František Beneš

* 1923  

  • "At the Kendiks - he was a shoemaker - was sitting on the stool. A three-year-old girl and a four-year-old boy lay in his hands, both dead. Two little dead bodies. What about the kids, was it their fault?"

  • "Moms had their small kids in the duvets - two, three, six months old and so on. To the duvets and off to the field. Snow was still on the ground, from one side - from the north - snow was falling down, it was not very warm. On one side the snow was falling, on the other side mum and dad sitting and watching what was going on. They're already on the road, the car already started to wag."

  • “We were coming to Luck, it was a regional town. It was April, but there was still snow on the ground. We were already near, about half a kilometer away from Luck. On the hill there were Germans, seven lying Germans, killed for several days already. But they were barefoot, their coats were pulled down. There were two or three ravens sitting on top of them, feeding, kneading the meat. So we said to each other, "Boys, we might as well look like this too.”

  • Full recordings
  • 4

    Cvrčovice, okr. Brno, 10.10.2016

    (audio)
    duration: 02:25:37
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
  • 5

    Cvrčovice u Pohořelic, 04.02.2016

    (audio)
    duration: 01:37:35
    media recorded in project The Stories of Our Neigbours
Full recordings are available only for logged users.

We went home

Contemporary portrait
Contemporary portrait
photo: archiv pamětníka

František Beneš was born in 1923 as the member of the Czech minority in the area of Volyn, todays Ukraine. During WW2 the area was harshly hit; the Pols, Ukrainians, Russians and Germans met there. František´s father was the major of Sergejevka, which was the Czech village near the regional town of Luck. František remembers the threatening on part of the Bandera group (translator´s note: nationalistic military group), who tried to get hold of the food stocks; as a twenty-year-old boy I witnessed my native village being burnt down. In 1944 together with my older brother Břetislav we joined the army of the general Svoboda, and experience the battle of the Dukla pass. After returning to Czechoslovakia he spent some time in the military service and later settled in the Southern Moravia. He was forced to join the agricultural cooperative, where he worked for 28 years. He also found his wife there and had four children together. Later he worked as a church steward and a minister.