Antonín Kuthan

* 1929  †︎ 2012

  • “The reason they transported us away from the camp was that the front was already approaching. One day a bomb fell in the vicinity of our camp, and the blast was so strong and it scared me so much that my bed was shaking as I was trembling with fear. So that was it. But we slept well there. They had straw-filled mattresses, and we slept perfectly there.”

  • “They suggested that since I was going to the carpenter Mr. František Josef, whose son had the same name, I might ask him to make a ‘vozembouch’ for me. (simple Czech folk music instrument – transl.’s note) Franta said: ‘It’s easy, you just take a wooden stick and you attach a little chip from a gherkins tin, here in the lower position, and you use two pot lids for cymbals.’”

  • “When they led my mom away – dad was going to work for three more days – certainly on Sunday and Monday, and then it probably happened on Tuesday when they came for dad, too. I was at home and when the boys learnt about it, they told their mom about it, and this Mrs. Tomanová ordered them: ‘Tell Tonda that he can come to us for lunch!’ I thus came to their home and she prepared a kind of sauce. I was a troublemaker as far as food was concerned, and I was giving trouble to my mom, and if there was a little bit of fatty pork meat, I would not eat it. But the sauce that Mrs. Tomanová – who was a great cook – prepared for us was so delicious that I ate all of it with great appetite, and also because it was she who gave it to me and I didn’t want to cause trouble to my mom.”

  • “It was probably around noon. I was already home from school and my mom was there, so it was probably after lunch. They simply came in and they ordered us to get out of our flat, and so we went to the neighbours who lived on the floor above us. We lived on the first floor and they on the second. Then we got back to our flat, but they led me away. We went to the apartment of my aunt and uncle; they lived in a nearby street, also on the first floor like us. We went there by car, and we walked to the first floor. There were two Gestapo men. One of them knocked on the door and another Gestapo man was already in the apartment and he opened the door, and I saw through the narrow opening in the door that he was holding a revolver. They were both from the Gestapo and they opened the door and I was there only for a short time. One of the Gestapo men then stayed there and we went to the nearby police station with these SS men, and I was there for a while. I don’t remember whether they asked me something or not, and then they told me to go home. I still do not know why they did it that way.”

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    V Praze, u pamětníka, 13.02.2010

    duration: 05:08:07
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
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  Antonín Kuthan was born on September 4, 1929 in Pilsen. His father Antonín worked in the Škoda’s factory and he was very active in politics. His mother Barbora originally worked for a member of parliament from the Social Democratic Party and later she became a housewife. When Antonín was born, the family moved to the Smíchov neighbourhood in Prague. During the terror following Heydrich’s assassination in 1942 both his parents became imprisoned and subsequently executed in the concentration camp Mauthausen. In autumn of the same year, thirteen-year-old Antonín was transported to the chateau Jenerálka in Prague, where the Nazis assembled children of Czechs who were executed or imprisoned in relation to Heydrich’s assassination. The children spent part of their internment in Svatobořice near Kyjov. Antonín returned to Prague after the end of the war, he studied secondary technical school of civil engineering and he worked in this field for his entire life. He lived in Prague until his death in 2012.