Vladimír Ráček

* 1927  

  • “We were bringing macadam there, the same material used in road construction, and the place was wet and they found out that nobody knew how much macadam had been issued... I was a leader of students of theology. Our performance rate was 140 percent. We were supposed to work over hundred percent, and our leaders, the officers, were paid according to how much we exceeded hundred percent. There were regulations for that. We worked for the Metrostav company and they paid us, but we had to use this money to pay for our accommodation, food, and everything, and what was left was being sent to our savings account and we were receiving only some pocket money.”

  • “The three of us agreed that we would set out for Brazil. We were eighteen years old and in July 1945 we set out for some port in France. We chose Cannes and we planned to board a ship there and go to Brazil and work for the Baťa company here. Baťa’s son escaped to Canada, but he died in an airplane accident, and Baťa had left for Canada before the Germans came... His brother was in Brazil and he grazed cattle and built factories there and we thus decided that we would go to Brazil.”

  • “Uncle contracted pneumonia while he was imprisoned in Valdice. He was not admitted to the prison hospital. He shared a room with certain Ferda, who was nicknamed ‘Pearl of the Prague Sewers.’ This man was an employee of a sewage company… provided a hiding place for weapons for some people in 1949. He did not care about politics. He was imprisoned and sentenced to fifteen years. He was taking care of my uncle for two weeks. He was making tea for him and applying compresses. For two weeks. My uncle was thankful to him.”

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    Pardubice, 22.04.2015

    (audio)
    duration: 01:17:54
    media recorded in project The Stories of Our Neigbours
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I don’t know what the word patriotism means to you, but when we were boys, we lived it

As a young man
As a young man

Vladimír Ráček was born May 18, 1927 in the village Křoví in the Vysočina region. His father worked as a warehouseman in Velké Meziříčí and his mother took care of their farm. Vladimír attended elementary school in Křoví and higher elementary school in Velká Bíteš. He learnt the shoemaker’s trade in the Baťa’s School of Work in Třebíč-Borovina. After the end of WWII in 1945, he and his friends planned to go to Brazil and work there, but they were not successful. Vladimír was drafted for the military service in 1949. While in the army, he took a stance for freedom of religion and he was then subject to a political screening and a transfer to the Auxiliary Technical Battalions (PTP) for having voiced his opinion.