Bedřich Boršek

* 1928  

  • “Before the Russians came and so-called liberated us, my bosses had persuaded me to join the Party, arguing that I was a promising young man and that it could secure me a higher status. It’s not that I wanted to do it but eventually I allowed it. But then the Russians came and occupied us, I saw the Russian soldiers parked by the transmitter from the Igla factory, and I couldn’t help but rebel. Why were there soldiers if they wanted to liberate us, when they really occupied us and guarded us with weapons? And so I had an argument with the Party leadership, which is why I gave back my Party card during my second year in the Party and I left. And I became a bad guy immediately after that. I was told I had betrayed the Party by not supporting it during a critical time.”

  • “I changed my seat and sat down next to the two guys by the center door. When we talked about what we should do, the officer said we had to wait for a chance and then leave it up to those outside to help us. And so I wrote a little note that a link bus had been hijacked and I threw it out of the window.”

  • “That was when I still rehearsed in Přerov and I went to Prague with the Sokols and juniors from Přerov. The fun fact was that for some reason the Sokol Přerov got a beautiful silk American flag. The boys carried it and we walked with the flag with great fanfare. When we were walking by the stand where Gottwald stood, everyone was supposed to look to the right but we looked to the left. There were a few Sokols in uniforms across of us but those were communists who yelled celebrations. But we walked with our head proudly turned away, left face.”

  • “In 1966 I signed the… I signed up for the Party. But then the Russians came and started saying that they liberated us, well and I immediately began to rebel. If they liberated us, then why did they occupy… why did they seize all our weapons and radios. So I threw away my party card and left the Party.”

  • “When we practiced for the Spartakiads, the compositions, there were always rehearsed parts for the individual districts, regions and so on. So I took part in that but every evening after dinner, us instructors used to sing Sokol songs in the pub. Although we lived under a totalitarian regime, we sang Sokol songs, because we couldn’t help it.”

  • “And I even witnessed an air raid on Budějovice twice; once it was when we lived in the Havlíčkova kolonie district in front of that bridge, in Lidická street. Well, a bomb exploded, we were hiding in the cellar, and it broke down the house doors and the brick dust flew into the cellar. A woman that lived upstairs, a dressmaker, started crying and worrying about her fabrics. And when we came out after it had calmed down, we lived on the first floor, and I looked to the courtyard – a vest with a watch was hanging from a branch and later we found out that a hearing-impaired man had lived there and that when he saw the bombs he probably went to the balcony and then the bomb exploded and he was blown up and flew right through the pear tree where only his vest remained. As I walked through the city after the raid, that’s when I saw all the havoc there.”

  • Full recordings
  • 1

    Domov seniorů U Hvízdala 6 v Českých Budějovicích, 22.11.2018

    (audio)
    duration: 54:36
    media recorded in project The Stories of Our Neigbours
  • 2

    České Budějovice, 21.02.2020

    (audio)
    duration: 59:25
    media recorded in project The Stories of Our Neigbours
  • 3

    České Budějovice, 05.03.2020

    (audio)
    duration: 40:13
    media recorded in project The Stories of Our Neigbours
Full recordings are available only for logged users.

He sat in the bus that they attempted to hijack to West

11th national Sokol festival in Prague, 1948
11th national Sokol festival in Prague, 1948
photo: Archiv pamětníka

Bedřich Boršek was born August 17, 1928 in Bystřice pod Hostýnem, where his father František Boršek ran a general store. Soon after Bedřich’s birth the family moved to Kroměříž. Because his father had been a legionnaire in Russia during World War I, he was able to apply for a civil service placement and was assigned a job as an IRS clerk in Kašperské Hory. Bedřich and his mother Pavlína stayed in Kroměříž at the beginning of the war, which is where they witnessed the arrival of the German occupation forces. Bedřich spent majority of the war in České Budějovice where the family got an apartment after their father’s return from the Šumava mountains. There he also witnessed the bombing of České Budějovice by the Allies in March 1945. In 1948 he attended the 11th national Sokol festival in Prague where he protested against the emerging Communist regime together with the Sokols from Přerov. He joined the Communist Party in 1966 but left it in1968 already as a protest against the Warsaw Pact Invasion of Czechoslovakia, which then led to his youngest daughter’s inability to study at a nursing school. In 1984 he was one of the people taken hostage in a hijacked bus that headed towards the state border in Strážný and then to West Germany. At the time of the interview recording (2020) he lived in the nursing home U Hvízdala in České Budějovice and pursued his hobbies.