Zdeněk Komárek

* 1929  †︎ 2022

  • "It was in 1953, Stalin died and we held a remembrance ceremony in the 11th Company, the unit was lined up, present arms, and in a week or fortnight we held it for the second time, for Gottwald. But it was already at the end of the military service, we were old hands and we were to go back into civilian life in July. A week or two later they read us an order: 192 extra days, assigned for an exceptional exercise, so five or six of us in the 11th Company, we had our heads shaved.“

  • "One shard, but there were more, of those shards, so it flew through the window into the room where the Red Dragon pub is now, and Vilém Kupsa was standing there at the workbench, where I used to stand, and it cut his head off."

  • "My mother made the officer breakfast, and his servant brought him a backpack. He untied it and pulled out a fabric, dark with light polka dots. He measured my mother, unwound it [the fabric], made a cut into the fabric with a knife, then tore it off and gave the dress fabric to my mother, for bed and breakfast. My mother always wore it, the dress, we laid her to the grave in it."

  • "I was ten years old when the Germans came. We were going from school and the square was already full of cars, cars and tanks. It was March, wet snow everywhere, such slush, and we were throwing snowballs at each other. We came to the chapel, there were a lot of us boys from Bělá and we were throwing snowballs across the road. And as the Germans were riding on their motorcycles and in the sidecars, I threw a ball and it just smashed against the helmet of one of them. As he had the submachine gun, he aimed it at me and shouted, I have known this first German word since I was ten: 'Du Scheißer! Du Scheißer!‘ [You bastard, trans.] “

  • "They led them to a place where they had to take off their clothes apart from underwear, they needed uniforms for prisoners, they placed them next to trees, they put a machine gun on a stump. My friend and I, we were standing a short distance from them and then they were shooting them. First in the head and then all over the body. When it hit the head, it smashed against the pine like a tomato sauce, it was horrible. Then the last one on the edge, apparently an officer, he tried to escape, but after about twenty or thirty metres he was also hit. "

  • Full recordings
  • 1

    Boskovice, 06.02.2017

    duration: 02:19:41
    media recorded in project Soutěž Příběhy 20. století
  • 2

    V Boskovicích, 09.02.2017

    duration: 02:34:03
    media recorded in project Soutěž Příběhy 20. století
  • 3

    V Olomouci, 09.04.2018

    duration: 01:59:30
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
Full recordings are available only for logged users.

The last witness to the execution of German soldiers

Zdeněk Komárek 1947
Zdeněk Komárek 1947
photo: competition

Zdeněk Komárek was born on October 3, 1929 in the small village of Buková in the Drahanská Highlands. His parents had to leave his native Boskovice after his father had taken part in a strike in one of Boskovice’s factories. In 1936, the family returned to Boskovice and Zdeněk began attending a boy school there. At the end of the war, he experienced an air raid on Boskovice, in which several inhabitants were killed and others were injured. On the last day of the war, he saw with his own eyes a field court and the ensuing execution of sixteen German soldiers near their home. He got married in 1950 and started military service the following year. He became one of the first members of the newly formed Border Guard. After coming back from the military service in 1954, he worked at the UP furniture-making plant in Boskovice and joined the Communist Party. He built his own house and received an offer to work as a framer in municipal services. In 1962, he was elected a member of the town´s national committee and worked in the housing commission. In August 1968, he suffered serious injuries in a bus accident and spent several weeks in the hospital in Rychnov nad Kněžnou. When he returned home, he refused to vote for the removal of the chairman of the local national committee and faced accusations of not agreeing with the entry of the Warsaw Treaty army forces. He was no longer a candidate in the next election and gave up being a deputy and a member of the housing commission. During the normalization, he visited relatives in Vienna several times and from there he smuggled medicines and valuables for his acquaintances. After the death of his wife in 1984, he sold his house and built a small house with a dream garden in another part of town, where he still lives today (2020).