal. He got on the locomotive. And the man from the locomotive buried him in the coal. And he came to the railway station to Strašnice. And he told him: ‘Keep the coat, young man.‘ He knew that he had escaped. And Boris went to Jičínská Street to the flat and he rang the bell and a member of SS opened the door. Can you imagine it? He escapes from concentration camp and a member of SS opens the door. And he said: ‘Frau Musil.‘ He opened and said: ‘Frau Musil.‘ And he [the member of SS] saw that he was very dirty and: ‘Ja.‘ And he opened the door into the hall, he knew it in the flat and he entered his mum´s bedroom and when she saw him, she fainted. Well and the members of SS escaped from the flat the following day because they had sent them there because she had been alone in the flat. And it was in 1945, in January. And imagine, they in the morning... They thought if he was not a messenger or... So, they disappeared and Boris slept for two more days. “

  • “‘Should I lose my daughter, so I don´t have you as well.‘ And she sent my father to look for me. Well and dad followed the railway line from Horní Počernice to Rohanský Island and he arrived there and I was fixing tricolour to a man´s coat. And he told me: ‘Have you gone crazy? He´s a member of SS!‘ And they took off their uniforms and were wearing civilian clothes, they had been wearing civilian clothes under their uniforms. Well, and so it happened that they suddenly started to shoot from the houses opposite. My dad hid, there was a shelter, so he hid there. And he pulled me in as well. Well, and the boss was running and they shot through his hat and we then got... I got so terrified as never before in my life because the Germans were coming. The Germans came to the shelter and they shot inside. And we were pressed to the wall and I was not breathing for the first time in my life and my mouth was wide open with fear. And then a waiter did not know what to do when he found cartridges and he threw them in the fire. And it started to shoot and the Germans ran away, they thought that somebody was shooting at them. And we in a hurry... It was dark outside! We had to get out of the shelter. Well, and our people were there and they accompanied us to Karlín barracks. Well, we spent two hours in the barracks hiding. And the Germans attacked the barracks again, so we stayed there and they somehow, I don´t know how, liberated us, so we went back to Rohanský Island.”

  • Full recordings
  • 1

    Stříbrná Skalice, 23.09.2020

    (audio)
    duration: 01:58:33
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
  • 2

    V Praze, 01.11.2020

    (audio)
    duration: 48:31
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
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Bohumila Bělounová when she was thirty years old
Bohumila Bělounová when she was thirty years old
photo: archiv pamětnice

Bohumila Bělounová, née Kůrková, was born on the 22nd of June 1930 in Panenské Břežany. She studied to become a cook during war years and she worked in Paris Hotel in Prague. Meanwhile, she went to Panenské Břežany where she met Reinhard Heydrich and his children. She spent the liberation of Prague in May 1945 on Rohanský Island in Karlín. Her first husband Boris Levi Musil, his brother Jaroslav and his father Alfréd were deported to a concentration camp during war years; both brothers managed to escape but Alfred died during a death march. Part of family property was confiscated after the communist putsch in 1948 and they had to move. Bohumila and her second husband Pavel experienced dramatic events at the Czech Radio building during the invasion of the Warsaw Pact troops to Czechoslovakia in 1968. Bohumila knew a number of famous people such as Olga Havlová, Vilém Heckel, Marta Kubišová and others. She cheerfully remembers the Velvet Revolution in 1989 but not so cheerfully the dissolution of Czechoslovakia few years later. Nowadays, she lives and meets her friends, neighbours, and family in Vinohrady in Prague.