Radovan Dražan

* 1923

  • „And they´d take one after another into the admission office. Jemelka went first. As he came out, so he´s telling me, I don’t know, how he said it: ‚Watch out and rise quickly after shooting.‘ I did not know, what´s there. So I went. They wrote it down, took a photograph and when it was finished I stood up. He [an SS man] had an equipment and when he pushed it, the prisoner got shot, a nail or a pricker or whatnot, simply a spike pinched him in buttocks.“

  • „When the Germans came, this František Prokopec was the first, who simply came over to them. I don’t know if he had to file a request or make an agreement, but he rather made a deal with gestapo in Hradec to aryanizate the Jewish shop. Gestapo men came then. I was just an apprentice so out of it. They agreed and made him so called Treuhänderem, it was a German function, a kind of a Jewish middle man between Jews and [Germans]. Mr Prokopec, what he did, was he banned the boss any entry into the shop even with the blinds closed, when no one could see inside. Those were iron blinds creating shop windows. He would not let him in in the evenings, oh no, even changed the locks and all. It was changing and gestapo would often stop by.“

  • „There was a luxury surgery – dental as well as operating rooms and all. When a new delegation came, for example from the Red Cross or Vatican, they´d always show them. But only a few people got there and mostly they´d not come back as the SS men, who used the surgery, were making experiments. There was this ´totenkamera´ (Totenkammer meaning a morgue in German, editor´s note.), where docent Bláha, who owned Bulovka with Opočenský, so they were doing autopsies. For example a prisoner, who had a nice tattoo at his back, so they pulled the skin out and gave it to SS men. Prisoners would make a lamp or trousers of it. Or someone had golden teeth, so they´d pull them our and put them into little boxes.“

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    Dobruška, 01.01.2014

    duration: 07:24:58
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
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When they did wrong things in the concentration camps, they were killed.

Radovan Dražan was born on September 18, 1923 in Dobruška. He apprenticed in the textile trade, with a local tradesman. After the arrival of German occupants he tried to escape and join the foreign Czechoslovak units. But, in early 1941, on the border of Austria and Yugoslavia he was discovered and permanently held by customs officials. During a trial in Graz he was sentenced to work in a Dachau concentration camp, where he was interned until the end of the world war. During American air raids in 1944 he was heavily injured. Due to intercession of an acquaintance he was saved from being killed by Nazi officers in charge of shooting the wounded. After returning home he became the national administrator of the Ledeč family shop. In 1948 he was fired and had to find a different job.