Private First Class (ret.) Vojtěch Cimbolinec

* 1915  †︎ 2020

  • “I even went to see the Hitler’s bunker, it was in Obersalzberg. I spent the nights with Americans and I was eating in the mess hall. We spent about two weeks there and we were collecting things, because Germans had taken away our teaching materials from grammar schools. There were many things, there was a lathe, a drill, there were all sorts of things, and so we brought it in. Germans had everything in order. Imagine, everything was written there. I went to bring the last drill from the forest. There was a factory where they were cutting planks of wood and processing the rest.”

  • “I rushed to him and asked: ‘Captain, will you take me with you to the army?’ He answered: ‘Kharasho, kharasho.’ (Fine, fine – transl.’s note) They thus took me with them, and from my home I had… I had a lot of walnuts in my suitcase and a hundred cigarettes. Imagine, a hundred cigarettes. We were cracking the nuts as we went. We even had hay for the horses. Then I walked to Syvlyush. Syvlyush was even further away. And so this way we went.”

  • “What happened next: he crossed out Hofeminec and he wrote Cimbolinec Vojta instead. And so I was born… The draft got delayed because of me. That was because those of us who were born in 1915 registered for draft in the national administration office and we said that we were war children: ‘You are weak children, and so you will be drafted in the third draft altogether.’ It was not to be the second draft. The third draft and that was it. I registered myself in the administration office and I received a card confirming that I registered in the regular term. That was possible. Boys went to the regular draft and I did not get called.”

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    Mělník, 15.12.2016

    duration: 02:33:41
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
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We are not Ukrainians

Vojtěch Cimbolinec, 1945
Vojtěch Cimbolinec, 1945
photo: archiv Vojtěcha Cimbolince

Vojtěch Cimbolinec was born October 13, 1915 in the village Berehovo in Carpathian Ruthenia in the then Austria-Hungary. He grew up without his father who had been killed on the Italian front during WWI, and he was thus raised only by his mother and by other family members. Vojtěch attended elementary school and then he continued at an advanced school and on October 1, 1938 he was mobilized into the Czechoslovak Army. He served as a messenger in the motorized troop in Prešov. On March 15, 1939, Hungary took over Carpathian Ruthenia and Vojtěch planned to escape to the Soviet Union. However, the escape attempt failed and he thus continued working in a shop in Berehovo. In 1943 he was drafted to the Hungarian army, and he served in the motorized troop in Košice, and after the liberation of Carpathian Ruthenia by the Red Army he joined the 1st Czechoslovak army corps on November 23, 1944. With the 1st Czechoslovak army corps he took part in the fights for liberation at the Czechoslovak territory as a driver in the motorized battalion. After the war he continued serving in the army and he was bringing back the original Czechoslovak property from Austria and Germany. After leaving the army he married and he was employed as a bus driver in Děčín and Prague. At present he lives in Mělník