Sometimes I feel as if it was God who sent me into the mines
MUDr. Hugo Engelhart was born on 13 March 1926 in Olomouc into a mixed German-Czech family. Both his parents were dentists, his father came from Děčín and his mother from Roudnice nad Labem. Hugo had a brother, Jiří, one year younger than himself. In 1937 he enrolled at the Czech grammar school in Roudnice nad Labem, later switching to the German grammar school in Děčín. During the war he and his brother gradually became more and more active in the anti-Nazi resistance movement around Děčín, which was organised by Eduard Turek from Czechoslovak Labe Shipping. In March 1944 Hugo Engelhart was drafted into the Wehrmacht. At first he fought in the Ardennes, then he was transferred to Hungary, where he was injured in the leg in March 1945. He was taken for treatment to a hospital in Vienna and did not return to the front. After the war he joined the Czech National Socialist Party (CNSP). He completed secondary school in 1946 and began studying at the Faculty of Medicine of Charles University in Prague. He became a member of the CNSP Academics’ Club. He graduated in 1951 and returned to Děčín District to practice medicine. In 1952 he joined the anti-Communist group of Ing. Laibl. The group was betrayed, and Hugo Engelhart was arrested on 22 April 1955. His seditious activity basically consisted of listening to foreign radio broadcasts and monitoring the opinions of people. Even so, after four months of investigation in Litoměřice, Hugo Engelhart was sentenced to 16 years of prison and the loss of citizenship rights for ten years in a show trial. He spent over a year in Prison No. IV in Bartolomějská Street in Prague, where he served as a doctor. He was then transferred to Rtyně in the foothills of the Krkonoše Mountains, where he worked in a mine. His function was that of a prison doctor. As a devout Catholic, he helped organised secret celebrations of Holy Mass in Rtyně. After some two years he was assigned to the maternity ward in Pankrác and then back to Bartolomějská Street. He was released after five years of internment thanks to the amnesty in May 1960. He worked as a general practitioner in Děčín District - Verneřice, where he served for more than 31 years. In 1968 he co-founded the Děčín branch of K 231. After the fall of Communism he joined the activities of the Confederation of Political Prisoners; he is the long-serving chairman of the Confederation’s Děčín branch. In 2010 he was awarded the title of Knight of the Czech Medical Chamber.