Bohumil Hajný

* 1925

  • "Myself, I welcomed the Soviets, I'm still a communist. I didn't like the [reform] politics, I was ready to get out [of the Communist Party], so when they came, I admit it, it came in handy to me. I was the only one, I had to convince people, they were scolding me. And I said, don't swear, no no no, these are our friends. When they objected that [the Russians] were occupying us, I said that it was true that they had come here without invitation, but for political reasons it was impossible to do otherwise. The interesting thing was that the Soviets didn´t make a tent camp anywhere else but only here in Milešov in a meadow, and they all thought that I had invited them here. I was sitting alone at the table in the pub, everyone sat aside. The soldiers were here until the autumn, so they helped some people, but they broke something for others, so there were troubles. One morning a captain came, his name was Maraiev, he came in a GAZ car. He said that they were supposed to camp there, he didn't ask if they could, no, but he said that there was nice grass there, that they didn't want to destroy it, that if we gave them scythes they would cut it and load it onto a wagon. I had a bottle of rum there, I had a snack, bread spread with lard, so I offered it to him. Then he sent the driver home, we drank half a bottle of rum, and later girls went to get beer. I put him behind me on the motorbike and drove him around the village. The pub was crowded, half of the hall, windows open, and they saw Hajný riding with a Russian soldier. I came for a beer in the evening, so four young guys asked me to go out, asking me what I was thinking. And I told them that they didn't remember how we had waited for them [Russians] in 1945, so they should leave me alone, that I wouldn't talk to them them."

  • "All Germans were here, we lived with them. The kitchen used to be here, the bedroom was here, and in the attic there was a small room, and I lived there with my partner, and our parents here, the Germans lived in the hallway. The housewife stayed here, he [her husband] was captured in Russia. They had three children. The oldest was twelve, the boy was ten, and I've forgotten what was the little girl´s name, she was seven. In July we came here and somehow at the end of August members of the National Security Corps (SNB) came, first the new chairman of the National Committee came with an interpreter and told them that their property had been confiscated. Here he read it to them in the kitchen. Of course they started crying that they hadn't done anything. It was touching. When the expulsion was to take place, on the eve of the deportation, the SNB men, policemen, came and told them to get ready, that in the morning wagons would come, that local people who had horses would take them to Lovosice for deportation. There were a lot of Germans here, so-called national guests. They were escaping from the Polish border area, arriving in wagons. They were chased out at once, I remember they were walking in a procession. But here it was the case that many [Germans] stayed here and people had to stay with them until the second expulsion. Those who could do something and were workers and worked in the farmhouse, they were here until the next spring. There were about fifteen families left. My mother was born in Teplice, in the Sudetenland, so she knew German perfectly, so that was an advantage. So she was speaking to them. I don't like to talk about it, because somehow I didn't like it very much. They said straight away that they weren't to be blamed for anything, but I don't know how they had behaved here. So I didn't talk to them, I was quiet. I hitched up the oxen in the morning and went out to harrow."

  • "All of a sudden sirene wailing started to signal the air raid, they were always signalling for people to prepare, that they were over German territory, the so-called pre-alarm. Now they started to signal the alarm straight away, and we could hear them [airplanes] flying and rumbling. The lights were turned off that time, the electricity went off, it was dark. Planes started flying and dropping little parachutes with lights. The raid started, they lit it [the city] up. We were already about 50 meters from their quarters, the Germans had concrete bunkers there for the railway station staff to have somewhere to hide. They said it was for two people. It was a concrete egg, about two meters high, 1.2 metres in diameter, half of it in the ground. There was a sixty-by-sixty [centimetres] concrete door. There was nobody there when we got to it, so I said we'll hide in there. Suddenly two Germans came and called out that it was only for two, that they wouldn't let us in. They were two railway men. I was young, I didn't ask them anything, and I pushed Katya in there, she nearly rolled in there bottom first, and I got in there too. They [railway men] got in there too, and they were swearing. Four of us squeezed in there, and during the second raid, a girl joined us and we ran there out of the camp and five of us squeezed in there. Next to it had been a heating house, it was flattened. There had been two locomotives there, they were damaged. The bombs were falling not far from us, about ten metres away. It took about 20 minutes or half an hour. When we came out, everything was on fire, the whole station. They were throwing phosphorus bombs, they were burning easily. The rails were bent up high, I said maybe the rails had been on fire too. After about an hour the sirenes were wailing again, Katya said we'll go to the bunker again. That took about half an hour too, and they were bombing the Main Station and a bit of Neustadt, New Town. That was about two o'clock a.m., in short, it was after midnight."

  • Full recordings
  • 1

    Milešov, 18.09.2021

    duration: 01:34:46
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
  • 2

    Milešov, 21.09.2021

    duration: 01:01:31
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He survived the Allied air raids on Dresden, then welcomed Russian soldiers in 1968

Bohumil Hajný at the army in Stara Boleslav, 1948
Bohumil Hajný at the army in Stara Boleslav, 1948
photo: Witness´s archive

Bohumil Hajný was born in the village of Klapý in the Litoměřice region. He had seven siblings, his parents worked in agriculture at Libochovice manor. Before starting school, his family moved to Radovesice near Libochovice, where Bohumil Hajný’s father came from. Witness started his apprenticeship at the glassworks in Libochovice, which was controlled by Siemens Glas. In 1942, he was selected, along with other apprentices, to work a sister glassworks in Dresden. There he made friends with Russians who had been taken there to forced labour and met his future wife, Katarina Jakovlevna Osadča, who came from Ukraine. In the spring of 1945, he experienced the bombing of Dresden. After the air raids finished, with his Ukrainian girlfriend he escaped to Bohemia. They went by foot - first to relatives in Dubí and then to Radovesice to his parents. He tried to legalize his girlfriend’s stay in the territory of the Protectorate, but failed, so she spent the last weeks of the war in Czechoslovakia illegally. After the war, Bohumil Hajný’s family settled on the farm left by the Germans in Milešov in Litoměřice. There he also experienced collectivization. His father was a communist and Bohumil has been one up to now. In the 1950s he became the head of the Milešov cooperative farm of the Lovosice State Farm. In 1968 he was welcoming Soviet soldiers during the occupation on 21 August, for which he was condemned by the inhabitants of Milešov. He and his wife Katarina had four children, two of whom died. He continued working on agricultural managerial positions until his retirement in 1985. In September 2021, he was living in his house in Milešov.