Milan Knížátko

* 1928

  • "Once we captured I think two or three German soldiers in the woods. But they were already disarmed by then. We had been searching the woods and we saw a smoke. There was a hut there, a hunting lodge, so we went there, touched the stove and it was still warm. So we understood they must had been there not long ago. We split and we went to search the surrounding. Then we found them there and Dolfa Havlíček, shouted, 'Hände up!' He didn't know how to say 'Hände hoch' [hands up]. So we captured them and took them to Ivančice and there they took everything from them. One was an officer, he had a German badge of honour hidden in his pocket. And he had boots, and in Ivančice they took them away from him. But I don't know what happened to them after that."

  • "Ficht died when we went to Krumlov through the forest. We saw a smoke, fire. There were German soldiers all around. Then there was a gunfight between us and the soldiers, but they outnumbered us and had better guns, so we had to pull away. Then we sent a message to Ivančice, and reinforcements came, but in the meantime the Germans packed up and left."

  • "They took them to Ivančice. There was a prison so they took them there. There were three or four not very good guards. There was a brickyard and they took the prisoners behind the brickyard and shot them there. They did what was done to them."

  • "Executions were another thing. We were a detached detachment in Hostěradice. The war was over and the German villages were occupied. The order was for everyone, who had weapons at home, to hand them over. There was a pub, where we, as partisans, stayed. So they bought all the weapons there and then we went to search houses. We search also in straw piles. There were two Russians with us in Hostěradice. And one of them had a sword, so he stuck it in the straw and found a flint. And then, as a warning, they sentenced the man to death. He was German and he was the mayor of the village. The Russians were tough guys. They hanged him. At least they wanted to hang him, but the rope broke with him because he was a big heavy man. So then the Russian shot him dead."

  • "We played hide-and-seek with those German boys in the village. And when it was occupied, there was a high wall in the yard on the outside, only about a meter on the inside. So when we were with the German boys, they called us, 'Böhmische Hund,' a Czech dog. We were with the Kovář boys, they were four kids. So I couldn't stay behind, so I shouted, "Deutsche Sau," a German pig. Then at home, my father scolded me for saying these words. And when I went shopping, we had a St. Bernard dog, a big one. I couldn't walk by myself, so I took him. The boys would have beaten me otherwise. So this dog – he was called Baryk – he would come with me to the store, waiting at the door. When I was done shopping, he'd walk me back home. And they didn't come near because I would say, 'Baryk, get them!' And he would chase them off. So they let me be."

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    Budkovice, 13.09.2021

    duration: 01:59:50
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
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They took the prisoners behind the brickyard and shot them. They did what was done to them.

Milan Knížátko (early 1940s)
Milan Knížátko (early 1940s)
photo: Archiv pamětníka

Milan Knížátko was born on 12 May 1928 in Vranov nad Dyjí. He grew up with his parents - Jan and Božena - and three siblings in Těšetice in the Znojmo region. The family had to leave the Sudetenland in 1938 and settled down with his grandparents in Budkovice. They never returned to Těšetice. In 1944, Milan Knížátko began to cooperate with the local partisans. At the beginning of 1945, he became a member of Dr. Josef Hybeš’s partisan squad and, at the age of seventeen, took part in a number of resistance actions with a gun in his hand. After the war (1948 to 1952) he graduated from the Higher Vocational School of Forestry in Písek and then entered the military service in Opava. During his life he changed several workplaces. In the second half of the 1950s, under pressure from his superiors, he joined the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia. At that time he worked at the Moravian-Krumlov Forestry Works, where he met his wife Miroslava Sekvencová. In the mid-1960s, they moved to a cottage near Němčice, where Milan worked as a forester. At this time the State Secret Police (StB) tried to persuade him into cooperation. In 1970, he failed a normalisation check, and lost his job, his membership in the Communist Party and his gun licence. Before his retirement in 1988, he worked as a manager of a dispatch warehouse in Zastávka. At the time of the interview (2021) Milan Knížátko lived in Budkovice.