Ing. Klement Neugebauer

* 1937  

  • “After that four of them came again, they would sit around the table and my father talked with them, I don't know whether in half-German, half-Russian, they were just able to understand each other a bit, and it took an hour before my mother cooked a soup for them, it took so long because there was no electricity in our house, then they got soup. Right in the beginning, the Russians, as us kids were also there, they produced handful of sugar from their pocket, they make these small piles in front of us and we would lick it. Probably they were Ukrainians or so, they weren't bad people after all, and as they were sitting there, after they ate the soup we, as children, wanted them to shoot in the air. And one of the Russians, after they had eaten, they wanted some booze which my father didn't have, and one of the Russians dissipated – as my mother went to milk the cows after she made the soup, so he followed her to a barn and there was this commotion, and as late as in Germany as I was driving my father, as he told me that one of the Russians was already on top of my mother and he pulled her out and shielded her with his body. And that man also shot in the air or in the ceiling in the barn and those other Russians, as they saw what was happening, they were rather keeping him from doing what he was doing, telling him that we gave them food, so in the end nothing happened really. And after that they left. And then again Russians came to our house, and I was home alone, I had to watch over the last son, Josef, he was three years old or maybe two years old, he was born in nineteen forty three, and he was lying in his bed and my parents were in the field with the others. And when they came, there were about three of them, I was so scared as I saw them banging on the door, they smashed through it and I run to the back, into a barn, I was afraid what would happen to Josef. They spent maybe five minutes inside, maybe ten minutes, they left, so I ran to see what happened, and I found Josef sleeping in peace in his bed, nothing happened to him, so I was so happy. So that was another thing that happened. Then this woman came to visit, an older one, and she told my mother that those three Russians were living in her house for three days now, she said that she couldn't stand it no more, and asked if she could sleep with us. So my father agreed, so after that the woman slept in our house. Right, or I saw as they... They kept asking my father about girls, where were the girls? And my father didn't want to tell them, he claimed that he didn't know. But I know that next to us there were some, one might be seventeen years old and the second maybe nineteen years old, so I remember as one of them.... Suddenly there was screaming and one of them ran out of the house, heading into the fields. And three Russians were after her, they knocked her down, they caught her, and my father made us go home so we wouldn´t see what was happening. So those were the things I indeed remembered, what had happened, how the women had suffered. When the Russians were there, during those maybe two weeks. And after they left, I know that everyone, or at least my parents, were so relieved. But in fact, it was much worse later, as the Revolutionary Guard came.”

  • “My father said that they knew in advance that on the given day they were supposed to come to this restaurant, to the Acksteiners as people said, Mr Acksteiner was the owner of the restaurant, that there was this meeting. I know that my father, it was in the morning, he went there and came back in the evening. And what had happened there, as he was telling me, that one by one... It was prepared in such a way that those leading figures who were serving as judges were sitting behind a table, and there was a plank bad and on every side there was a guardsman standing with a baton. And they summoned them one by one and interrogated them. About things they had learned from some locals maybe, who told them, or it all served just as a pretext, so they could justify the beating later. So maybe, as my father said, as we learned later, everyone has been stricken five times, that was the minimum. And then you had ten times, fifteen times, twenty or twenty-five times. And just two people were executed in our village. And my father, they accused him that he had been opposing the Russians during their stay, that he didn't serve them as well as one was supposed to serve the Soviet soldiers.”

  • “It really begun with this, as the mining companies which were as many as six, Ležáky mine, those in fact expanded. And the church was left by itself and the railway for its transfer, that was being prepared. Those were four railway tracks, those two pairs, those were holding the wall, those outer rails, and those three rails were supporting the columns. And it was all concrete-based. And after that, they put those fifty-three iron under-frames under it, delivered from France – those in front served as brakes, the others pushed it forward. Or pulled and pushed. And the underframes were made in such a way that as a rail would start to descend or move they would balance the building by themselves, keeping the lever or balance. And they were keeping an eye on it, it went for quite a long time, the whole way. So it was quite... And even the priest came to me and said: 'So you don't want to, you wouldn't allow services taking place there?' And I told him - as I was raised Christian myself, and I wanted the building to serve the church and I wanted the services taking place there – that our director, Zmeškal, who was a big Communist, as he was the director of the department, and he said: 'No more services in there. We repaired that church near Vtelno for them, that's the place where all those grannies can go.'”

  • Full recordings
  • 1

    Praha, 23.07.2018

    (audio)
    duration: 01:55:29
    media recorded in project Stories of the 20th Century TV
  • 2

    Praha, 24.07.2018

    (audio)
    duration: 43:52
    media recorded in project Stories of the 20th Century TV
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Tie with home is much more important than having money

As a sixteen year old
As a sixteen year old
photo: archiv pamětníka

Klement Neugebauer was born on August 12th 1937 in Neratov – Bärnwald in Orlické Mountains to a large family of a small scale farmers. His father was a farmer, a trumpet player and also a bandleader; during the war he was jailed for a short period of time for questioning the military exploits of the Reich. His uncle and his brother had been drafted into Wehrmacht, his brother spent several years in the Soviet union as a prisoner of war. In the spring of 1945 Klement witnessed atrocities committed by the Red army soldiers and the Revolutionary guards. In the following years he suffered due to his ethnic background. He trained to become a bricklayer, after becoming married he furthered his education by attending a secondary school in Děčín and in 1968 he graduated from Czech technical university in Prague in economics and management of construction enterprises. He had been working as a bricklayer in Most, as a supervisor at construction sites and a design consultant. In 1968 he had become the director of a financial department of district department of education, however he refused to join the Communist party and two years later, as a result, he had been made an inspector for cultural heritage and natural conservation. He took part in preparation and execution of the transfer of the Church of the Assumption of Mary in Most, then he had been working at the district department of construction in Benešov.