Josef Odstrčilík

* 1929

  • “There was a big shootout during a battle between partisans and the Gestapo. Páleníček from Žeranovice was with the partisans too, and I don’t know – either he was shot and couldn’t run, or the Gestapo just caught him. I don’t know to this day. All I know is, they drove him from there to a pub. There were two pubs in our community; an upper one and a lower one. They took him to the lower pub and interrogated him in the yard on people’s watch. They liked a lot of people to see it – they wanted people to fear them and avoid helping partisans. And they beat him so bad they beat him to death.”

  • “We asked them to come on in. They threw their guns and automatic rifles in the corner in the lobby and walked on to the kitchen. Fuksa knew our place; he used to come by for a shave before he turned partisan. At first, my brother and I had to sit down and eat with them. They took out some boiled pork and we ate, and only then we could give them a shave and a haircut.”

  • “We would shave and cut hair until midnight, and they stayed hidden in the Vaňhars’ garden across the street. When we turned the lights off, they knew that all the customers had left. They came up and banged on the door. We grumbled: ‘Darn it, people know our closing time, don’t they!’ But then we let them in, and there was Nikolai, a Russian partisan, along with František Fuksa. He used to come by our shop before he became a partisan, so he knew.”

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    Holešov, 19.12.2019

    duration: 01:32:55
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
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Partisans’ Barber

The witness with his bus, decorated for mileage achieved without accidents
The witness with his bus, decorated for mileage achieved without accidents
photo: archiv pamětníka

Josef Odstrčilík was born in Horní Lapač near Holešov on 9 December 1929. He grew up in a family with mother Aloisie, née Krajčová, father František Odstrčilík and three siblings. Having completed his primary school in Žeranovice, he studied a vocational school to become a barber. During the final months of World War II, partisans started coming to his native community. They came to the Odstrčilíks’ house, where Josef and brother František had set up a barber shop, to get a late-night haircut several times. Brother František was called up to dig trenches towards the end of the war, but he deserted and was arrested. After the war, Josef pursued his trade just briefly. He became a professional driver a few years after the liberation. At first, he drove military trucks from US Army, and then he started driving buses to Zlín with people commuting to Baťa’s factories, renamed Svit later on. From the late 1950s to his retirement in 1989, he drove buses from Hranice na Moravě and Gottwaldov (Zlín). He has been living in a home for the elderly in Holešov in recent years.