František Mališka

* 1935

  • “Then we had to take a medical check. We got all clothes in green and they asked us where we wanted to work. I said, this is the Border Guard, isn’t it? They said there were dog handlers, radio operators, and mounted police. I chose the horses. There was one more guy from our village, Pusté Žibřidovice, with me. The winter in Šumava was cruel back then. When I was in the barrack, it was minus 34 degrees inside. Everything was frozen in our house. The sergeant’s assistant walked the room all night and stoked the fire so we wouldn’t feeze to death.”

  • “I was drafted on 1 October 1955. Before that, I didn’t know where I’d go; I just got the draft card. We met in Šumperk by the district military administration office. I showed them my draft card in Šumperk and they told me which train car to board. We left afterwards. The next morning, we stopped at the Volary station in the Prachatice District. The platform was full of sergeants and corporals, and they lined us up. Then we marched to the barracks. The gateway had a ‘Welcome’ sign on it. When we walked in and turned round, the sign read: ‘Got you!’. That’s how I joined the Border Guard.”

  • “The guy served his basic training with the next platoon. Then he crossed the line to Germany. He knew that a patrol walked there once every hour, had to check the upper strip, had to light a torch, and every second patrol had a dog with them. He followed a patrol towards the strip. Once the patrol with the dog had passed, he crossed the strip. He was walking some 150 metres behind the patrol. When they lit their torch, they couldn’t see him because he lay down. He knew that if he followed the patrol, the others would not go out. So, he followed the patrol until it stopped some hundred metres away from the barbed wire barrier. They met another patrol there. Of course, they smoked a cigarette and had a chat, and then walked to the next platoon barrack along the wires. When they were mid-way, someone fired an alarm flare at the platoon barrack. They went to check the wire barrier and saw that the electrical lines were shorted out. He shorted the lines out to shut the power off. He crossed to the other side, walked downhill towards the stream, over the bridge – and there was a German border guard station there. The Americans arrived in a moment and drove him away.”

  • Full recordings
  • 1

    Ostrava, 30.01.2023

    duration: 01:50:39
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
  • 2

    Ostrava, 01.02.2023

    duration: 01:24:23
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
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I tried to be a good border guardsman and a good police officer

František Mališka (left), 1950
František Mališka (left), 1950
photo: archiv pamětníka

František Mališka was born in Tečovice in the Zlín District on 27 August 1935. He witnessed the bombing of the Zlín area during World War II. He relocated to the Šumperk District with parents and two siblings in 1945. The Mališkas responded to the government call for resettling the borderland. The committee that distributed real properties left behind by evicted Germans assigned a house in Pusté Žibřidovice to the family. Having completed primary school, František worked at a paper mill in Jindřichov. He joined the military in 1955, joining the Border Guard. He guarded the border with Germany in Šumava and witnessed the escape of one of the soldiers. Having returned from the military service, he joined the police force. He worked at several offices in the Šumperk District, was promoted to the Head of the Department, and got the captain rank. His stance towards the communist regime was positive, but he faced issues in relation to the State Security. After the communist regime collapsed in 1989, his senior officer asked him to leave the police force because it became known that the State Security recorded his second wife as a collaborator. He refused, left the Šumperk District, and spent his final years before retirement as an investigator at the violent crime section of the police directorate in Ostrava. He was living in Ostrava in 2023.