Rudolf Kropík

* 1937  

  • "Were you happy with that exile, too?" No, I suffered there, the destiny whipped me there. It didn’t caress me, it whipped me to blood. And later, it sometimes stroked me gently, I excelled in something, achieved something, I worked here and there. But in the exile, the destiny tortured me. I was unhappy. I was happy with everything, but there, I suffered, because I was born in a place where people joined the Germans. They faced consequences of that decision in the form of suffering.”

  • "When you were lured to the Communist Party, how did it go?" The application was placed on my desk, I didn’t sign it, but returned it. The chairman of the party, such a zealous man, came to me and said if I would not join that party, they threatened me if I would not give up I would be forced to leave the office. I said to him, 'I'm not afraid, I can still make a living, I have a welding helmet here, I can weld.' Then the general director called me to his office and tried to persuade me:” You shall sing the song of the man whose bread you eat.” I didn't want to tell him what we'd been through, that we'd thought we wouldn't join anything [a party]. That my parents joined, and I have faced the consequences, everything was taken away from me and I was forced to start anew. You know, it was not futile. That's how the zealots of the fifties or sixties ... Then I learned that they were counting on me, that I had the good successes, the graduation, that everything was used, the transport improver and various improvements I did. I was also evaluated as the best improver, so they counted on me, the technical deputy, if I joined the party. When I didn't join the party and I refused to do that, they took away my bonuses, I didn't get a promotion. I was tempted to take the trumpet and go earn extra money by playing. And take this as a sideliner. Or then start to design so that I have it the way the others did. The others let themselves be won over; a friend was sitting next to me who joined [the party]. And they all joined, many, all of them… I was the only one, who refused to get persuaded. They all went to the party meeting, I went home. I was singing at the timeclock. “Soldier alone in the field rides home”. Those, who joined, weren’t like that… because they feared for their employment, to be able to maintain their warm spot in the office, avoid manual work. Those in 1968, at the time of the turnaround, were loyal, so they were expelled again. I recall one of the communists telling me I did the right thing by not joining the party, because he was the complications. We were facing such problems there…”

  • "Do you remember exactly the day you left? How did you find out? Did someone come to tell you that? ”-“Yes. He came to say that we had to move out in order to pick up the most necessary things and to the committee in the village by certain hours, and from there we would go to Austria that they came to tell us. "-" Were they the partisans? " Partisans, or the Czechs from the committee. I don't know who was going around anymore, who was so proactive, that he helped to get around it. What they didn't get around, the guerrillas were probably in charge of leaving. The men were locked up in that school. The men were separated. We, who were allowed to stay in those cottages were only women with children. We were only allowed to take the most important things and then we were sent to the transports. Do you remember your mother how she packed, what things she took? " I remember, she packed a trolley to carry my sister. She dressed us; I remember wearing more clothes than I needed. She didn’t take any of my toys. She gave me so many clothes to smuggle them believing they would check how many shirts or trousers are we wearing, I had difficulties walking in the transport then. She didn’t know what we’ll be allowed to take with us. So she packed the clothes “onto us” also. And we went. She pulled, pushed. I walked by feet, my sister was sitting, on the trolley, on the most essential things we were allowed to take. She quickly took some food also, I remember.”

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    České Budějovice, 10.09.2020

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I was born there, were people joined the Germans

Rudolf Kropík (1958), historical photography
Rudolf Kropík (1958), historical photography
photo: Archiv pamětníka

Rudolf Kropík was born on February 28, 1937 in Schwarzbach (Tušť) on the border of Vitorazsko. He came from a mixed Czech-German marriage. Father Adolf Kropík applied for “Reich” citizenship during the Protectorate, had to enlist in the Wehrmacht and in 1944 fell on the Russian front. In May 1945, a witness with his mother Augustine and sister Maria was expelled to Brand, Austria, as part of a wild deportation. They spent about two weeks here, then were allowed to return to Schwarzbach, which became Tušt after the war. All property, real estate and personal belongings of the Kropik family were confiscated. Rudolf trained as a carpenter in Tábor and from 1953 he worked in shipyards in Prague. He graduated from a two-year evening school of mechanical engineering. From 1956 to 1958 he completed military service in Kostelec nad Labem. From 1960 he worked in the railway workshops in České Velenice, first as a welder and later as a technologist. In 1964, he completed a three-year distance learning course with a high school leaving examination at the Industrial School of Mechanical Engineering in České Budějovice. He has been designing heating privately since the early 1990s. In 2020, Rudolf Kropík lived in Tušť.