Rostislav Krejčiřík

* 1925  

  • “Then this task force had come and we ended up in the Bory prison's casemates. So they put us in those casemates and after a while, this group of guards came, including the political officer. So I had to lie prone and they began to beat me. Do you know what was it like? It was like they were cutting through your back. All over your back, your calves, just everywhere. There were maybe six of them. I just couldn't stand it. Well, then they would cover me with a blanket, they would stuff it inside my mouth, cover my head with it and start all over again. I counted twenty- five lashes, then I passed out. You just couldn't control your body, you would lose all control and just shit yourself. And it seemed that they didn't like to deal with that, so they left me alone. And as there was a water tap and a toilet, I could wash myself after I came to my senses.”

  • “I am Rostislav Krejčiřík. I was born on April 4th 1925 in Velké Pavlovice, Stouh Moravia.”

  • “After I came to the court, state prosecutor Vaš had demanded death by hanging. As a deterrent.”

  • “General Píka told me: 'No one can save me now, not even Gottwald. Even if he would pardon me, which he wouldn't do, as he does what the Russians say.' There was his son with him during the last night, he spent the whole night with him. And in the morning, before the execution, he had to leave. They dragged him to the gallows and hanged him.”

  • “General Píka had been executed, it happened in our section at the Bory prison, which was this like five-pointed building. They would set up the platform, the gallows, and they would put blankets over our windows. But of course, we had been looking anyway. And there were all those officials, including the Soviet ambassador. He had been overseeing the execution in person.”

  • “Everyone reported to the Americans. And one of the smugglers had been caught by the Russians. And there were two Czech in that office, from the West, who had served in the British Army. They needed someone to cross and to find a new route. And one of the officers, his name was Gryma, had been working with the State Security, he was an informer. And as I went with this family, the Russians were waiting for us.”

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    Praha, 24.03.2006

    (audio)
    duration: 02:53:25
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
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Even in the worst of times, it was important to have some fun

Rostislav Krejčiřík was born on April 4th 1925 in Velké Pavlovice, South Moravia, to a blue-collar family supporting the Social Democratic Party. Rostislav Krejčík trained as a plumber in Brno where he witnesses the arrival of the Red Army. After the war, he did his compulsory military service, first in Poprad, then in Olomouc. He refused to sign the oath to the people’s democratic regime and had been distributing leaflets after February 1948. While completing his military service, he decided to cross the border and flee to Austria. There he joined the organisation smuggling people from the Soviet to the U.S. zone and, unfortunately, had been arrested during his fourth run across the line. The Czechoslovak court sentenced him to 28 years in prison. He had been held in the Pankrác prison, at the Bory prison, where he shared his cell with general Píka for some time, and at the Opava prison, from which he tried to escape without success. After that, he had been transported to the Leopoldov prison. He had been released in 1958. He started to work at the Ohře River Basin (Povodí Ohře) National Enterprise. He took evening classes, graduated from a technical school and had been working as a construction manager.