Miroslav Hrubý

* 1928

  • “During that they arrested four of us and a few days later three more from Polánky. They were people whom I had never known. And they made a court with us in Pankrác. They simply made a court without me knowing them, the people. Well, if I should recount what the detention awaiting trial looked like, so it is a memory a bit sad, here. There… how a man was suffering, what they were doing with him… I was there seven months. I didn´t get out at all… naturally the hunger and all the beating to the feet and mainly the knee-bands. Knee-bands, they impaired me most, because you had to do it, for the seven months maybe ten thousand knee-bands you had to do. ´Speak, speak!´ If not, then knee-bands, knee-bands and then followed… the man collapsed. And then there was the dark cell when you were not answering. They were simply questioning there day and night, it was at night, yes. To the dark cell they led me and there I was many days. Even during the first Christmas I was there in 1951. They gave me a salty meal before that. I was thirsty, nothing else, there was a toilet in the corner with footrests, and I had to drink, I simply had to drink from it because I couldn´t stand it. They called only if I wanted to speak, this speak and so on and back again. So it continued like that and mainly they wanted to know from me if my father knew about my activity. And I was so hard with this clearly that if I was supposed to say I don´t know what, so to this I always replied that he didn´t know about it. He didn’t know, it was the truth that he didn´t know. Then you had to lie there, hands like this, they put lights on you, they woke you up at night, they didn´t give you any food and called to questionings. They called mainly at night. The suffering there was great. It must be lived through, it is impossible to retail in any way, because nobody would believe it who didn´t experience it this way. I was never out during those seven months. The other friends, I saw them through the window, they were marching outside already, because I was kept there mainly to say ´father´, they pushed there mainly on my father.”

  • “At work, in the building sites, we didn’t fill norms. Again with a Michalec, I remember him very well, the name. He was a jovial Moravian and we were good friends together. And mostly we didn´t fulfil the norms. Now we didn´t fulfil the norms, and who didn´t fulfil the norm, he had to go to correction. On Sunday, or when there was a holiday… It was an Easter… there were, I don´t know, two or three days off, so they called immediately. And Michalec told me: ´Listen, Míra, if they call us that we haven’t filled the norm and put us to the cage… we will simply resist. It is not our fault and we are not going there.´ This was all in Bytíz, we were taken to Bytíz, it was after the strike held in Vojna. And yes. They called at first: ´Michalec is to come to the headquarters.´ I said: ´Aha, in a while I am going to go.´ Before that we agreed that we would resist with all our might. Michalec, he went there. Well. Half an hour later… some time later… they called me: ´Hrubý Miroslav. To headquarters.´ So I went there and I was so hard, I simply told myself that we had said we wouldn´t go voluntarily. So I said: ´No, I am not going anywhere, let me be, I haven´t done anything. If I filled the norm or not, it is not my fault.´ And he said: ´So quickly. Come on quickly.´ Well, I started to defend myself. I started to punch around myself, with my hand like this. Well, there came five of them there, they appeared from all directions suddenly, they beat me up, gave me irons and led me. So I… they didn´t take them off for whole three days, I was there for whole three days like that, yes. If you had something inside of you, or anything, all was the same so. They came first after three days, took them off and prolonged it to me for fourteen days. And this Michalec was next door. In the next door cell and he shouted there: ´You bastards, Americans will come, they will hang you, you are torturing a friend there!´ They prolonged it to him then for about a week too. And so you lived there like this, well.” (47:29)

  • “So it came to the trial. The trial looked as follows: When they were leading me, so at one side they took me into the room and there a man introduced himself to me and said: ´I am your adversary counsel.´ I had never seen him in my life, I had never spoken to him before. And the dialogue lasted for five minutes and he said: ´You have learnt the protocols, you must reply to each question, so you will give the replies you have learnt in Hradec. If not, if you reply in any other way, you will receive a death penalty which is proposed to you. The death penalty has been proposed to you, you must be aware of this.´ So I said goodbye to him in this way and I went to the trial. We were of course drugged before the trial, they had medicaments there and everything. We were doped already in Hradec in the investigator´s office. It was such a theatre. It was… simply the trial, it was the biggest theatre performance there can be, such a phoney that nobody could ever understand it. There was simply a question, a reply and you replied and told yourself in the end: ´Well, so I shall tell them something else than I signed in the protocols and they would hang me.´ It was on the first day, and so I was going back to the cell, to that Černohauz. He embraced me and told me: ´Mate, you are saved, it will come up anyway.´ I told him: ´Boy, one more day. It will last for one more day.´ It lasted two days, the trial. So, when I came back for the second time, the next day. And at the trial, at that phoney, there, yes. You simply didn´t know who you were, you were a zany, you became a zany there, you were no normal man any more. Who was standing, none of them were normal there.”

  • “Well, I… when I in Pankrác then… We did there… all was class-divided, well. There was a floor, where… at first they wanted to execute me there and then I worked there. It was I think in 1960, yes… in Prague… after the first amnesty, when I was not honoured. And before the second amnesty in 1962. So transmigration started there, because there was… on one floor there were class enemies, traders and so on and farmers and downstairs there were again the thieves and various those… And suddenly before that, a week before that, it came to a transmigration and I was to take my belongings and was to be moved. So they put me among them, yes… among these thieves and so. And so I told myself, this is not normal… what is going to happen here. When the amnesty in 1962 came, they released me on 11th May. They put us somewhere to a cellar and drove us away. I was going down the stairs and my knee somehow twisted and they had to ride me… The nerves were working there somehow or something like that. So I denied, when I went to see the doctor, if I was healthy when they were releasing us. I was so scared that they would keep me there still… for treatment. So I said that I was healthy even though I was limping and I couldn´t stand on the leg, on the knee. Then they drove us around the whole Prague, discharged us. I came home and I sat down on a bench and I cried there for about half an hour, because it was such a change, yes. At home again, when you lay down to the grass, it was a nice weather. And you couldn´t understand how, you told yourself: ´How beautiful the world is, from where have I just come.´ And everything was beautiful, simply lovely, as if you were in heaven or somewhere. But anyway, this all, the beauty, lasted for some months before it wore off again.”

  • “So, when I got then already from the ´Sing Sing´, as we called it, to the common cells, where we were up to fifty. Naturally it was terrible when there was just one toilet in the corner and there were 60 people in one cell and little food and everything and the norms there and so on. And such buggering that they searched one even if he was coming from the workshop, not to allow him to smuggle anything. So it was lucky that after some time… I don´t know, after about two months… so suddenly they called people to examinations, me too. And so I was pleased that I was healthy, that they were sending me to Jáchymov. Because a man going from one environment is pleased that he would come to another society, that there would be freedom, that he would feel better there and so on. But in this one was mistaken, one was always mistaken there about such things. So we went through the headquarters and they put me to the camp Vojna. Camp Vojna in Příbram. Well, but over Jáchymov, in Jáchymov there was the headquarters and from there they drove us to the Příbram region, to the camp Vojna. So it started there. Straight away they assigned me to go down to the mines and gave me a number. Friends welcomed me there, like… there was everything, political prisoners were there all more than ten years. Well, so I was going down there. If I had to recount the stories, also from the shaft, from the mine. We with the carts… we had to fill about fourteen carts and take them to the cage. Now everywhere the horror, it was collapsing there, flowing, dripping, rails were bad. On purpose they gave us leaking Wellingtons, some old ones, torn. All that on purpose… shovels small, old, that it was impossible to… I remember when I was once driving a cart and now it came off the rails and I couldn´t, I was weak, I couldn´t put it back on the rails. So one of the breakers, I had to call him to help mi with it. He swore at me that we wouldn´t fill the norm. Because there was a norm in the mines… about sixteen holes we had to bore and leave. And the civil workers blasted it off and on the next day it had to be cleared out. Thus throw it into the carts and drive to the shaft. If this was not fulfilled by the squad, the three people, or two, according to conditions, so everybody had to… Outside, when we were going up, we were standing there for an hour or so, sometimes two. And now they read, let´s say about hundred people came up. And they read about 20 that they didn´t fulfil the cycle and they had to go back. So we had to go back and stay there for the whole next shift, the whole next eight hours, they gave work to people that they had to do it. And now the people were weak, they were hungry.”

  • “My name is Miroslav Hrubý, I was born on 24th February 1928. I come from an agricultural family. My father was a farmer, he had a quite hard life because after our youth came occupation, German, and my father was arrested. He was imprisoned in the Gestapo in Hradec Králové. He got away luckily, he returned luckily and then another occupation came again – the communist occupation. My father, still before the communists came to power, was a member of the Czech National Socialist Party and he was quite a high functionary. He was in contact with for example Dr. Hubert Ripka who was a minister in our government at that time, before the occupation… I think he was the minister of… now I can´t remember… national trade or something like that. And they had regular meetings in Hradec Králové. Then my father became a confidant where he acted also for the National Socialist Party in Hradec Králové. And then at one meeting I remember that my father said to Ripka at the meeting, he told him: ´Brother Ripka, don´t forget that the situation in the village is such… and I know it well because I move among normally, average people… that everyone is sure that it would come to a communist plot in our country.´ After which brother Ripka replied to him: ´Brother Hrubý, our democracy is so strong and solid that it cannot come to anything like that.´ And then, when it was coming to the February plot, my father was sent as a delegate of the National Socialist Party to Eduard Beneš, he was not allowed in, of course, but he was there as a delegate. And Dr. Hubert Ripka was just saying goodbye to him there and he told him: ´Brother Hrubý, you were right. It came to a plot, you were right and we underestimated this.”

  • “And I don´t know when this happened, in which year… in 1954 probably, when I sent home the black letter. They caught it. So Duba called me and said: ´So what, have you ever sent a black letter?´ I said: ´No. I have never come to such an idea.´ And so he was quiet about it and he only showed it to me so, the letter. Well, so I said of course: ´I have.´ Well, you know, when you have it in front of you, you have to admit it, the thing. So he said: ´We don´t want to know anything, just with whom you sent it. Nothing else.´ I said: ´Naturally with a civil.´ ´What was his name, where did he work and so on?´ I said: ´Well, Mr. commander, I don´t know him.´ If he put me down or not, I didn´t know at that time. And so he said: ´Well, all right, if you don´t know, so go to the bunker.´ So they took me to the bunker. Bunker, it was a concrete underground, half of it was such a… it was low, you couldn´t stand up there. But this happened just still when I was going down to the mines, the event I am recounting now. We came from… from the shift… and I was called to headquarters. And I had a cold at that time, I had a terrible cold, I had flu or something like that. And then this happened that they called me to headquarters and put me to the bunker. And the bunker simply… once in four days they looked in there and they brought there a little coffee and a piece of dark bread. It is interesting, I asked doctors there about it, that during some days in the cold… it was cold there, it was late in autumn when they put me there… without a blanket, anything, just in my coat. I was curled like this, the common prisoner coat I put over my head like this and I breathed, just with my own breath. I couldn´t fall asleep, I told myself that if I fell asleep, I wouldn’t wake up again due to the cold. This lasted for fourteen days and the doctors then told me that the body gives to its own defence… such an instinct it has that such illnesses pass over then at this stage when one is in life threat. It really passed over. I was just cold all the time, yes, it was normal, I had to walk and run like this. Once in four days they took me to the commander and he always asked me: ´So what? Have you remembered already with whom you sent it?´ ´I don´t know, with a civil. I don´t know him, no.´ ´So go back to the bunker.´ He didn´t talk to me. And so I spent there about fourteen days, I was lying on the floor, quite shaken, and in fourteen days I couldn´t any more, so they led me out.”

  • Full recordings
  • 1

    v Bělči u Hradce Králové, 21.08.2008

    duration: 01:10:43
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
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The suffering there was great. It must be lived through, it is impossible to retail in any way

hruby miroslav.jpg (historic)
Miroslav Hrubý
photo: Blanka Jedličková

Miroslav Hrubý was born on 24th February 1928. He is a political prisoner coming from Běleč near Hradec Králové. His father Jaroslav was arrested for cover-up of a transmitter during the World War II. Their family had good relations with the family of Milada Horáková. In 1951 Miroslav was arrested as a member of an anti-state group. Because of his writings against communism on walls and fences he was sentenced to fifteen years prison for “high treason”. He was imprisoned in Pankrác, Valdice, Jáchymov, in the camp Vojna... He didn’t get home with the first amnesty in 1960 which was conditioned by the agreement of the City Council. He was set free on 11th May 1962. Today he lives in Hradec Králové.