Eduard Císař

* 1928

  • “Then I felt the urge to... And there was this friend who went with me. And there was this small grove. A big one – I said a small grove but it was quite big in fact – so we headed towards it... and we answered this call of nature there. And at that moment, planes started passing over us, Soviet planes. So we just kept looking at them. Just watching them pass. I didn't know how long we stayed there, we were trying to get some rest. We stayed there pretending so this SA-man wouldn't see us doing nothing. But we didn't know what was going to happen. As the planes showed up, all of a sudden we heard this noise: there was a shout and click. You can't imagine such a thing – as there was this anti-air battery hidden in that grove. There wasn't just a single gun, there were maybe ten of them. And as they got this order, they all started firing. That was just horrible. We sprung up, put our trousers on and started to run. But meanwhile, as we were – we spent quite some time there – Russian started firing over the hill, and the shells started hitting more the vicinity of the airport. We were telling ourselves: 'Oh they are such morons, we finished making it just yesterday and they are already blowing it up.” We were joking, you know. But then, shells began to fall in front of our trenches and after that even inside the trenches. So it wasn't so much fun. So every time there was this whizz – and be sure there was – we would lie down in the trenches.”

  • “We came to the train station and there was this whole train, as there were thousands of us who were sent to dig the trenches. So there was this whole train full of trench diggers. So we got on the train, and as it was being organized by the so-called Board of Trustees for the Education of Youth (Kuratorium pro výchovu mládeže) – Czechs who had been wearing green shirts and black trousers, I think. And they wore swastikas, red swastikas. And members of this ogranisation had been addressing themselves as 'fellows' (kamarádi). So we had to address everyone like that, even those superiors of ours. And as they were bidding us farewell – I don't know whether there were more of them with us on the train – as the train started to move, they formed a line on the platform and gave the Nazi salute and we started... someone shouted: 'There's no chance for them to win the war with people like us!' And we... everyone on the train began to roar: 'There's no chance for them to win the war with us!' As we knew that they couldn't j just ump on the train – those who were giving the Nazi salute and so on.”

  • “I don't know much about my mother, as in fact I don't remember much. As she died from sepsis in 1934 in the General Hospital in Karlovo Square (Karlovo náměstí). She got pregnant and had an abortion, and she got sepsis and died.”

  • Full recordings
  • 1

    Praha, 19.11.2019

    duration: 01:40:39
    media recorded in project Stories of the 20th Century TV
  • 2

    Praha, 02.06.2020

    duration: 01:17:27
    media recorded in project Stories of the 20th Century TV
Full recordings are available only for logged users.

We found ourselves in the front line with Russians right in front of us

Marriage of Eduard and Stanislava Císař; January 21st 1950
Marriage of Eduard and Stanislava Císař; January 21st 1950
photo: Archiv pamětníka

Eduard Císař was born on July 19th 1928 in Beringen, Belgium. His parents, both of Czech nationality and natives of Kladno, moved to Beringen when his father found a job there as a miner. In 1934, the family moved back to Czechoslovakia, and Eduard Císař began to attend primary school in Prague (Praha). In 1945, as a sixteen-year-old, he was ‘totally deployed’ and had been sent to dig trenches. From February to April, he had been living in Velká Bystřice near the city of Olomouc, building fortifications around Svatý Kopeček, in April, the young men had been sent to Zábřeh near Dolní enešov in Hlučínsko, where heavy fighting was going on between the Red Army and the retreating forces of Wehrmacht. Eduard found himself in the front line. During an air raid on April 15th he managed to escape and got to Prague on his own on May 12th 1945. After the war, he completed his apprenticeship as a turner in Jawa Enterprise and later he had been working as a researcher in traffic and transportation. At the same time, he did social dancing, winning the national championships in 1959 and 1960 with his wife, Stanislava Císařová.