Miloslav Kopfstein

* 1935

  • "I would recommend each of those young people to start working. And keep the job. Be honest, don't fool around and say, 'And that's good.' It's not true. Imagine if you got the product, who would you complain to? Yourself? You would say: ´I did a lousy job, and now I've bought it? I advise everyone to keep their job, to work honestly, not to try appear as someone else. Because work is essential. When you have a job, you got money. When you have money, there is housing, a family and all. But once you start working lousy, usually you lose the job and it becomes difficult to find it again."

  • "You were in prison and you were interrogated there?" - "They didn't tell me anything there, I was just locked up there. At night they took me to Lannova [the seat of the State security police in Budweis on the then Malinovského třída] and there I learned more. And there, if you did not want to talk, so went to the basement. In Lannova, at the State security, there were rooms forcing you there, even if you didn't want to talk." - "I know it's hard, but could you describe how they forced you?" - "Well, there was some beating and kicking, that must have been taken into account. We were not treated nicely." - "So they beat you and then you told them something?"-"I just told them I didn't know I was there, but I didn't know. So they told me, 'And you were just there alone?' - 'No, I was there with friends and I stood there, and they came and we went home.' - 'And what were they doing there?' "I don't know, they were there and they came in a moment." They interrogated, and if you didn't want to talk, you got a beating and that was it."

  • "You also experienced the liberation of Budějovice, do you have any memories of the liberation?" - "Of course I do. In the year 1945 we lived near Hrachů, that was before the barriers, today there are gardens and I have the impression that there is scrap metal centre today. There was such a strip 50 meters long, up to the screwdriver. When the Russians arrived, they moved in there. Next to us there lived a guy, but I don't remember his name anymore... A backpack fell out of their car and he thought there would be food in it, so he ran away. I wanted to go too, and my father said, 'Look, don't go anywhere, let it be.' Well, he was faster, the Russian took the submachine gun, just began shooting, and it was over. And then we found out that there was only dirty laundry there. So he shot the boy straight. I remember there were Americans at the station, there was UNRRA, as they said, and they handed out cans and snacks. We children, when we went to school, we took some. When someone went twice, they got slapped and they said you were already there. They knew well who was cheating and who was not. As I say, the Americans were here first, because we got the UNRRA, the cans, the jam from them. Well, and when the Soviets came, as I say, I have memories that he thought there would be food, he was hungry then, there was nothing, and he got shot. And Dad said, 'You see, if you were faster, you'd end up being killed there. Never go anywhere, let it go. An older gentleman came in, took his backpack and there was dirty laundry, it fell out. And Dad said, 'You see, no food, they are hungry themselves, and that's how you would end up.'"

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    České Budějovice, 24.02.2020

    duration: 01:57:03
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    České Budějovice, 13.03.2020

    duration: 01:13:10
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A hall full of people demanded the death penalty for us

Miloslav Kopfstein in 1951
Miloslav Kopfstein in 1951
photo: ABS

Miloslav Kopfstein was born on June 10, 1935 in Adamov, České Budějovice district. He grew up in Novohradská Street in Budějovice, where he experienced air raids caused by Allied troops in the spring of 1945 and the liberation by the Red Army. After the war, they moved with their family to the nearby village of Mladé. In 1950, the witness finished primary school and took the position of an auxiliary worker in the screw shop. In March 1951, he became involved in arson attacks organized to sabotage the socialization of the village. He was arrested shortly afterwards and sentenced to three and a half years in prison as a juvenile. He served his sentence in prisons in Zámrsk and Žacléř. Here he trained as a miner and a mining locksmith in deep coal mines. In August 1953, he was released on parole for good behavior and extraordinary work ethic. He worked briefly on the silo in the agricultural purchase. From 1954 to 1956 he completed basic military service with the Technical Battalions in coal mines in the Ostrava region. From 1973 until his retirement, he held the position of maintenance worker and driver at the Faculty of Education and later at the Faculty of Health and Social Studies. After 1989, he was fully rehabilitated. In 2020, Miloslav Kopfstein lived in České Budějovice.