“What happened was that Russian soldiers (in Neveklov) committed some offence. They either raped a woman there or they stole some larger property and when the political officer learnt about it, he ordered the private who had done it: ‘Come with me.’ He went with him behind a barn and we heard a shot and Neveklov had the first Red Army soldier fallen in combat with Germans. There was one more Russian man who paid the same price. Since that time, Neveklov thus had two fallen Red Army soldiers. Some people… these old grannies who take care of the cemetery, they were taking care of their graves, and maybe they still continue to do so, even today.”
“(You mentioned Josef Topol, the poet, who studied at the grammar school. Could you remember something about him, do you have any recollection about him?) He was a peculiar guy, who did not like to listen to the bullshit we had to listen to there. He often engaged in some philosophical discussions with Šturc, for example, and he was deeply interested in religion because he came from a religious family here in Poříčí nad Sázavou. His mother served as a sacristan, I think. He was thus a deeply religious believer. Otherwise he was a cool guy, but he was absolutely unrelenting. When some communists who were among the teachers… like professor Jenčovský, were telling some nonsense, Josef spoke up immediately. He was thus marked negatively by the teachers. But among us, friends, he was regarded well. He was simply a very stubborn guy. He then decided to go study philosophy. I don’t know precisely what, and all these stupid teachers were telling him that he would never be able to earn a living and that he would end up badly. But then, later, when Topol’s plays began to be staged in the National Theatre, one day he invited us there, including those teachers, and all these teachers apologized to him.”
“We were even able to hire a moving truck from the company Holan from Prague. It was a moving company. We loaded our furniture and stuff onto it. But we had to surrender all livestock, cows, oxen – oxen were still used at that time - the small animals, sheep, goats, pigs. All this had to be surrendered. There was a threat of death penalty and it was prohibited to take anything from the livestock or to slaughter a pig for ourselves. Of course, our parents did it, we slaughtered one pig and we hid the meat inside the furniture on that moving truck. It was simply done so that we would have something to eat at the beginning.”
One needs to know foreign languages, one cannot do without it
Vladimír Březina was born April 24, 1935 in Prague. He grew up in Neveklov where his family owned a farm. However, an army training ground for SS units was established in the Neveklov area during WWII. Vladimír attended the local elementary school only until 1943, and the family then had to leave Neveklov and move to Vráž. Here he witnessed the passage of the Vlasov army soldiers in 1945 who were on their way to liberate Prague. When the family returned to their farm in Neveklov, Vladimír’s father briefly worked there as an independent farmer after the war, and a so-called machinery cooperative was established in the village. After 1948 it was taken over by communists and Vladimír’s parents were forced to join the unified agricultural cooperative. Vladimír completed his studies at the grammar school in Benešov, where Josef Topol, who was to become a well-known poet, was among his class mates. Vladimír enrolled in the Institute of Chemical Technology in Pardubice. After graduation he received a job placement to work in the glassworks in Dolní Rychnov near Sokolov. In 1959 Vladimír married Jaroslava Vychytilová and they subsequently moved to Sázava near Benešov. Vladimír worked there in various positions in the glassworks Kavalier until his retirement in 1995. Although he was being persuaded, he never joined the Communist Party. In 2017 he lives as a retiree in his apartment in Sázava.