Hartmut Moškoř

* 1929

  • "It was a guy named Standa Tobola, a party member but a good man. In the beginning… well you know, he died 5 years ago and a few months before he died, I was with him. He told me that he was feeling really sorry for the way he had behaved to me when he met me. He felt that his behavior had been awful. But he took me for a national enemy because I was a German. But eventually we would become colleagues and worked together in research and development. It was a great time. You cannot imagine the development that we achieved. A commission (from Vítkovice) came, we showed them our blueprints and they said: 'that's impossible'. We said: 'we want to show you something'. We put aside the curtain and showed them our creation. In three weeks, we created a sort of a girder that we put on a platform and we did welds that seemed to be painted. They would just stare at it. They told us to carry on with our research and development. I wrote a letter to the director where I proposed that I would do the research and that I demanded such and such conditions. He read that letter at the meeting of the heads of departments and said: 'give him the green light'. And everything changed since then. I was employed there on very favorable terms even though I wasn't a member of the party and I although at times I would shoot my mouth. I was working in research and development practically since 1963. I did the mining vehicles, the caterpillars, prototypes… well, I was very much involved in it. In 1980, they even gave me my own workshop. It was 12 x 8 meters in size but it had one disadvantage – it was cold there. It was located at the end of the heating branch and the heating didn't work properly."

  • The witness is drawing a plan of his native house and describes the course of events during the attack in March 1945.

  • "He was sick with his kidneys and once he complained to one of the non-commissioned officers about the way our Germans were treated. That officer told him: 'you were a good fifth column and now you'll serve as good cannon fodder – food for the cannons'. I think that this became the turning point for my father. On that day, he must have thought to himself: 'oh, so this is the way you look at us'. After this, he strived to get back to civilian life and he was indeed released from military service shortly afterwards for health reasons."

  • "We were interned in a camp and guards would accompany us on our daily way to work. The moment we put on our working clothes and walked down that ramp into the mine, they stopped guarding us because they were confident we wouldn't escape. I had a red miner's lamp. They had their minions in the mine who kept an eye on us. It sometimes happened that two or three inmates escaped. But they usually caught them and brought them back within a couple days. When they caught them, they put them into the bunker and you could hear them screaming. After three days, they made us line up and brought them before us. They told us: 'everybody who will try to run away will look like this'."

  • "They would usualy come to our house in the evening. But there were informers among them who wanted to talk to my dad. He knew about their presence and so he would roar: 'this and that is impossible, etc.'. And then he would come secretly to the man concerned and warn him of the informers."

  • "I'm a believer, but in a different way. I believe in justice. That justice has to prevail one day. I'm also deeply convinced that the spirit of my mother is protecting me. I've experienced this moment a couple of times throughout my life, when I clearly felt that she's protecting me from harm. These were situations on the edge, when I was very close to dying. I believe that my mother is protecting me."

  • "We used to walk home from school – the school was in Pod štandlem. The Czech and the German kids would walk home together but at a certain point they started to scold us and to call us 'Krauts'. There were in particular two guys. The name of one of them was Uvíra. His father was the commander of the local police station in Brušperk so they were in charge of that district. I got beaten several times as well as my brother. My father would tell us not to walk home together with them, to wait and run. But we were simply used to walking back home together from school as a group. That's the way it had always been before. We played role games on the way – gendarmes and bandits for instance. And all of a sudden they would beat us up. But the interesting thing about it was that there were just these two aggressors in the whole bunch. The rest of the kids were merely standing by and looking on with an obvious dislike of what they saw taking place. In German, this is called 'redelsführer', meaning chieftain. They simply shut their mouths."

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    Palkovice, 19.08.2012

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I was born as a German and I’ll die as a German

A contemporary portrait from the break of the 1960s and 1970s
A contemporary portrait from the break of the 1960s and 1970s

Hartmut Moškoř was born in 1929 the youngest son of Wilhelm and Marie Moschkorz. He grew up at the family estate in Staříč near Frýdek-Místek. They represented a traditional German family from the Czechoslovak borderlands. His father was actively engaged in Nazi organizations and held the post of deputy mayor in Staříč in the times of WWII. As an influential man, he tried to help his fellow Czech citizens and he often encountered informing and collaboration by Czechs. In March, 1945, he was murdered in his house by unknown offenders. After the liberation, Hartmut’s mother, together with his younger brother and his sisters, was placed in an internment camp. She was beaten to death by the members of the militia on May 6, 1945. Hartmut was sent to forced labor in the mines. Afterwards, he worked in agriculture. He faced charges of arson but was acquitted by court. In 1953, he regained his Czechoslovak citizenship and changed his family name to Moškoř. He worked in industrial production and became a mechanical locksmith and an inventor. He is the author of three patents and numerous improvement proposals. Since the 1960s, he’s been engaged in yachting. He played a part in the establishment of the TJ Palkovice Yacht Club at the Olešná Dam. Since 1989, he’s been in retirement. In 2007, he sponsored the publishing of his memoirs “Kdo seje vítr... sklízí bouři (Svědectví o tom, jak jsme žili)” (Who Saws the Wind… Reaps the Storm – a Testimony About our Lives).