Antonín Drong

* 1925  

  • "Second Lieutenant Pirszel and me with the soldiers ran to the tunnels, looking at what was going on. A steam locomotive came quietly, the soldiers stood by Mr. Pirszel and I was next to them, and he said: 'Fire, why don't you fire?' They had a heavy machine gun with water-cooled barrel, they were just setting it up in the garden. And the couple of soldiers next to me fired at the locomotive. It was just a moment and the locomotive was gone."

  • "I was riding a freight train, I don't know from where, and there was a Czech armed railway guard in Dluhonice near Přerov, checking the car I was in. They came and took everything from me. And I must have been out of my mind - I had this little pistol, I don't even know where I got it. I was hiding it. They go: 'Undress, unpack everything!' And the Czechs found it. A rail car came from Přerov and took me to Přerov, I had to lie on the floor in the car and a guardsman with a rifle guarded me, ready to fire."

  • "Three soldiers, three rifle shots, and it was the soldiers who guarded it there, the Polish soldiers who were retreating; suddenly you could hear the bullets. It was a good three hundred and fifty meters away from me, and the bullets whizzed and soldiers ran quick. It was quiet for a moment, and suddennly someone blew a whistle - what is that? Then the whistling stopped and a group of Polish soldiers ran past, some two hundred meters away from me, and the bullets from the German machine gun just kept whizzing."

  • "There were crowds of people, and I was looking. I had a few medals. 2nd class cross, a ribbon for close combat. I had to put them on and people looked at me, and I thought: 'This was the biggest humiliation in my life.'"

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    Ropice ve Slezsku, 24.01.2012

    (audio)
    duration: 04:40:17
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
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I experienced the battle for the tunnels in the Jablunkov Pass

Antonín Drong in the Wehrmacht uniform
Antonín Drong in the Wehrmacht uniform
photo: Antonín Drong

Mr. Antonín Drong was born on February 21, 1925 in Mosty u Jablunkova as one of the seven siblings, to the family of a freight train brakeman. He joined the Sokol while at primary school. He is a direct witness of the Jablunkov incident caused by German paramilitary troops between the 25th and 26th of August 1939, as well as the Wehrmacht’s battle for the railway tunnels at the beginning of World War 2. During the German occupation, he was forced to join the Hitlerjugend, and his family was made to declare their Silesian nationality. From August 1940 to December 1941, Drong worked as a forced labourer in the Jizerské Mountains. When he returned, he briefly worked with the Reichsbahn. On May 19th he was ordered to join the Reichsarbeitsdienst in Opole. Having completed the service, he was drafted to the Wehrmacht to the 110th training and deployment battalion in Gliwice. He was transferred to the eastern front in January 1944. He fell sick with severe tonsillitis, and frostbite. In June 1944, he was promoted to the lance corporal. When the Soviets recaptured Minsk, he was transferred to the Kampfgruppe Hein of the 20th tank division. He operated a 42 mm machine gun in that unit. He was in Teplice during the German surrender of May 8, 1945. He hid at a farm in Sebuzín for some time; but was eventually captured by armed railway guards in Dluhonice near Přerov. Following a humiliating march through Přerov, he was imprisoned. With the help of his fathers intervention, he was release soon after. When he passed the “test”, writing the name of the Bukovec community correctly in German, Polish, and Czech, he was allowed to return home. Antonín Drong worked on the railway until retirement and played in many brass bands around the Těšín area.