Alois Bouda

* 1932  

  • “On the next day I almost got into trouble. I went to demonstrate on Banskobytrická Street. It is the street near the Presidential Palace, leading around the garden towards the Government Office. We marched that way and shouted slogans like: Dubček, Svoboda, that´s our freedom! That of course, could not change anything, although, as thinking about it now, it really made no sense. Well, and I demonstrated. As we were walking, suddenly there appeared four or five kneeling soldiers with Kalashnikov rifles pointing at us. I heard shooting and quickly ran into the closest door. I wasn´t alone, there were many of us. However, at once a man rushed in and screamed: ʻRun upstairs, because they are coming and shooting into the hallways!ʼ We were running upstairs and as there was a glass wall next to the stairway, all of a sudden it rattled and three bullets perforated the wall next to me. One soldier was shooting from a side road on the stairway. I don´t know what happened later as on the next day we got on a car and ran away.”

  • “We were living at the 1st May Square and I remember like today that on October 28, or around this date, a minibus came and we travelled to Spain to a concert tour with a band, and with the Tradicionál club. My wife was looking out of the window and shouting to us: ʻTake care!ʼ.ʻDon´t worry, we will. And maybe when we come back it will be free here already!ʼ I answered. I remember the beauty, we had a concert in the conservatory hall in Bilbao, when our Bolshevik government headed with Adamec resigned. During the break, I had such a small short-wave radio with me and I listened to it down in the dressing room. When I found out the news, I ran out and as the second half of the concert was about to begin, I wrote an English note about resigning of the communist government and read it aloud: And from now on, Czechoslovakia is a free country. And a huge applause followed.”

  • “In November or beginning of December in 1944 I was almost twelve years old; I went to school and I was looking forward to it. But at half past nine we had to go home already – there was an air raid warning. We were running home, when I suddenly heard a terrible bang and it threw me maybe even five meters away. A bomb. And that exploded about three hundred meters away from me. If you ever saw those war films, where the bombings are illustrated, that sound is completely opposite. When the whistle is aimed down, it is behind you already. That´s how whistle bombshells, which fly over your head and explode. It was indeed such hissing sound and a horrible bang. One of the bombshells fell also into our yard. If I had walked app. ten meters higher, we wouldn´t be sitting and speaking here today as I would be dead. We were hidden in a cellar, we had sand sacks all around the cellar window, although, it would not help. I even took a picture of the hole in our yard the bomb had made.”

  • “I lived at the 1st May Square, in a house on the left side from the hotel Tatra, on the second floor. I was looking out of the window, when I saw a helicopter flying around, and at about half past eleven p.m., suddenly, there were communists and tanks. What was going on? Well, they were taking over our country. So, we didn´t sleep that night, and on the next morning I participated in a demonstration near the University (ed. note: Comenius University). I was only about ten meters away from that Danka, who got shot down.” Interviewer: “Can you describe me the situation, what happened there?” “You know, there were so terribly many people, Russian tanks. And the people acted foolishly. You cannot use shovels against tanks. They provoked the soldiers, what didn´t make sense at all. I guess people do not think in such situation and they act according to their emotions and not common sense, thus it had to end up like this. They dragged out Russians from such an off-road vehicle or jeep and pushed this vehicle into the Danube. I was there back then as well and people kept throwing stones at soldiers. One of them missed and smacked the rock right into my head. I remember there was also a waiter who poured gasoline on some cloth and tried to throw it under the tank to put it on fire. Finally, it ended up by a Russian soldier shooting and killing a girl named Danka. She even has a plaque at that place.”

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    Bratislava, 10.09.2015

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    media recorded in project Stories of the 20th century
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During the communism people didn´t live, they only endured

1955-00-00-32 Alois.JPG (historic)
Alois Bouda
photo: Dobové foto: archív Boudu, súčasné: Anna Jacková

Alois Bouda was born on December 14, 1932 in Litovel, his father worked as a teacher and his mother was a housewife. After the war, his family moved to Rýmařov and Alois began to study at the Secondary School of Textile, Weaving and Sericulture in Brno. Yet as a small boy he liked to play piano and when being a teenager he founded a music band. After the coup in 1948 he had to become a member of the Czechoslovak Youth Union and attend its long meetings. Only a year later he was dismissed from this union, because he played a provoking song at one of the meetings. After such rebellion he was not allowed to continue in his studies. For three years he worked in a former silk weaving Flemmich and sons company. Meanwhile he continued playing with his band and in 1956 he was accepted to study piano accompaniment at the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava.  He didn´t finish his studies since he started to receive professional job offers. He played in the Orchestra of Siloš Pohanka, wrote a composition Zemeguľa (Globe), which became a hit. In 1960 he co-founded a radio big band in Bratislava and at the same year he also got married. As a direct participant he experienced demonstration against the invasion of the Warsaw Pact troops in Bratislava. In 1973 he joined the band Nový Tradicionál (New Traditional), with which he travelled all around most of the European countries. During the Velvet Revolution he was on a concert tour in Spain with a T&R Band, where he found out about the fall of the communist regime. After returning home he continued playing in a radio big band until its disbandment in 1993. In 1994 he worked in the Slovak Television evening show Večer Milana Markoviča, a year later this format was rearranged to the Czech Television under a name Na šikmej ploche (On a sloping roof), where he stayed until 1999. In years 2002 and 2003 the TV show Večer Milana Markoviča was restored in the Slovak Television. Nowadays he lives with his wife in Bratislava and plays in a downtown café on Laurinská Street.