František Motyčka

* 1924  

  • “People distinguished between Little Palešnik and Big Palešnik. Big Palešnik was a long village and we lived in Little Palešnik, separated from Hercegovac by a small creek. There were a lot more Czechs in Hercegovac, in our village there were fewer and in Big Palešnik there were none. I had neighbours with the names Kučera, Techlovský, Švec, and Žáček, who lived on the other side. Two sisters and a brother lived there. There were also families named Dušek and Beneš, and a man named František Šrůtek. He was a problem. He was tall and thin. During the military draft people came from the Czechoslovakian embassy with a doctor and they picked local Czechs. My dad always said that they couldn’t send the guy there, that it would be a shame, that he was all arms and legs, like a sea spider. That’s what he would always say, I remember that still, we would always make fun of him. But otherwise he was a fantastic fisherman.”

  • “We were in a village and there were fascists hiding in a wheat field. The commissar shot a missile and the attack began. It was truly extremely dangerous because at that point you’re going against gunfire with just your own body. Bullets were flying around my head and just everywhere. But you have to go, once the attack is started, you just go. I remember this Croatian boy. I was standing next to him and suddenly he had a shot wound in his arm. He did it to himself, he was afraid of going into the attack. He was wounded and didn’t have to go eventually.”

  • “Zdeněk Petr was a young person and he died with the partisans as well. Or Mirek (Petr) actually. We got to Bjelovar and found a mass grave filled in with lime. And this Mirek was one of those who had died there. When they forced them to retreat they shot them dead and covered them up. No more wars. Anything but that. This Mirek was such a good man that he would provide the partisans with flour to make bread.”

  • Full recordings
  • 4

    Lanškroun, 19.01.2017

    (audio)
    duration: 02:15:07
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
Full recordings are available only for logged users.

I didn’t sleep for several months and kept screaming at night

František Motyčka
František Motyčka
photo: archiv pamětníka

František Motyčka was born on 8th May 1924 in Palešnik, Moslavina region, Croatia - back then a part of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes. His ancestors travelled there for freely available land and various other benefits around the year 1900 from Horní Újezd, near Litomyšl. During the Second World War František Motyčka entered a youth organization called SKOJ (Savez komunističke omladine) and cooperated with partisans. In April 1944 he voluntarily joined the Yugoslavian partisan units and fought in several conflicts where many of his friends died. He remembers how they would sometimes find themselves in an open field facing machine guns and that several months later he would still wake up from his sleep tormented by the horrors of war. In 1946 he re-emigrated to Czechoslovakia with his family and settled in Jiřice u Miroslavi where he married Amálie Švejkovská a year later. In 1952 he moved to Lanškroun and worked for Tesla until his retirement. He still lived there as of 2017.