Julie Hrušková

* 1928  †︎ 2017

  • "Everyone in that factory knew that my, because I did say really nasty things about the Communists, so everyone knew that my father worked at the borders. There was a boy there, they locked him up, interrogated him for two weeks, he was a co-worker of mine from the factory. They released him two weeks later, and he came to work and said: 'I'm going to Šumava [Böhmerwald], I've got an uncle there and I've got to get out of here. And if I don't manage it through Šumava, will you take me across?' And I said: 'Yes, I will.' He came back from Šumava some three days later and said: 'It's not possible there, it's too well guarded.' So we agreed that I would go home and they would follow me. I told them: 'But I'll only take you across if you take me with you. I'll go abroad and I'll fight Communism.' I imagined there'd be an army forming, crazy girl that I was, and simply put I imagined I'd come back home with that army."

  • "I wanted to go to the doctor in the morning, so they took me to him. The doctor checked me and said: 'You're starting to abort, to the maternity ward with you right now, to stop it.' And they left me three days in my cell, the StB-men [Státní bezpečnost: State Security - transl.]! Everyone who was sitting there, they remember, it was terrible, they were all shouting that a person's dying here, because I felt really awful, I just sat on the toilet and it was pouring out of me... Well, and they switched every three days, they had a different section commander on duty, commanding the shift. We called him Oldie, he was an old prison warden back from the First Republic I think, anyway, and he called Pekař and the StB-men. They said they didn't have any time, so he took me on his own responsibility and got me to the maternity ward. That was in the night, as the shifts changed at six in the evening. So he [the doctor] checked me and said: 'The boy can't be saved.' It would've been a son. They pulled it out and that was that. They did a curettage. I woke up afterwards, I'd fainted right out when they told me it couldn't be saved. I was exhausted, I'd lost a lot of blood actually. And I woke up, they'd taken me from the operating room, and a nurse was shouting at someone: 'You're not allowed there!' And he said: 'We've got an StB suspect here, and I have to guard her. You have to put her in a private room, and I'm going to sit by her bed!' And I must say the doctor behaved very well, because he said: 'She's not going anywhere. We don't have any private rooms for you. And what on earth do you do to those people that you bring them to us at death's door?! That woman would've been dead in another hour! She'll be put in a room with other women, and you'll guard outside the door. She'll be in the first floor, and I can tell you she won't be jumping out of the window!' "

  • "I was dragging his suitcase. We were coming to Urfahr, in the Russian zone - as it was divided by the Danube - and while I was still in the tram... something was telling me: Get out! I always have my [intuition]. But Franta said: 'No, we're going right to the terminus.' So we arrived at the terminus, and the bus was surrounded by policemen with sub-machine guns. One of the policemen got on board: 'Ausweises.' I told the others: 'Boys, you go first.' And they got through! He showed his Ausweis, and he said: 'Weiter.' He showed his Ausweis amongst all those people, the whole bus-full, he got out with them. They moved away a bit and I got out, I showed my Ausweis, he took it, looked at it, the name on it was Julie Hruschka, and he said: 'Warten Sie!' So I sat down, well, and I couldn't get rid of the suitcase in any way. The last to go was Liba, she didn't have an Ausweis. They searched the whole bus and took us to the police. Those were normal policemen, Austrian ones. They started to write a report, they took the suitcase to open it, as I didn't have the keys to it, Franta had them, Vošický I mean, and we waited for some officer or what. Well, and he opened the suitcase and when he saw the plans, he said: 'This is espionage, send them to the Russian commando.' "

  • "I told the StB-men that I had been in Matador Cottage at the Brno Reservoir. I didn't tell them the bit about Slovakia, Trenčín, at all, I only admitted to have visited Bratislava for the First of May, and apart from that that I'd been waiting for the boys to finish their tasks. And I've never seen that cottage, to this day." (Q: "In other words they wanted to know when you crossed the borders back into Czechoslovakia, where you went and who you met?") "Yes." (Q: "And you didn't tell them anything the whole time?") "No. I lied like a rug." (Q: "And you held out right until the report was complete?") "I didn't. I was three months pregnant through that Frank of mine. And they arrested a boy from the neighbouring village who'd heard of me and was trying to use me as an excuse, saying he'd fallen in love with me at a do that I hadn't even been at, and that he'd followed me to Austria. And that I'd been forming a network of spies and that he'd fallen in love with me. So they interrogated me the whole day, and come evening I said: 'I won't tell you another word, even if you kill me, I want a confrontation. Bring him here, because I don't know anyone from Mouřínov. And I've never been to Mouřínov my whole life.' So they brought him in, and he was beaten up well and proper, his jaw was like so, two StB-men dragged him in. I thought to myself - boy, if you say you know me or if you spew out some rubbish about me, I'll jump up and kill you or I don't know what. And he said: 'That's not her.' Well straight off I started shouting: 'You see? She must've been an StB agent, the one who lured him over the borders, just so you have people to lock up.' Well, they dragged him off straight away, and that Gorilla bloke, he thought it'd be a monster trial, he got so angry, he grabbed me by the hair right here, and started bashing me against the cupboard, the table, anything he could get his hands on. I just tried not to fall on the ground, because I reckoned - they'll start kicking me and they'll kick the child right out of me. I was saved by a phone call, because they needed to go arrest more people, so the flunky took me and put me into solitary confinement, and they told me: 'Midnight, we're coming for you, when we're finished here, we'll all go have a look at that cottage of yours.' I thought to myself that if we were going to go to the cottage, I definitely had to escape. Because I was running out of strength, the interrogations were from morning till night. Well. And I started to abort, there in that hole..."

  • "There was just a fence there to stop the game from escaping to Austria. And that Honek bloke stood on the gates, saying goodbye: 'O Republic, we'll be back with a whole army...' And goodness knows what else. And I said: 'Look, stop the campaigning, you're ringing on those wires and the border guards'll hear it.' The moment I said that, I saw, there was a path, and coming up along the path I saw an Austrian border guard, shouting: 'Halt.' I said to myself: well I don't know if he's good or bad, because I couldn't recognise him from that distance. So I called out 'Follow me!' and jumped into the spruce grove. We dodged through there, the boys behind me, through the forest and over the field, and into the next forest and there they were waving at us. I said: 'Well I guess he might've been a good one, but we won't be going back, one never knows.' Well, we couldn't go to the priest in Hardegg, because we reckoned: if they did end up being the bad guys then they'd know that the priest also guided people across the border, they kept an eye on him as well, as it was in fact the Russian zone. So we walked. We walked from three in the afternoon to eight in the evening. And we went to the rectory, because we knew the priests would help us. But the cook told us that the priest was asleep - she realised who we were I guess, so she told us to come back in the morning. And now what?"

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    Horní Věstonice, 25.02.2011

    duration: 02:00:13
    media recorded in project Iron Curtain Stories
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They took my child from me, and so I put men out of my life.

Julie Hrušková
Julie Hrušková
photo: Soukromý archiv pamětnice

Julie Hrušková was born on the 18th of May 1928 in Boskovštejn, Znojmo district. Her father was a game keeper in the Czech-Austrian border region, so he knew the forests and the land around the borders well. After February 1948, a friend asked her to guide him and one other over the borders. She left with them, and passing through Vienna, reached a refugee camp in Linz, where people were being recruited for illegal activity against the totalitarian regime in Czechoslovakia. Julie signed herself up. She was supposed to guide refugees over the borders. However, she was detained in the Soviet zone in Linz and taken to České Budějovice. She was interrogated in Brno, as a result of torture and beating, she aborted (she had been engaged to an American soldier in Austria, who she never saw again). She was convicted of espionage and sentenced to fifteen years of prison, eight years of which she spent in Pardubice. She was not released until the great presidential amnesty in 1960. After that she worked as a seamstress. On the 28th of October 2010, she was awarded the Order of Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk, 2nd Class.