Bohumil Hrabák

* 1925  

  • “I asked, ‘Rudla, what and how?’ And he says, ‘You must obey, you are young, you can’t do anything about it.’ And he says, ‘You will have on you a thousand American cigarettes, one kilo of English soap and a mattress…’ And I say, ‘What? A mattress?’ ‘Well, you sleep on a mattress, don’t you?’ ‘Yes, I do.’ ‘So you take it’. Do you know what effort it takes to take out a mattress and to take it to bins in your pockets?”

  • “Naturally not everybody wanted to join, this is clear. We were not surprised, we were farmers, so we understood. My fathers would not have liked to join the cooperative straightaway. But slowly, gradually we managed. You know, there were some things that were really weird. We at the Agricultural Department were not liked. Once they pierced the tires of our motorbikes and similar things. But let me put it in this way: I always did my job in a human way.”

  • “It was two o’clock p.m., I remember the date since I was telling guys that it was our first anniversary on forced labour. At two suddenly there was this strange noise and a hundred of fifty American bombers. In front of them a plan that dropped the smoke bomb on the factory, Hydrawerk – Hermann Göring Werke. It used to manufacture petrol of coal and other stuff. So we watched – the plane dropped the smoke bomb and the others followed… You thought it was the end of the world. The bomb fell as close as five hundred metres from us. What was even worse was the anti-aircraft artillery, since the Záluží plant was very important for the war machine. They shot like crazy from all sides.”

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    Praha, 12.05.2016

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Loners did not want to join cooperatives

IMG_20160919_0002(0).jpg (historic)
Bohumil Hrabák
photo: Dobová:archiv pamětníka, současná: Eye Direct

Bohumil Hrabák was born on June 29, 1925, in Ouběnice, district of Příbram. His father František Hrabák was a small farmer and his mother Alžběta was a glover. He trained as a tailor and from March 17, 1943 he was on forced labour with Hübscher Nürnberg, based at Kopitz bei Brücks, where he worked as a labourer mending the roads. It was here that he witnessed the raid at Göring Werke and on April 28, 1944, he fled Kopitz. Until October 1944 he hid in the forests around the Vltava and then, until the end of the war, at home. After the war he worked as a tailor, glover and as a miner in Mníšek pod Brdy. From 1947 to 1949 he stayed in the military service and then, in 1950, he trained as a livestock specialist. In 1950 to 1960 he worked as an agricultural clerk in Dobříš and it was in this position that he took part in the collectivisation process in the region. In 1960 he was the chief livestock specialist in Třebotov cooperative near Prague, From 1961 to 1975 he was again at the agricultural department, this time in Příbram. In 1975 he served as the chairman of the Hluboš cooperative for a year and from 1976 to his retirement in 1985 he was the HR manager at Tochovice farm.