Corporal (ret.) Vladimír Procházka

* 1923  

  • "Oh yeah, there's very fertile soil there. Anything you plant in the ground there grows like mad. Tobacco? I myself was growing tobacco. When I started smoking a bit as a kid, I grew three or four tobacco plants for myself and then I dried it, cut it and made myself cigarettes. So I was actually growing tobacco myself."

  • "I was lucky that I was standing a bit lower. That German had to be terribly close - if he had thrown it one meter closer, it would have hit me straight. It landed about two meters away from me."

  • "The Germans were assembled into groups and then a car came and took them across the border. I spent about two or three days there. They were told to put their silver or their gold, or anything else they had, on the table. It was put in bags and the bags were sealed. They mostly kept it somewhere hidden, of course. They were only allowed to take thirty kilos with them."

  • "It was early in the morning, still being dark. I was yet sleeping. Suddenly, there was a knocking on the door. Two militiamen were standing in front of our door. 'Does Josef Procházka live here?' 'Yes'. So, one of them grabbed him and they led him to the local district office. Meanwhile, another twenty men were assembled and they were all sitting in a truck, a three-ton truck, which I remember. They continued with the assembling of the men throughout the dawn and about eight or nine o'clock, they were ready and thus they left. Then I waved to him for a last time."

  • "It goes without saying that cannibalism existed there. Sometimes they'd tell us: 'you can't eat that salami – it's made from human flesh'. I haven't seen it myself, but I heard about it."

  • "When they were moving from former Polish territory, they had backpacks, and apparently it originates from the word backpack. The village where they lived, was called Kupičov. It had originally belonged to Russia, then to Poland. From there, they walked on foot to this place."

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    Praha, 22.01.2013

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    duration: 03:16:45
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
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We’ve always been patriots

 Procházka Vladimír
Procházka Vladimír
photo: dobová: archiv pamětníka, současná: V.Faltýnek 22.1.2013

Vladimír Procházka was born on 29 October, 1923, in the village of Česká Krošna near Zhitomir. His parents were descendants of the Czech settlers, who came here in the 19th century in search of land. When Vladimír Procházka was 14 years old, his father, together with other Czech inhabitants from Česká Krošna, were deported to Siberia. He’s never returned from Siberia anymore. During the Second World War, Vladimír Procházka was drafted to the Red Army and he became a member of the Czechoslovak Airborne Brigade on Polish territory, where he was severely wounded by a grenade. When he recovered, he continued to fight and helped to liberate the Slovak town of Poprad, Ružomberok and Žilina. In May 1945, he briefly took part in the organization of the resettlement of the civilian German population of Bílina in northern Bohemia. He then returned to the Ukraine and became involved in the repatriation of the originally Czech population back to Czechoslovakia. Since 1947, he lived first with his mother and sister in Teplice and then with his own family in Prague. He worked for the Administration of Passports and visas. For his position towards the events of August 1968, he lost his job at the beginning of the normalization and was expelled from the Communist Party. Until his retirement, he then worked as a traffic controller for the District housing administration in Prague.