Bedřich Hájek

* 1920  †︎ 2014

  • "They killed all the Germans that were there. Just two or three remained and they managed to get home. Then the German soldiers came and there was gunfire from every window."

  • “For instance, partisans needed some explosives, and a relative of one of us owned an ironmonger’s business. He had a warehouse with such explosives. It was called Dynamon. We thought: ´It would be fine if we could give these to the partisans.´ But this relative said: ´I don’t want to be involved in any of this. Make it seem as if you robbed that warehouse.´ So we did. We took a cart, took the explosives, loaded it onto the cart, and carried it through the market square which was full of Germans and soldiers. We brought it to a wine shop where it stayed for a day or two and then it was handed over to the partisans.”

  • “I precisely remember the place where I was in Prostějov on March 15, 1939 when the Germans invaded us and declared the Protectorate. I can still see these Germans on their motorcycles. Snow was falling and it was raining. The weather was terrible, and they were passing through the town. I remember I stepped out of our house and there were German airplanes circling above the town. There was a large military airport in Prostějov and they wanted to seize it in time.”

  • “This was being prepared perhaps one month ahead, getting ahold of these weapons was worth it. That German’s name was Marschner, his wife was Jewish. But she had already been detained. He did side with the Germans and he was doing some office work, a German bureaucrat. He had access to this German house where the weapons were. Had it not been for him, this would have hardly been possible. He got the keys for us and told us: ´They come there at this and this time, and they go to sleep. Meaning there is one or two hours when you can do it, and if you are smart, you will be able to get it.´ We arranged a truck and at night we arrived to this German house. How many of us were there? About ten of us. We agreed what each of us would do, we unlocked the door, snuck in, and began carrying the stuff out from the house and loading it into the truck. We left and the Germans were still unaware of it. Only in the morning did they find out that they had no weapons there. What uproar there was in the house! And this German was shot for it. He was a Volkssturm commander. He was shot for having failed to patrol and watch the house properly. For the Germans this was a great shame. They were completely stunned by it, and they knew that after this it was over for them. They were expected to support the army during their retreat - like making hindrances - and now they were no longer able to do it.”

  • “During the raids which followed after Heydrich’s assassination, the Germans were checking every flat one by one to see if they would find some weapons there. I remember a German standing by our chest of drawers and thrusting his hands into the clothes to check if something was hidden there. My dad had owned a browning. He had had a legal gun permit for it, and when the raids started and we knew they would be doing house checks, I took the gun - my dad was no longer alive at that time - and I hid it in a pile of coal in the basement. It remained there and one of daddy’s friends, who was a member of this resistance group, knew about this gun. One day he sent his daughter to ask me: ´Daddy knows that you have a gun at home. Partisans would like to have it.´ So I went and got it out from the coal pile. And I told her: ´I will bring it there to them.´ I did and since that time I became a member of that partisan group.”

  • “But when we arrived to the railway station, they crossed out ´Vienna,´ which had been written there and wrote ´Wuppertal´ instead. I thought: ´I’m not going there, there is bombing going on there.´ I let the transport depart and somebody advised me: ´Smoke a cigarette soaked in vinegar.´ So I did. I turned pale, I felt terribly sick. I went to see a doctor. He became appalled and asked me: ´What have you been doing? You were saying good-bye to so many people?´ Thus I was officially recognized as unfit for traveling. So I stayed at home over Christmas and then on January 9 I received the envelope again, and inside it said: ´Should you fail to report, you will be summoned.´ I did not dare to avoid it anymore, so this time I went. They boarded us into a passenger train and we went to Dresden.”

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    Uničov, 15.12.2009

    (audio)
    duration: 02:36:52
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
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We all lived in our homes. We only met if some action was planned. I think we controlled the town of Prostějov.

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Bedřich Hájek

Bedřich Hájek was born August 2nd, 1920 in Prostějov. In 1942, he was sent to complete forced labour in Germany. He was assigned to work in Dresden. At first, he learned to operate a lathe. Since he was proficient in languages, he became a foreman, and later, he worked as a clerk in the camp in Gittersee. In January 1944, following his mother’s death, he was released from the camp and returned to Prostějov where he joined the resistance. He became a member of the local partisan group in Prostějov. He stole the weapons from the local Volkssturm with this group at the end of the war, and because of this, Prostějov was then liberated without a single shot fired. As a partisan, after the war, he became a member of the local national committee where he worked in the cultural section. Shortly after that, he moved from Prostějov to Uničov, where he lives today. He graduated from the University of Business in Prague, and after that, he worked in the machinery works in Uničov where he remained till his retirement.