Slavomír Klaban

* 1922

  • “First of all I had to elaborate the reports. I am no technician though, but I managed to make a plan of Hradec Králové. I was redrawing the objects of military importance and then it was sent by the messenger post abroad. A member and leading official of the Defence of the Nation participated in the transport outwards, he had this transport in charge. However, through where and to where, through whom I had no idea. It was against the rules of the resistance activity. So I tried to fulfil the request, but it was without stating the resources and co-workers.”

  • “My best friend blew the whistle about me. I mentioned it in my report. He couldn´t stand it at the Gestapo and following his testimony I was arrested. It was on 20th October 1944. They came to arrest me to the school in Slatina in the suburbs of Hradec Králové. The first punch I got in the building of the regional court in Hradec Králové where the Gestapo prison was located. Straight on the first day I fell into unconsciousness after the questioning, so you can probably imagine how it looked.”

  • “They jumped down in the night from the third to the fourth April 1944. On the Maundy Thursday they came to us. The co-operation started from that moment with the fact that the connection to them was very problematic. I worked then as a teacher… When at the time of the Gestapo shining fully in all surroundings somebody comes to you and tells you that he has got the address of Mr Klaban. I was out. It was written namely on all corners: ´If you undertake assistance to any foreign agent, you will be shot and so will be your whole family.´ I was standing in front of a decision – either they were agents-provokers, or not. The man said that he was a parachutist and had the task to get organizationally in touch with Mr Klaban. We have such a family house there and while I was leading him into the flat, I was considering how it really was. I don´t know why, but I believed him. It was really blind.”

  • “Our whole family participated in the resistance activity. At first my father who was the leading official of the Defence of the Nation, and because this organization worked mainly in espionage, I was taking care of the fact that the surroundings of Hradec Králové would be mapped for the allied air forces. As you know, the city of Pardubice was also bombed and some bombs fell on the civil population, some even on the factory utilizing petroleum. It provoked us, the resistance fighters, to the activity to communicate with our centre in London through the Defence of the Nation, only to get to know that the Allies were bombing even inhabited quarters. We didn´t like it at all, we took it as a mistake. So we tried to draw the attention of our resistance leadership in London to the fact that during bombings they were committing inaccuracies, which didn´t have any impact on Germans, but on Czech civil population.”

  • “The most valuable assistance was the connection to reliable people who wouldn´t denounce them to the Gestapo.”

  • “My Mum knew that we were participating in the resistance. The leading military official of the Defence of the Nation slept in our place, when he was staying in Hradec. He was moving around the whole region so that it was impossible to capture him. By authority of his position in the military resistance organization he turned to my father as a political functionary, so that my father gave them for example a list of 160 reliable patriots who became all participants of the Defence of the Nation. The organization had at first a military character, but it included also civil units.”

  • “It was at that time the routine of the Gestapo and Nazi justice that the person, who was in a direct contact with the parachutists, was beforehand sentenced to liquidation.”

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    Praha, 30.06.2004

    duration: 01:09:55
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
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“The routine of the Gestapo and the Nazi justice was at that time such, that the person, who was in a direct contact with the parachutists, was beforehand sentenced to liquidation.”

Slavomír Klaban
Slavomír Klaban
photo: Pamět národa - Archiv

Mr Slavomít Klaban was born on 24th August 1922 in Hradec Králové. His father František Klaban was a leading representative of the social democrats in the Hradec Králové region at the time between the wars. Slavomír Klaban studied a teacher institute and worked in several schools in Hradec Králové and surroundings. During the war his whole family participated in the resistance activity, Slavomír Klaban was active in the Defence of the Nation group from autumn 1939 till the year 1941, his father was arrested in 1941 because of his activity in this organization. In 1944 Mr Slavomír Klaban was the first one who helped the parachutists from the operation Barium after their descent. Due to contacts to them he was taken into custody by the Gestapo in October 1944. He was kept in prison first in Hradec Králové, later in the Little Fortress of Terezín, where he stayed in the so called death cell. Fortunately, before the execution the war was finished. After the war he refused to enter the Czechoslovak Communist Party, at the end of 1980s he participated actively in the restoration of the social democracy, in 1990 he became its honorary chairman.