Karel Franta

* 1928  †︎ 2017

  • „When I looked out of the coach window at the Masaryk Railway Station, someone standing nearby told us to leave the coaches and go to the shelter. And something was telling me not to do so, and I just stood there not moving and the train started to move in a few moments. There was a lazaret train standing at the seventh and eighth rail and suddenly people in pyjamas began to jump out of it. And whoever had at least one leg would jump into our train. A man with a suitcase came into our compartment and put it in an aisle and told me where to lie in case of shooting, that he´s got experience with that kind of situations. He spoke Czech. So he put the suitcase there and we got the Karlín bridge. And I could see the street from my window, where our guys were also shooting at our carriage and someone shouted not to shoot, that we were Czechs in there.“

  • Full recordings
  • 1

    Praha, 11.03.2015

    duration: 02:46:42
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
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When they need me, they know, where to find me

Karel Franta as a boy
Karel Franta as a boy
photo: archiv pamětníka

Karel Franta was born on May 1, 1928 in Libčice near Prague. He comes from a working-class environment. Later his father worked as a musician in several local bands. Also the witness was a fine musician playing trombone, and after finishing basic school the family was considering his studies at the conservatory. Karel Franta also painted since his childhood and therefore decided for a field of graphic draftsman for the Melantrich publishing house. After finishing the studies he remained in the publishing. In 1947 he founded a new magazine Haló, a part of a Sunday papers, which evolved into the future Květy. In 1949 he decided to add to his arts education and was admitted to the Academy of Fine Arts, which he finished in 1954. During his studies he still kept contact with former colleagues from Melantrich, so after graduating from the obligatory military service in 1956 he began to cooperate as a drawer in various magazines based on the contacts from Melantrich. Later he worked as an illustrator of children and comic books. In 1986 he was awarded Grand Prix UNICEF at the OSN and is also enlisted at the honorary list in the International association for children books.