Oldřich Lachmann

* 1922  

  • “When I went home from Dřízy, I heard over from Cecemín, a long hill analogic to our Čečelák. It was called Byčičák by the citizens of Čečely. So there was Cecemín and behind it Nedomice and Ovčáry and there is the Labe river and Kostelec. And there I heard shooting, machine gun and a bomb exploding. And at first I thought that must have been a dummy in Čečelice or in Cecemín. It's against aircraft, two planes like double-wing, just like I saw when they flew to Prague to occupy our territory. Well later I found out the airplanes were shooting at vehicles driving to Byšice, and because there were people gathering to welcome them mostly from the factory…There were people and some neighbours. Is there a doctor here? Our medic came back from the concentration camp. Here was a Russian doctor, he was rather popular and glad to have come back so people were coming out to greet him and there was a mass of people that they saw so threw grenades at them causing about 27 lost lives here…”

  • “In Brandýs I experienced one of the most terrifying moments, when I was present at the trial with the citizens of Kochánky, all thirteen people. The Germans called them from all schools, offices and factories to get on a bus at twelve o´clock at noon in Brandýs and here in Mělník and in Lysá in the regional towns. But no one knew where they were going. And Mr. director in Brandýs was so unhappy. He called us during the break as white as snow announcing he was called from the region centre and the German head officer orders ordered someone from each school gets on a bus and they would be checking it. So there was a major silence, as this was the time after the Lidice events and every second day there was a red poster in Czech and German, who the names of those who were executed or shot for any kind of collaboration with the Germans. And those were the people tried here near Benátek somewhere there near Dražice in a large room. If it was a former mill or something, but simply made up large room it was. In the back there was a wooden bit and in the front a kind of a department, where the defenders wearing black cloaks were sitting and in front a judge in the German uniform and they were bringing those people, who confirmed they gave food and clothing and other kind of support to a capture. So these were actions against the German Reich. So all of them got sentenced to death penalty. Ordinary village folk. And it all began so that one of them was ploughing the field with his cows nearby the woods and stopped to take a rest, took out two slices of bread out of his pocket as they used to do. And from the forest a weary man came out and said in Russian: I am Russian, and have no money nor food nor clothing. So he gave him his bread and said: Your shoes are terribly worn out, I will come here tomorrow and bring you a pair and he said that to his wife back home and to his neighbours. And one of them gave him the shoes, the baker sent a loaf of bread and this way they took part. That was their terrible crime for which they got sentenced to death. And there was a woman, highly pregnant one. That was a wife of one of those men and she got executed and only her husband was not, probably out of the judge´s spite as he sent the mother and her unborn child to death…”

  • “But of course there was a mess everywhere, anger, rage and the only thing that´s left was to adapt. Back then we were young and we showed the protest by wearing Masaryk badges on our flaps. The director, when he was it, he told us: ‚Oh no, girls and boys, don’t be silly, do not do that by this we achieve nothing at all.‘ Well it continued with the tricolours and mourning tapes, so that´s how we demonstrated. But only until the time, when the director came and said: ‚So you see, they already closed the school in Roudnice and even some of the professors and pupils, so just leave it be.‘ And ever since then we just endured, held through without any demonstrating outwards.“

  • Full recordings
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    Byšice, byt pamětníka, 27.04.2017

    duration: 02:29:45
    media recorded in project The Stories of Our Neigbours
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There are moments, when you just have to clench your teeth, resist or help out

Oldřich  Lachmann
Oldřich Lachmann
photo: Příběhy našich sousedů

Oldřich Lachmann was born in 1922 in Ovčáry near Mělník. Since the age of four he has been an active member of Sokol. The father was a tailor and the mother came from a farmers´ family and Oldřich as the only child helped out his parents as much as he could on their farm. He graduated at the gymnasium in Mělník and as the Germans closed all high schools during WW2 he studied a yearly pedagogics course at the teacher´s institute in Svatý Jan pod Skalou. As a teacher he was active in Čelákovice, Žatec, Stará Boleslav, Brandýs nad Labem, Dřísy and then worked as a director at the elementary school in Byšice for many years and later a regional school inspector in the Mělník region. During WW2 during rebellion he joined as a volunteer as a guard in the trenches in Nedomice. He was selected as an interpreter in a trail with thirteen citizens of Kochánky, where twelve were executed and one was sentenced to life.