“Some Paluška, a miner living at the colliery, once told me: ‘You know, Karel, we had been guarding captured Germans after the war. They had been detained in the military quarters of Motol, in those wooden barracks down the hill. I was on duty in the watchtower at night. There was nothing to do to kill the time. You know, I was armed… A German got out pissing, so I shot him dead.’”
“Some friends of mine are saying: ‘It was all useless. We should rather have paint instead of struggling with Bolsheviks.’ But it means normalization which conceals the polarization. People forgett they have just withdrawn behind the scenes.”
“When I was 12 years old I wrote a sign ‘Blut’ (blood) on a wall of each WC cabin. I can’t explain why. A long investigation followed. One of schoolboys – the strongest one among us who was winning the matches, he was leading the ranking, I was at the 26th place – approached me and asked: ‘Please Karl, what is the German term for ‘blood’? Can you write it down?’ He was kind of a wonk. But I was prepared for this. I wrote down a different type of ‘b’. Thus I got off.”
“I played soccer with other boys some time. If I gained the ball from someone else accidentally or if I succeeded to evade a player the guy kicked me in my ass in return: ‘What do you dare you SS-man?!’ Even my school teacher Meteláková called me out: ‘Come here, you SS-man, to name all the enumerated words.’ Only after I had successfully graduated with only one B and all the rest A, she wished me all the best saying: ‘I apologize for the injustice you had to suffer in previous years from me when I called you ‘SS-man’…’”
“’All had happened in a completely different way, Karel, you know bullshit,’ told me recently a mayor of a nearby village Vráž. ‘All the Germans were big swines’, he added, although he didn’t know any of them personally. I knew only some, for example sisters Sinagl. The only real bastard was Remberg, a fanatic who struggled to hail even with his broken arm shortly before he was shot dead. All the Czechs who had been talking about German swines had collaborated with Germans during the war. They had been informing on to Lang, they were involved in raw deals, so they needed to silence Lang and Vašíček before they could reach Beroun. Ascending Bolsheviks wanted to cover their acts of treason and collaboration.”
“My first impression of May revolution was this: I went to a shop to buy some food and then to a pub for a jug of bier. Two German soldiers passed by the garden. An elder bush was in bloom there. They plucked sprays of the elder and I heard them speaking how they were going to catch some train to Germany. Not only units but individuals as well were disappearing form our country.”
“Some friends of mine were saying: ‘It was all useless. We should rather have painted instead of struggling with Bolsheviks.’”
Karel Paták was born on 27th December in 1931 in Vojkovice nad Ohří in a Czech-German family. His mother was born a Sudeten German, his Czech father was a railroad worker. After the occupation of Sudetenland in 1938, the family moved to Hvězda u Slaného, where his father was born. Later they found asylum in nearby Loděnice with other ten Czech and Czech-German families from Vojkovice. Karel Paták went to Vojkovice regularly during the war - he was able to because of his German heritage. He did some of his schooling in elementary school in Beroun assigned for children from mixed marriages in 1944; later he attended a high school in Kladno. He did not become a member of Hitlerjugend because of his mixed origin. He could attend only Deutsche Jugend. Their role was to serve as ‘kanonenfutter’ during military trainings of German Army and to mark out ways for Hitlerjugend. Paták abandoned the school soon in September 1944. At first he had been hiding at home in Loděnice, later he moved to his grandmother house in Hvězda. When the uprising erupted on 5th May in 1945 in Loděnice, Paták laid at home ill. His mother was allowed to leave the town -- unlike other detained Germans -- to take care about him. Thus she escaped the ‘U Zabiteho Massacre’ which took place on the 7th of May. All local Germans were murdered by soldiers of general Vlasov´s Army supported willingly by Czech Revolutionary Guards. After the war Karel Paták studied at The State Graphic Academy of Prague. He met there V. V. Štěch and Theodor Pištěk. Academic atmosphere was quite free and critical and Paták didn´t have to change his opinions after the communist putsch in February 1948. After the graduation he severed his ties with the Academy. He devoted himself to history of Beroun county and worked in a local museum. In 1989, he became a mayor of Loděnice. He had served as mayor for the entire decade. He passed away on April, 15th, 2014.