“… we, or our bus, went past the back of the prison where they had two scaffolds ,Annie‘ and ,Frannie‘ and they had the coffins there. And because we took our hats off the guard that was on the bus with us began to take the machinegun out like he was going to shoot us. And on Monday I found out that those were the officers from the ‘Žatec group’ …“
“… for example in the camp number 12, they couldn’t properly count the prisoners, because numbers higher than five and counting in general were a bother for them. And because they couldn’t count the prisoners properly, the chief guard came out, folded his hands like Lenin and said: ‘You think that we are stupid and that we don’t know that you know but we know!’ And of course we started to laugh, yes, and the consequence was that we had to stand for four hours, since the line up which was at four o’clock we stood there for four hours, then we had to march in the mud and go to the night shift without diner. It meant nothing to them…”
“We came to the central camp labeled C and there, the commander of the camp greeted us with a speech that he prefers ten murderers to one political prisoner and that for us it is a point of no return. We were taken out of the bus and put to the correction. Correction is a prison inside a prison, there you got only bread, brown water and food once in a three days.”
“We all had to gather for a political schooling and the agitator said that he was looking forward to march trough Washington as a soldier of the occupation armies and somebody in the back shouted: ‘There would be enough things to steal!’ And the schooling was over and again we stood there for several hours. … It was interesting that the idiot told it to the prisoners. Somebody told him that on their political schooling and he thought that we would be amazed that he would march through Washington. He didn’t realize that he would have to live to see it…”
“A police officer told me to get my hair cut. So I went to the barber and I overlooked one of the guards was sitting there being shaved. I asked them whether they knew who confirmed that the earth was round. They said they didn’t know and I told them it was the Czechs. And somebody said: ‘Why the Czechs?’ And I said: ‘Because they gave a shit about the West and the shit came from the East.“ “So this was why you were beaten?” “Yes I was beaten for that.” “And I suppose that it was before you were nabbed for the incident with Milada Horáková?” “Yes. There was a German doctor. When I was in the correction for two days, my legs got swollen and I wanted a doctor and he came and said ‘Cold wasser’. And that was it.”
“I had a laugh when I met a guy in 1951 who told me that he got ten years for revealing a ‘state secret’. He had the fiftieth birthday and because he played harmonica they took him to a pub to celebrate that and they drank some alcohol and he told me that when they asked him to play a song before the end of the party and he played ‘Merry go the goose around we have Prague the beautiful town and we have Marta with her gigantic behind’ – everybody knew that Prague is a wonderful town, and it was no secret that Gottwald’s wife had a gigantic behind. But the comrades were offended that someone ridiculed their supermodel so they forced him to sign some papers about the revelation of state secret. And he got ten years.”
I am convinced that democracy must be protected It is vulnerable, because it is dependent on mutual agreement While in totalitarian regimes, it is enough when somebody gives an order and the others do not dare to oppose
Vladimír Chlupáč was born on 16th April 1930 in Jindřichův Hradec. Both his parents were state employees. His father was a chief police officer, his mother was a teacher. His father twice refused to enter the Communist party, first in 1945, then in 1948. After his second refusal he was dismissed from the service. He died in 1988 without being properly rehabilitated.
Vladimír Chlupáč grew up in Strmilov, Kunžak a Jindřichův Hradec. After the war, he finished a two year business school. He wanted to continue his studies at the Forestry school but he wasn’t allowed. During his studies in Tábor, he established an anti-regime group with his fellow students; they disagreed with dismissal of certain teachers and tried to obtain a radio transmitter. Most probably, the group was already watched by the police at that time. Finally they were turned in by Stanislav Buďa, a soldier from Jindřichův Hradec, and all seven members of the group were arrested in March 1949 by the state police, interrogated at the Pankrác prison in Prague and had a trial at the State Court in Prague.
Vladimír Chlupáč was sentenced to three years in prison, other three got milder sentences and three were cleared of the accusations. Vladimír Chlupáč was imprisoned in various labor camps in the Jáchymov area, for example Eliáš, Rovnost, Mariánská, Svatopluk and others. Together with the other political prisoners, he had to work in the miserable conditions in the uranium mines.
In 1950, Milada Horáková was executed after a politically trumped-up trial. Vladimír Chlupáč denounced this act publicly, saying that it was “a murder and those who executed her will be hanging at the gallows.” He was turned in and sentenced again to seven more years in prison, which added up to 10 years together with the original sentence. Then he was imprisoned in Pankrác, Mořina, camp 12 in Horní Slavkov, camp Svatopluk and Vojna in Příbram region.
He was released in 1958 with the general pardon of the president of the republic Novotný, which shortened his sentence only with half a year. Presently, he lives in Litoměřice where he helped to establish a local branch of the Confederation of Political prisoners. Since 2006 he has become its chairman.
Vladimir Chlupáč died on July 9, 2015 in the morning.