Přemysl Burian

* 1950

  • "I still remember - it's my own memory - when my dad and I went to visit his parents in Old Prosek. As we were walking, an old man was walking towards us. My dad said, 'Václav, is that you?' He replied, 'Áda, don't stop with me unless you want to end up like I did. I've been under constant surveillance.' It was Václav Smrž who had just come back from prison. It was sometime in the sixties, I don't remember exactly. I know I went with my father and he then told me about him."

  • "After the assassination there were a lot of arrests and it must have been terrible in Petschek Palace. So my grandfather and Mr. Václav Smrž decided, or at least started considering quite actively, trying to find a few determined people, getting some grenades left from the assassination, and attacking Petschek's Palace. I guess this is not widely known but it's true. When they discussed it with Gabčík afterwards, he rejected it resolutely because it would be just another hard blow and a lot of people might pay for it, and anyway they would need the grenades for other things later."

  • "My grandpa had just arrived and Václav Smrž put [the grenade] in my grandpa's pocket to bury it somewhere, hide it in the bowling alley, just put it somewhere. What happened was that my grandfather had the grenade in his coat pocket as went to the Sokol gym, which was quite close, just two hundred and fifty or three hundred metres away. There was a cordon of SS men in Prosek Square doing body searches. My grandfather was incredibly lucky, and I think we all were, since they just checked his ID but didn't do a body search. If they had found an assault grenade on him, I guess it'd be really bad."

  • "When we ran around Prosek playing with the boys, we once met a man walking proudly wearing a PS VB armband (the Auxiliary Guard of the police). We looked at him with such admiration because of the armband and everything. He said, 'Do you want to be PS VB too?' Being the silly boys we were, we went like, 'Yeah, yeah, yeah.' Prosek was still more of a village then. 'Okay, so if you see somebody cutting grass that's not theirs, or taking something away, come and tell me.' I came home and proudly told my dad that I was going to be PS VB and what we were supposed to do. Dad gave me this look; I thought he was going to punch me. Then he restrained himself and said it's not nice to denounce someone like that, supporting a cause that's not right."

  • Full recordings
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    Praha, 01.03.2023

    duration: 01:38:32
    media recorded in project Stories of the 20th Century TV
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Grandpa was incredibly lucky

Přemysl Burian, 2023
Přemysl Burian, 2023
photo: Post Bellum

Přemysl Burian was born in Prague-Prosek on 19 April 1950 and spent his entire life in the city quarter. He came from a Sokol family. His father Adolf Burian and grandfather Jan Nový took part in the WWII resistance movement. Jan Nový provided shelter to Jozef Gabčík and others in a bowling alley near the Sokol playground in Prosek. He met Jozef Gabčík and Jan Kubiš personally. During the Heydrichiad, he plotted an attack on the Petschek Palace with Václav Smrž. For the rest of the war, he would hide the paratroopers’ belongings in the bowling alley. Přemysl Burian graduated from the Secondary Technical School of Communication Technology in Panská Street in Prague. In August 1969, he took part in mass anti-occupation protests. He lived in Prague in 2023.