Vlasta Černá

* 1933  

  • "Four kilometers from Horní Štěpánov, it was already the Reich. There was a SS-garrison there. We were all pretty worried. In the Štěpánov area, a partisan group operated because there are forests all around. I don't know exactly how it had happened. In short, fire was exchanged between the partisans and the SS. And when the partisans won, they began celebrating in a pub. The SS-men came over, and there was yet another shoot-out. Many of the Germans were shot dead. They were very vicious then. Two boys came to that pub. One was Czech, the other one from a mixed family - mother German and father Czech. The partisans kept them in the pub because they feared that if they returned home, they would tell on them. But then the German woman started marching across the village declaring that if they don't return the children, she would have the whole village shot. The Germans took about ten young boys captive, had them stand in a row, planning to shoot them dead. But the partisans found out and eventually released the two boys."

  • “He ran away. He managed to get back to the village where he had served as a chaplain. Since he knew me from the Latin class, he knew that I would not tell anybody, and he asked me for some hiding place. I was then securing hiding places for them. One hiding place did not last longer than a month, because we were afraid that somebody would discover it, that people would notice me going somewhere I had not been going before on regular basis. These things were very dangerous. It lasted from April until September, nearly half a year. Then we received a warning that StB policemen were after us. We agreed that we would probably have to escape. There was one student from the Technical University in Brno who was involved in it as well.”

  • "In between Horní Štěpánov and Úsobrno, there are hills or cliffs on both sides of the road, which is very narrow there. The Germans decided to build barricades at that place. Russian captives worked there. Three of them managed to escape and got to Horní Štěpánov; unfortunately to the German woman's family. They begged for something to eat. The German asked them where were they from and they told her they ran away from that trench-digging. She was frying eggs for them and giving them various treats. Meanwhile, she sent her son who was as old as I was, to ride the bike to Brodek, and to alarm the SS-men. Since she was keeping them long, one of the guys became suspicious and left. He was the only one who survived. Because the SS-men came over, arrested the two Russians and took them to a forest. Only after the war did we find out about what they did in that forest. A gamekeeper who observed what the Germans did to those poor boys, told us then."

  • “Not suspecting anything we came to the border. The man led us to the border and told us to be careful. It was near the Dyje (Thaya) River. He told us that a sentry will pass by, and as soon as they pass, we were to walk to the river quietly, and there would be a boat prepared and we would use it to get to the other side, and our friends from Austria would be waiting there. It was just like he told us. The guards really passed by. There were two soldiers. I still remember their rifles with bayonets When they passed we decided that we could now go. We slowly walked to the river. But as soon as we came there, they started shooting and there were signal flares and a lot of confusion. In the chaos I dived into some reeds, there were some bushes there, and I hid myself there. As the flares were illuminating the riverbank, I saw that they arrested my two companions and they were handcuffing them and taking them away. I didn’t know what to do in this situation. Then I said to myself that if I remained in hiding, I didn’t know where I was and where to go anyway, and even if I had somehow managed to get home, they would arrest me anyway, because they would know that there were three of us and the third person was nowhere to be seen, and they would keep looking for me. I decided to step out of the bushes, but they began shooting. I really don’t know how I have survived this. Later, when I was thinking about it in the prison, they probably thought that I was some saboteur, and they started shooting. But nothing happened at all! I walked out. When they saw that I was a woman, they jumped at me and handcuffed me as well, and off I went.”

  • "They went for that German woman and her two sons. She also had a sixteen-year-old daughter. All of them had to go to the forest and with their bare hands, dig out the corpses. They were still in a good state because first, they were killed just before the end of the war, and second, it was humid in the moss. The bodies were fully preserved. The gamekeeper said that he saw all of it. He was in the forest when it was taking place but once he saw what was happening, he hid in the bushes. He described the whole scene in detail. They had pins under their nails and bore signs of horrible torture. Once the German family dug them out, my daddy as a joiner created coffins for them. They put those coffins on a carriage, harnessing that German woman, her sons and daughter. All had to push that carriage all the way to our village near the church, where the dead bodies were put on display. The worst thing was the anger of the people when they found out what had happened. One of the dead ones had a letter for his family on him, another one a picture of a guardian angel. On the way between Brodek and Štěpánov, the Germans got such a beating. People had ropes, twigs and canes, beating them all the way towards that church. Even the children."

  • "I have to say that they did not beat me during my whole time there. Only during one interrogation, they left open the door to the adjacent room, and there was some man sitting on a chair. I would say he was slightly over forty years old. He was interrogated by two investigators, and the comrade Grebeníček (Alois Grebeníček, auth.’s note) was also present there, but he was only watching it. They were beating the man so brutally that he fainted and fell from the chair to the floor, and as he was lying on the floor, one of the interrogators grabbed a bucket with water and doused him with water and they were shaking with him, and at the moment the door was closed. Therefore I don’t know what happened next, whether they had beaten him to death or if he came to himself. I don’t know this.”

  • Full recordings
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    Brno, 13.05.2014

    (audio)
    duration: 01:04:48
    media recorded in project The Stories of Our Neigbours
  • 2

    Brno, Eye Direct, 02.11.2017

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    duration: 01:43:26
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It was a cruel time, especially for a young person full of ideas

Vlasta Černá
Vlasta Černá
photo: Příběhy našich sousedů

Vlasta Černá, born Vlasta Přikrylová, was born January 19, 1933 in Horní Štěpánov in the northern part of Drahanská Highland. When she was only seventeen years old, she was helping to hide the unjustly imprisoned priest Felix Maria Davídek, who managed to escape after his arrest. Together, with the priest and one fellow student, they attempted to cross the border from South Moravia to Austria in September 1950, but the man who was guiding them to the border was actually working for the StB Security Police as part of the operation Kameny (“Stones”) and he led the group directly to the Border Guards. Vlasta, who was not even eighteen years old, thus became imprisoned, and she spent one year of her life in various prisons. Even in spite of the opposition from the authorities, she later managed to graduate from the university, majoring in psychiatry. She now lives in Brno.