JUDr. Miroslav Hegenbart

* 1927  †︎ 2021

  • "My top task at the end of the Prague Uprising was when I was lying in the backyard, on the sand in the sun, and a man came up to us and said if any of us didn't want to blow up a German tank. There were seven of us, eight of us, and we were all just watching. It was ashamed, so I said I'd go. I went with two gendarmes and I went to blow up the tank. Fortunately, suddenly during that walking, a guy, a Russian, probably a Vlasovec (a Russian Liberation Army soldier), grabbed me and took my Panzerfaust. He escaped with a weapon from two gendarmes, and I watched him with great love, with great enthusiasm. I was terribly scared. I couldn't shoot with it. Honestly, it seemed more like I'd shoot myself. One gendarme in front of me, the other behind me. That looked pretty scary. It was no fun. If I came to that tank that would defend itself, who knows how it would end. I probably wouldn't be sitting here today."

  • "It was also the first time I came across a nationality issue. The people were extremely decent, but as soon as we started talking about Germany, it was the homeland. That couldn't be compared. Czechoslovakia was against them for nothing. You couldn't talk to them about it. It was better to leave this topic out of the discussion, because they really were already back then, and I also realized that, even though I was a kid, that they aimed to make that part of the borderland their homeland."

  • "The war was terrible. The end of the war was terrible. It was a demonstration of how bad people can be. It´s unbelievable. I realized several times that it could not be stopped. It will sweep more and more along, and the sensible ones are the minority. Victories and the ends are a terrible thing. One does not like it."

  • Full recordings
  • 1

    Praha, 04.05.2021

    (audio)
    duration: 01:33:12
    media recorded in project Stories of the 20th Century TV
  • 2

    Praha 3, 31.05.2021

    (audio)
    duration: 01:26:37
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
  • 3

    Praha 3, 04.06.2021

    (audio)
    duration: 22:31
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
Full recordings are available only for logged users.

The Germans hung upside down in Národní třída

A portrait pf Miroslav Hegenbart in 1955
A portrait pf Miroslav Hegenbart in 1955
photo: archive of the witness

Miroslav Hegenbart was born on March 12, 1927 in the mining village of Libušín near Kladno. His father Karel Hegenbart decided to try his luck as a businessman in Prague, and in 1930 the family moved to the capital city. In the food giant BRAVO, he managed to get from the lowest position to the position of director thanks to his diligence. The family settled in Žižkov, where they also experienced the beginning of the Second World War. Miroslav Hegenbart, as a secondary grammar school student called to the Luftschutz (Anti-Aircraft Protection), performed tasks in the center of Prague during the May Uprising. A year after the war, he was admitted to the Faculty of Law of Charles University. He first worked as a lawyer in Prague 7, where he gained his first experience in construction industry on the project of the monumental Stalin Memorial in Letná. In 1955 he joined the State Committee for Construction. In the 1970s, he created his life’s work - Building Act No. 50/1976 Sb. After 1989, he co-founded the Association of Entrepreneurs in the Construction Industry and was an adviser to Prime Minister Marián Čalfa. In 2013, he was awarded the title of Figure in Construction in the Senate of the Czech Republic. Miroslav Hegenbart died on 26th October 2021.