Ing. Emanuel Kolajta

* 1928

  • "Well, I came back home, after the war we all came back. One of my brothers worked at the mine, the other one in Vítkovice, but I had nothing. I was not taught nor trained. What was I supposed to do then? My mother supported me for a month, but she told me to look for a job. But what? Then I thought to myself, I was seventeen, that I would go and serve the army and when I came back, I would find a proper job. So, I enlisted as an infantryman. We did not have uniforms. We were in civilian clothes for fourteen days, then we got German uniforms. I am still ashamed of it to this day, I got it from a certain mountain hunter. We had to rip off the eagle, but still the picture outline remained there. That was just a disgusting outfit."

  • "I was walking past the screw shop and someone said that the cover had taken a full hit there. I was curious and peeked in there, but it made me sick. Young people were there. The young man was carrying his fiancée, who had hid there. She was only wearing her underwear; the pressure wave ripped her clothes off. He screamed in pain. That was horrible. One-armed German, they were such old men, but they were still loyal, told me to take the rope, and we pulled the archway, which released the cover and they pulled out the wounded and the dead. As I saw the blood mixed with the dirt, I pulled myself together, let go of the rope and ran around the corner. Cars were passing by and I jumped on one. The German shouted to me to stand, that he was going to shoot, but I did not intend to go back. I ended up in Vratimov, the car stopped there and I hid under such a bank. That's when they destroyed Rütkerz, a big factory that made gasoline from lignite."

  • “In every air raid, when the planes were approaching, the Germans had radars and picked them up at a distance of forty kilometers. When the sirens started blaring, we left work. They stopped the machines and those who could went somewhere. Everyone had a favourite place; ours was in the forest in the Mariánské Hory. There used to be a waterworks. It stopped working, but the wells remained there. There were such poles, and we went down them into the wells. There at a certain height was a channel, through which one could go out. So, we ran into the forest and hid there. But we had to hurry, because when the flaks started firing, they were anti-aircraft guns, the shell, when it didn't hit the plane, self-destructed and shrapnel were all over; some bigger, some smaller, beware, if someone got hit in the head or body, those were serious injuries."

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    Ostrava, 26.05.2021

    duration: 01:38:12
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
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During raids, we ran and hid in old wells

Emanuel Kolajta, the first days of service in the army in 1945
Emanuel Kolajta, the first days of service in the army in 1945
photo: archiv pamětníka

Emanuel Kolajta was born on March 8, 1928 in the village of Lubno in the Beskydy Mountains. He lived in a modest cottage with his parents, grandmother and five siblings. During the Second World War, he was put to forced labour in the Vítkovice ironworks. During the bombing of Ostrava, he hid in old wells. He experienced a hit from one of the shelters, which killed several people. He helped to rescue them and in the process managed to jump on a passing car and escape the German guards. He hid at home and after the war enlisted in the emerging Czechoslovak People’s Army. Shortly afterwards, as an inexperienced infantryman, he was sent to Slovakia with a unit whose task was to fight against the Banders, who at that time were fleeing through Czechoslovakia to the west. He served in the army until retirement, rising to become an engineer and lieutenant colonel in an artillery regiment.