Josef Kuda

* 1931  

  • "They must have been drinking a lot of liquor because they were singing while they were driving and shouting at us. But now suddenly we heard the soldiers start shouting: 'Halt, halt, you partisan!' at us, because they saw that we had something like a gun under our coats. So, we started to run towards the woods, and because it was already such a confusion, such a strange period [the end of the war], the Germans started shooting at us with rifles, it was infantry. We ran, as if we knew it, each to a different side and ran towards the forest. We only saw, when they shot, the dust on the ground next to us has risen because of the bullets.”

  • "So, I served at the Ministry of the Interior, I had been in the service for about six months, we were already quite familiar with the regulations and how things work. I would go through the various departments and check that the office doors were locked. There was a reception downstairs where there was a normal civilian. And I heard all sorts of talk at two o'clock at night, I had been on duty for a while, and I thought, what is going on in there? So, I ran downstairs and I looked to see what was going on. There were two of us, one had the right side and one had the left side. So, I called him: 'Listen to what is going on in that doorman's office.' So, we stood there for a while and we saw that there was a man there and he was arguing with the doorman. The words were all kinds of things, very harsh. We ran down to see what was going on. And the doorman says to us: 'This person wants me to show him all the material I have here, I refused to show him, so he wants to liquidate me.' Understandably, when we heard that, we detained the nice man with the colleague, as the two youngest members of the corps. We phoned our leadership that we had detained this man at the gatehouse. Our leadership came in an hour or less than two hours, the commanders came to us and said, 'Guys, do you know what you did? You detained a man who was doing certain things here... he was a German agent.'"

  • "Because I served him twice, he was a very good man for us, Slánský. The Minister of the Interior was given a summer residence in Mladá Boleslav too, about two hundred metres from Slánský's building. And then I was on duty and I went out to look at the road, the building was in the garden to the road, and I saw our car, I mean the state car, driving. From a neighbour, he already knew, he came to me and he said to me: 'They took Slánský!' I said: 'Who?' – 'The SNB, they arrested him.'

  • "I remember very well that at that time a boy, a classmate, came to me and said that it was interesting, but we have a field a little bit further to Velenov and that the earth there was turned up, a different earth was on top than the original one. Boys, out of curiosity, we decided to go there. We went to the place and we took these wood sticks and we made a kind of probe to see if there was anything there. You see, after about 30 centimetres, we came across what appeared to look like pants, dark green. So we went to the national committee, we told the mayor that we went there and there, that we made a hole and we came across somebody in the ground wearing green pants. Naturally, a phone call was made to Vícov and the Vícov people reported that yes, a butcher was wearing those trousers, that this could be it. So, understandably, a local probe was done first and it was found that someone was buried there. It was discovered that some of the descriptions matched those citizens from Vícov."

  • "There were eight or ten of these members of Vlasov army, and the verdict was to shoot them, all of them, and where? So, they asked us, the citizens, and of course I had to be among them, to lead them into the woods, to where there was a better place where they could be shot. So, a few partisans went, and in front of them went the members of Vlasov army, who had their hands cuffed, and they went. Now we came about a hundred and two hundred metres into the forest, we followed them, of course we could not mix with them, and we heard the cries of the members of Vlasov army... that they are going to be killed by the Germans, shot. The Germans took them, we went with them, we showed them the place where it would be most convenient, and there they shot them all, except one who was hit in the leg, and he fell there, and of course those soldiers walked aside and we followed them and we saw him. We went to him, he was still alive a little bit, so we took out his bag, he had photographs in there, and we put the photographs on him and he died, understandably."

  • "Out of a sudden, two German soldiers appeared, because we went to school and we knew a little German, so they told us that if they found any weapons on us, they would shoot us. An understandable thing, since we each had guns hidden behind our trousers at the waist. They started yelling at us to put everything down that they would shoot us. They pulled out their pistols, and that was practically the height of the disintegration of the German army, because as they were holding us and shouting at us like that, soldiers were coming from Protivanov, from Skelná Huť, they were Slovaks who had been in the Soviet army, they were on horseback. They came to us when they saw us there and asked us what was going on. We told them that they wanted to shoot us because we had guns, pistols. Two of the Slovak soldiers pulled out their pistols and shot the soldiers in front of us, well, it had a very terrible effect on the boys."

  • Full recordings
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    Boskovice, 22.04.2021

    (audio)
    duration: 04:03:43
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
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    V Boskovicích, 12.07.2021

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    duration: 02:27:19
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They started to shout at us they will shoot us

Josef Kuda in 1960s as a member of SNB
Josef Kuda in 1960s as a member of SNB
photo: Archiv pamětníka

Josef Kuda was born on 17 July 1931 in the village of Suchý in the Drahanská vrchovina as the youngest of six children to parents Jenovéfa and František Kuda. His father fought in the World War I, was wounded and then worked as a tailor in Russian captivity. Right at the beginning of the World War II he had problems with the occupation army. As a boy, his son Josef had several dangerous encounters during the war, not only with German soldiers but also with the Gestapo. He was caught stealing a confiscated radio, he was hanging around in the forest when it was forbidden to enter, or he and his friends were caught trying to take firewood out of the forest on a sledge. At the end of the war, they procured weapons and narrowly escaped the fire of German soldiers, only to eventually escape the danger of being shot thanks to the liberators. He witnessed the execution of at least eight members of Vlasov army who were shot by the partisans. He and a friend discovered a mass grave of innocent victims from nearby Vícov on the edge of the village. In 1948, the witness trained as a tailor and worked in his father’s tailoring shop. He applied to join the police, graduated from the SNB college in Jeseník and, thanks to his excellent grades, was assigned to the special unit “Jasan” in 1950 to protect government officials. During his five years in service, he guarded most of the ministers of the time, including president Antonín Zápotocký. In 1954 he married Alena Stránská and they had two children, Ivana (1955) and Luboš (1957). From 1955 he served in Brno, Knínice and finally until his retirement in 1986 he worked as a member of the SNB in Boskovice and reached the rank of captain. In the sixties he was awarded as the best SNB member of the South Moravian Region. He was never interested in politics and took things about the communist totalitarianism as a necessity of that time.