Josef Petrů

* 1936

  • "They found out that there is a large distillery in the village, where not only plum brandy was burned all year round, but also other things, pine tree distillates and other sorts. The great distillery Andrýs owned it there. They took various vessels at the barracks and carried plum brandy in pots, buckets, putty and skewers and drank it from cups. Within an hour it was a disaster to see the army. It was so decimated, so drunk… Before they were very drunk, they became uncomfortable. They started looking for women. The women were running from them. Then they had to hide in the evening. All the women in the village were buried somewhere in barns, straw or hay overnight so that the soldiers would not rape them. There have been two cases where two women have been caught. Then they were so drunk that they fell and didn't know what they were doing. I thought about it later and thought that maybe it would happen to me if I got into such a situation. The boys were dirty, lice were crawling on their faces, overgrown and plowed. They must have been covered by the blood of their friends. It was fear and horror to look at the soldiers. They were looking for some encouragement in the alcohol."

  • "My mother was at home with us and the Germans came to the yard and asked her to call the children. We went out and the street was already full of children. And the Germans were pointing us to move on. Above our cottage was a larger peasant house. And they drove us all into that barracks. A soldier stepped to the door and we were in the living room, the kitchen and the hall. There were at least thirty of us there." - "How did you manage?" - "Of course, we were scared. Then there was a big bang, and some of us started crying. I don't know how I did, but especially the little girls were scared, we were all quite scared because we had never experienced anything like it. From the kitchen window we could see soldiers walking around the barracks where we were closed, led by a commander, with our mayor and the director. They went and stopped, and they went again. Then we saw smoke and flames. There was a log barn covered with thatch, and it started burning first."

  • "They went to destroy us and reached the ridge and had to go down to the meadow. And from the other village towards Slavičín, the Romanians were already in trenches there. And they started firing the first artillery shells from the cannons. At first, they began to fall into the forest. The Gestapo stopped and returned to Vizovice. It was a matter of less than a day and our village and its people would have been destroyed. No one can explain that… The Russians did not come to us at all. They chased the Romanians in front of them to make the Romanians die first. Then the Russians only came to steal."

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    Zlín, 17.03.2018

    duration: 03:16:03
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
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The worst thing is meeting an idiot

Josef Petrů in Zlín in 2018
Josef Petrů in Zlín in 2018
photo: .

Josef Petrů was born on August 17, 1936 in the village of Loučka in the Zlín region. The parents had a modest farm. At the age of eight, he experienced the bombing of Zlín with his father. In April 1945, he witnessed the burning and theft of seven homesteads in Loučka. The Gestapo thus retaliated against the guerrillas who had previously shot its officers. After another guerrilla attack on the German transport, the Gestapo announced that it would exterminate the village on May 2. The criminal commando was driven away by Romanian soldiers who came with the liberating army. Josef Petrů witnessed heavy fighting with the German army, which dug trenches over Loučka. The grenades fell into the village and severely damaged it. At the age of fifteen he went to Gottwald, first to study, then to mechanical engineering. After the war, he returned to Loučka, commuted to work in the engineering works in Gottwaldov, where he worked in the development department. As a young man, he believed in communist ideology, but later condemned it. He told children in schools about his experiences from the war and his attitudes.