Josef Červenka

* 1932

  • "My friend was there. I went to the compulsory military service after the industrial school, I worked in Zbrojovka for a while before that, my friend Jaroš Buráň was there, he didn't do anything, he just destroyed the machine gun parts that the control threw away. I don't know why they arrested him. When they arrested him, I was already in the compulsory military service and then I found out that he got a heavy sentence and was working in Jáchymov. Then he came back, I think I was in town with him twice, his wife died. He couldn't get work anymore and worked in Havřice in the forge, even though he was a great specialist."

  • "It was completely useless that the troops invaded here, because nobody went against socialism at that time. People just wanted things to get better, because we were really in a concentration camp here, the whole border surrounded by wires, where could we go? Our money was not exchangeable, it was only valid here. It's true that we used to get vouchers from the works council for a hundred crowns and we would go to Hungary, or to the GDR, to Warsaw, to Częstochowa. When we were in Hungary, where they had good things, we wanted to buy something. We had the money exchanged, but we needed a little more, so we went to the exchange office and they asked us for the certificate, we only had a voucher for a hundred crowns and they couldn't exchange more. The West Germans, the English, came there, took out the money and they exchanged any amount, so unfortunately socialism wasn't worth much."

  • "On 28 April, when the artillery fire could already be heard and people were afraid, she (my mother) remembered that when they were leaving the church, the girls told her: 'Don't stay at home, come to the Hlaďák's cellar,' which was an inn and a dance hall. So, my mother eventually took a boiled egg and bread, and we went out of the gate and went up, and there were about twenty German soldiers standing there. They didn't do anything to us, we walked past and went into the cellar, it was already full of people. We were praying all the time, everybody was scared. On the 29th of April, we heard terrible shooting, it was already infantry guns, horror, people were wailing and we were praying more and more. It lasted until the afternoon, until about 5 p.m., then it stopped. The Germans had already gone to Maršov and were chasing them, so we went out. Everybody hugged the Russians and brought them plum brandy, home-made spirits, everybody had a shot, but they didn't want it, they took the whole bottle and passed the bottle around. Two shot German soldiers were lying near Děták’s, then our men buried them in a rock, there was a hollow there, they are still resting there."

  • Full recordings
  • 1

    Uherský Brod, 23.08.2022

    duration: 01:34:11
    media recorded in project Stories of the region - Central Moravia
Full recordings are available only for logged users.

War is always bad, wherever it is

Josef Červenka during the recording for the Memory of Nations, Uherský Brod, 23 August 2022
Josef Červenka during the recording for the Memory of Nations, Uherský Brod, 23 August 2022
photo: Paměť národa

Josef Červenka was born on 6 January 1932 in Těšov (Uherský Brod district) to his parents Dominik Červenka and Maria Červenková, née Buchtová. He was the eldest of three children. His father worked as a labourer, his mother worked under farmers in their fields and took care of the family farm. His father was drafted as part of the general mobilisation in 1938, and Josef started to attend the school in the same year. He experienced the air raids at the end of the war and the liberation of Těšov. After the school in Uherský Brod, he studied at the industrial school in Vsetín and graduated with a maturita exam. During the collectivization the family lost their fields and had to join the unified agricultural cooperative (JZD), where his mother then worked. In 1951 he went to the compulsory military service. First he graduated from the officer’s school in České Budějovice, then he served in Aš and Františkovy Lázně. In 1957 he married Marie Varaďová and they had two children. After returning from the service, he worked in Slovácké strojírny, in 1965 he moved to the Vojenský opravárenský podnik in Uherský Brod, where he worked until his retirement. In Uherský Brod he experienced the arrival of tanks in 1968 and the Velvet Revolution. In 2022, at the time of recording, he lived in Uherský Brod.