Vlastimil Dostál

* 1929  

  • "The school was good, although it made me angry that it turned out to be the Protectorate, because shortly after we started, we stopped learning world geography and there was a big map of the Gross Deutsches Reich. We learned 'Horst-Wessel-Lied', 'Deutschland, Deutschland', that was fine. They established that eight hours of German were taught in a week. German was annoying because we didn't like Germans because adults cursed at Germans, so it was unpopular. Like after the war, when Russian was forcedly taught, maybe it was worse during the war. And we had a dedicated class in Solnice, where only German was taught. It was decorated with slogans and verses. We were going to that class for those two lessons and sometimes there was an inspection - a school inspector. I remember that a school inspector, a German accompanied by our inspector, came there, and he came to the class and raised his hand, 'Heil Hitler!' We had to get up, we didn't have to salute. However, there were already benches for the first year of the town school and not for the bigger pupils, like the fourth year of the town school. It was small. And the one student got up slowly, because it was difficult to stand up from the small bench, so he got up slowly. The German inspector got angry, he took it as an insult, as if he was not listening, and he came to him and slapped him. So, we respected the Germans undoubtedly. That was such an unpleasant thing."

  • "It wasn't such a bad service, except that... And I even got paid 1,500 crowns per month for it, except for the salary, so it wasn't that bad. Except that a political training was done and it got to me. Because as a platoon leader, I had to do the training myself. But they did it in such a way that the commanders of all the platoons went to the training a week in advance to the Political commissar of the unit. And he handed us notebooks - I remember it was a talk about agriculture from Slánský. Well, I don't understand agriculture, none of us did. And now he was lecturing there, we were supposed to take notes and then lecture it to our platoon. The training was twice a week for two hours. Two hours to talk about what I don't understand, I didn't like, I couldn't do it. And moreover, I was very depressed by the fact that I am a carpenter, I have no education, I only have a basic education and I have to train high school and university students myself, because there were no ordinary people serving at PTP (The Auxiliary Technical Battalions)."

  • "At this intersection there were the ones who armed themselves, the our ones. And now it happened that a company of German soldiers really went from Pohora on that forest road. However, Širůček was not there, there was another commander of the group, and when the soldiers came closer, he stopped them and told them the same thing: 'It is the end of the war, hand over your weapons!' But the commander of the company said: 'I will not give anything to the civilians, we will not capitulate to the civilians. The army has to come! ‘So, he was not successful, but one of our guys shot from the forest. Some even say it was a shotgun. I do not know. And he shot at the company. A soldier from the end of the company separated from them, jumped on the meadow, lay down on it and shot in the direction from which the shot came. As he shot, more shots came from the forest again from the armed men, our soldiers - civilians, who started shooting at the Germans. He saw that they were shooting at him and a stream flowed there, so he lay down in the stream and continued shooting. The commander ordered the march and the company left and they left him there. Now there was a shooting, and someone from the forest threw a grenade at him. They said the grenade exploded about half a meter away from him. But it exploded on the shore and he lay in a stream. And because the grenade explodes on the surface, the fragments fan out - because it was fan-shaped, nothing happened to him."

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    Liberec ED, 31.07.2020

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He was fifteen and the death was walking around him in the war

Vlastimil Dostál, 1944
Vlastimil Dostál, 1944
photo: archive of the witness

Vlastimil Dostál was born on June 22, 1929 in the village Úsobrno in the Boskovice region. His father was a postman and his mother took care of the household and seven siblings. After leaving the primary school, the witness passed the entrance exams to the real secondary grammar school in Jevíčko, which, however, was closed in 1941 and the building was taken over by the local organization Hitlerjugend. Vlastimil Dostál then went to his uncle for two years to the village of Hroška near Dobruška, where he completed a tailor school in nearby Solnice. He was to continue to study with his uncle as a tailor and then take over the entire trade after him. However, he did not want that and returned to his parents in Úsobrno and went to study joinery. At the end of the war, a witness had to start the forced labor to dig anti-tank trenches. In Úsobrno during the May Uprising of 1945, the locals disarmed a unit of German soldiers. However, the attempt to take over more weapons ended in a shootout in which two locals died. From the war, many unexploded ammunitions also remained in the vicinity of the village, which the locals, including the witness’s family, used to mine stumps in the surrounding forests. For the military service, the witness first enlisted in Pilsen, but was later transferred to the Auxiliary Technical Battalions (PTP) and worked at the mine in Karviná. He still doesn’t know why he ended up at PTP. After completing his military service, he lived in Benátky nad Jizerou and worked as a joiner. However, after a while he left his profession and even with his wife and two daughters they moved to Liberec, where he got a job at Pozemní stavby.