Bohumil Kovařík

* 1934

  • "In February, the Olšaník family was arrested and in March, they went to get me, my father and my brother. Three months later, there was the trial. I was sentenced to eight years, my brother to six and my father to five. They had no evidence against my mum. One half of our homestead was confiscated by the state and the second one was gifted to the collective by my mummy. She wouldn't have been able to take care of it herself."

  • “Those comrades used to come in two persuading people, how great it is to farm together. My father didn’t let them in at all. He only talked shortly in front of the house and tried to end it quickly. Of course I knew, what was going on, and didn’t believe it, but was not really influenced. My school mate´s family got displaced from the house no. 4, the Kameníčeks. I don’t remember any other families, my brother would know as he still lives there. I packed my suitcase in 1969 and off to Austria and knew I would never come back.“

  • "Following the arrest, they brought us to Olomouc to pre-trial detention. There were three of us in one cell. For two weeks, nothing was happening - only time to time, they summoned us for an interrogation. There was one investigating officer present, and a recorder. At times, they threatened us. But they didn't ask much from me because they've had all the information already from the Olšaníks."

  • “When I opened the gate to the barn, our land went all the way to the forest. Then there were only four families left, so in order to get them to so called kolkhoz, they were given the worst land. Ours were farmed by the cooperative and instead of five minutes it took us almost an hour to get there. Despite the lower production of the land we had to give in the same ratios, as those with good land. It was counted based on the size of the farm. We were middle size farmers, from thirteen to fifteen hectares, so we could only just manage.“

  • "I spent the night in a waiting room at the train station. In the morning, at 4 a.m. when it became bright outside, I got out. In order not to be conspicuous, I only took a small suitcase with things for two days. I went to the money exchange and got 42 schillings for 100 crowns. That didn't make me rich. I had a goulash soup with a bread roll. I put my suitcase in the left luggage and went to have a look around Vienna. I sat down at a summer terace and because the night was hard, I fell asleep after a while. The waiter woke me up and asked me whether I was a tourist or whether I intended to stay. I told him I was staying."

  • “I met my cousin Josef (Olšaník). I reckon back then he was 17 years old and studied technical college in Olomouc. As I didn’t like the regime, I asked, what Lumír (Pavlík) wants to know, and offered to give him information from military service. Later I reported the numbers of cars and airplanes and how many Russian bombardiers there were. And they found it at house search of my cousin. I got eight years to serve in prison for espionage and prohibited gun possession. I had two pistols.“

  • Full recordings
  • 1

    Olomouc, 27.10.2016

    (audio)
    duration: 02:36:23
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
  • 2

    Šumperk, 10.02.2018

    (audio)
    duration: 01:49:12
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Almost the whole family got imprisoned

Kovařík Bohumil
Kovařík Bohumil
photo: sbírka Post Bellum

Bohumil Kovařík was born on 3 May 1934 in Štěpánov in Haná. The family owned a farm with seven hectares of agricultural land and were renting another 6.5 hectares. Then the communists took over the power and the state began to manage village collectivisation, and the family was forced by all means to join the agricultural cooperative. Although in Štěpánov several private farmers were sentenced and took all their property and their families were displaced; yet the Kovaříks were still refusing to take part. When in 1956 their relatives were hiding an agent of an American intelligence service CIC, Lumír Pavlík, Bohumil Kovařík sent several information regarding an airport in Přerov, where he was serving his basic military duty. In March 1958 secret service arrested Bohumil and on 5 June, 1958 the regional court in Olomouc sent him to prison for eight years. In front of a carefully selected public the court came to a verdict for fourteen people. Amongst them there were the father and the brother of a witness, two of his uncles, an aunt, and two cousins. The father was sentenced for five years in prison and confiscation of all property only due to the fact at him home several leaflets of so called balloon event was found. That way the cooperative Štěpánov definitely got rid of one of the last remaining resistance. Bohumil Kovařík then went to prison in Rtyně in Podkrkonoší, before he was conditionally release in 1960 due to amnesty. And again, several years after release he was sentenced for two years in prison for an alleged insurance fraud. But the witness was still with a condition, so he got six more years to serve. He spent four and a half year in prisons in Rtyně and Bytíz before he was conditionally released again. Following the arrival of the Varsaw pact armies he immigrated to Austria in April 1969, where he remained until 2002. In 2016 he lived in Olomouc.