Vlastimil Binder

* 1934

  • “From the time when Germans had lived there, well-designed drainage ditches and flood-gates into the Dyje (Thaya) River had been made there in the meadows, and if a flood came there, they functioned well. Moreover, they were digging material from the bottom of the Thaya River with a dredger every year, and the point was to make the bottom of the river lower in order to be able to receive the influx of material which would flow down from these surrounding meadows. The Germans were successful with it. There was a flood every year in Mušov, but it did not do any harm, on the contrary: it was beneficial. The meadows which got flooded during that time were fertile. Houses in Mušov were all constructed so that we did have the house full of water, but no water got into the rooms. We would for instance build scaffolding in the passage and children were fishing from the windows during the floods. We would be going to school in little boats, and we children always looked forward to the floods. There was plenty of fish, boats and we had fun. The floods have been coming there for centuries; even the wine cellars are build on top of the hill. I think only two people had the cellars inside their houses and they got water in there every year.”

  • “We went to work to Brno at four in the morning, and somebody came to the bus stop and told us that he heard something about Russians occupying our country. When we arrived to Brno, the news were already everywhere, and we already knew what was happening. I went to work at first, to the Zbrojovka factory. They already knew everything; the whole city was full of it. We didn’t work that day, we were given a day off and we went to the city centre. But I would not have gone to work that day anyway, because I was a blood donor and I had an appointment for that day. I went from the factory to the hospital in Žlutý kopec to donate blood. There were more people who gathered there, because they have already heard some news. People in Brno knew more than us who arrived from other places. The head doctor came there at eight when the blood donations were to begin, and he asked us if there were any people who felt that they might safely donate blood without the initial examination. I think that only two people left, but I was among those who donated blood that day. Then we went to the city centre, there were already Czech posters and signs in the streets. A great number of artists appeared all of a sudden and there were many slogans in the streets.”

  • “When Russians arrived to Ivaň, Germans were here beyond the Jihlava River in the direction from Ivaň to Pasohlávky. Since they arrived to this wine-growing region, their morale was very low. One day they were beyond the river in Ivaň, and the other day the Russians chased them back again. Eventually what happened was that people from Ivaň were relocated to Vranovice. When the first Russians arrived there, our father was bringing them food into their trenches behind the village. The kitchen was in the village, in the direction of Přibice, and he was thus bringing them food; he had been ordered to do it together with one other man. During one of his visits in the trenches he got shot through his leg, and the situation was quite desperate, because he was lying there in the cellar while everybody else was already in Vranovice. We had to stay a couple of more days in Ivaň because of that, because no ambulance car was available. Three days later we managed to transport him to Vranovice. As for us, we stayed there in a gamekeeper’s lodge. And so I have good memories of it, we lived there in luxury and without any worries, only that our father was wounded and he couldn’t walk. But apart from that, we children didn’t worry about much. I was eleven at that time.”

  • “Old Pinkava was the most honest man in Mušov, his family farmed there and they had horses and cows, but it was after 1947 and there was a dry spell and a cooperative was then established and they were prescribed delivery quotas so high that it was impossible to meet them. They didn’t manage to meet them, and they had to pay penalties for that. I don’t know what exactly, but I knew that they didn’t have any money. They had a small bakery in their farm as was the custom in some farmhouses, but their kids were getting bread in rations! Their mother would lock the bread into a closet and she would issue a piece of bread to each child when they came. Their children were hungry. But there were more families like that. They simply didn’t meet the insane delivery quotas and the authorities didn’t care that they had nothing to give to their own children.”

  • “After the war, since my father had acquaintances in Mušov - my father had promised to certain Hans Schulz, who was one of his best friends before they were deported, that he would move into his house. It was a paradoxical situation, because in Ivaň we lived as five people in one room, we slept on the floor, and this house of Mr. Schulz was one of the worst houses in Mušov, and it also had just one room and a small kitchen, nothing more. Because of his friend, my dad thus picked up this house and our situation was thus eventually more or less the same as before. But we didn’t really mind too much.”

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    Pasohlávky, 06.04.2014

    duration: 01:44:18
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
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Now we have only positive memories of Mušov, the bad things are already gone

Vlastimil Binder
Vlastimil Binder

  Vlastimil Binder was born February 21, 1934 in a poor family in south Moravian village Ivaň. The Second World War was a difficult time for them, because his father was sent to do forced labour in Germany and the family thus often suffered from hunger. After the war they decided to deal with this uneasy situation by moving to nearby Mušov, which had been inhabited by German nationals until that time. The Binder family was among the first Czech families in post-war Mušov. However, problems occurred here as well, because Vlastimil’s father was imprisoned four times due to his conflicts with the political regime: two times of this her served his sentence in Jáchymov. In the early 1950s Vlastimil went as an apprentice to Brno, where he later began to work in the Zbrojovka arms factory. He married in Mušov, started a family and moved into a new house. He also became an organizer of cultural and social life in Mušov, he was active in the leadership of the local Sokol organization as well as in the municipal authority. When the decision was made that Mušov would be destroyed in the construction of a new water reservoir, Vlastimil decided to move to Modřice with his family and he began to work there, but they never got used to living there and they were going to Mušov every weekend. Together with his neighbours they began building their new home in the village Pasohlávky and although Mušov no longer exists, Vlastimil Binder’s family still lives surrounded by his former neighbours from Mušov.