Vladimír Bílík

* 1932

  • „There was some sort of Palach day. There were many people running up and down the Wenceslas’ Square. The fire brigade with fire engines arrived and they started to spray the crowds with water. I was lucky that I took the metro, I was there with Jiří Hájek, he was the Minister of Foreign Affairs in 1968. There were only the two of us. When the train rode to the platform, police already stood there. They arrested Jura and ignored me because they saw I was carrying a sports bag. I got out, there were already foreign journalists who were already filming it. The police chased them towards the main train station. I had the dubious honour of seeing it with my own eyes. When I was on board of my train, I saw how they load the demonstrants in buses. Only later, I learned that they took them away from the town, to the countryside, they let them out and they had to walk back home.”

  • „I underwent some pilot training, the A and B license for gliders. I was looking forward to going to paratroopers or the airforce. I was drafted at the very first round, I think they liked me. It was in 1952, I was 20 wen I went to the army. I was assigned the E category. First, we arrived to Beroun, there was our recruiting centre. Then we went from Prague to Komárno. In Komárno, just after I entered the Small Fortress, they told me to read what’s on the door: 53rd PTP [Pomocný technický prapor = Auxiliary Technical Batallion]. There you go, you paratrooper, I thought. During the call, half of the names were German. The [Czech] Germans had to serve in the army as well. I commenced verbal communication with them. I asked how they lived during the war and where they were. Then they transferred us to Trenčín where an airport and houses for the officers were being built. From Trenčín, we went to Horní Suchá, to the Klement Gottwald mine.“

  • „Half German, half Czech. Auspitz bei Brünn in German. There were three or four Czech families in our street, otherwise it was Germans living there. But at that time, nobody cared who was Czech and who was German. It started only after the Munich Agreement. After Munich, the German children were banned from playing with us. We couldn’t visit them and they were not allowed to visit us. They were banned to do that because they were followed by people who supervised the purity of the German race.”

  • “They said we’d go to a demonstration. A big demonstration on the Old Town Square and that union members would come. I ran to the principal, asking: ‘What about us, the apprentices?’ So, we won it for them and then we went. All the way to Old Town Square, we got out there, people had already been gathering, thousands of people, it was huge processions. People had prepared slogans beforehand. So, they shouted slogans… Then, when the men from the Prague Castle arrived, Gottwald, Slánský, they sat up top, Nejedlý, they were all there. They started talking and saying: ‘I just got back from the president. He agreed to appoint a new government and I was named prime minister…’ and so it started. I said: ‘Never mind, Mirek, you go home, I’ll go check the city, to see how it looks like.’ And like this I saw the Wenceslas Square without any people for the first time. Snow was flying around, I remember that clearly, and I walked all the way to the National Museum. My grandfather had found a mammoth’s tusk and had given it to the museum, back in the Austro-Hungarian times. He had given it to the museum, so I wanted to see whether it was still there. And I found it.”

  • “The front line was at a standstill here. That meant that the army couln’t cross the Morava river. Everything was at a standstill from Hodonín to Lanžhot. The artillery… they tried to defend the river from being crossed. And it was hard to cross it. Morava had been overflowed, so the whole forest was full of water. That’s why a thousand Russians got stuck there in the water. Because they couldn’t dip in it and although they let them get out, they then shot them like rabbits. We saw… well, people came, running away to friends or relatives here because Lanžhot had been destroyed. Past Mikulčice here, there was Morava and Kopčany. Some people from Kopčany worked in the fuel industry and they used small boats. They knew how to get here and they drove the Russians to the embankment and then they built a pontoon bridge near Kopčany, which then the chariotry and artillery could cross. But mainly the chariotry because the tanks, they couldn’t cross here, they would sink.”

  • “There was the ‘Mladý Hlasatel’ (Young Broadcaster) magazine and we founded a group called ‘Hoši z Podluží’ (Boys from Podluží). And in 1942 we went on a trip from Těšice to Radějov, I was ten years old at that time. We arrived in Rohatec, that's where the border was and the bridge across Morava was guarded, the finance guards were there: ‘Halt, halt, alles ausgepäkt!’ [Halt, halt, unpack everything!] So we unpacked everything. ‘Aaaaa, essen, das ist für Partisanen, ja?’ [I see, food, that’s for the partisans, isn’t it?] I said: ‘No, we’re going to cook goulash with it.’ – ‘Du spricht sehr gut Deutsch!’ [You speak very good German!] So, they let us go, of course, they laughed. We set out, came to Sudoměřice, went to Radějov, there we had to report ourselves in the gamekeeper’s lodge, the German finance guards were there too. When we were walking back, we heard in Hodonín that they had attempted to assassinate the acting Reichsprotektor Reinhard Heydrich and that martial law had already been declared, well and after that the house searches began. Every village was surrounded by the military and checked house by house. Everyone had to show their identification and the windows had to be blacked out.”

  • Full recordings
  • 1

    Mikulčice, 10.01.2019

    duration: 01:21:33
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
  • 2

    Mikulčice, 25.04.2019

    duration: 01:34:27
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
  • 3

    Hodonín, 24.09.2021

    duration: 01:47:03
    media recorded in project Příběhy regionu - JMK REG ED
Full recordings are available only for logged users.

I’ve always wanted to be true in life

Profile picture of Vladimír Bílík, undated
Profile picture of Vladimír Bílík, undated
photo: archiv pamětníka

Vladimír Bílík was born January 4, 1932 in Těšice, today a part of Mikulčice, in the Hodonín region. He grew up with his sister in humble circumstances because his parents had travelled to Soviet Stalingrad and had sold off all their belongings. His father was a civil servant and in 1935 the family moved with him to Hustopeče. That’s where Vladimír started primary school. In October 1938 the family had to move away because the city was to become part of the Third Reich as a result of the Munich Agreement. Ever since then the family lived in Mikulčice and father commuted to Hulín for work. Vladimír engaged in sports and even in the Scout movement after the war. In 1947 he went to be apprenticed as a glass cutter in Nižbor near Beroun. After his apprenticeship he stayed in the company, working there until he started his military service in 1952. He was drafted, labeled politically unreliable and sent to the mines in Horní Suchá with the Technical auxiliary battalions. He returned to his ill mother in Mikulčice shortly after his return to civilian life and never came back to the glassworks. He got married in 1956 and has raised two children with his wife Vlasta. Vladimír engaged in various sports, led the youth soccer, volleyball and table tennis teams and later also pursued Scouting. In 2017 he received an honorable mention for his life’s dedicated work with the youth in the field of table tennis.