Ondřej Rácz

* 1928  

  • “When I was serving in the army, I was…because…how was it? Rudík was born in 1949, on December 19.” Interviewer: “That’s the oldest one?” “No, Herbert is the oldest one.” M. A. Ráczová: “Herbert.” Interviewer: “ah, Herbert is the oldest one. So Herbert was born even before that.” “Yes, he was born in 1948, on April, 17. Rudík was born in 1949, on December 19. And the twins were born in 1951, on December 29. So there’s a year and ten days between Rudík. So in 1951, when the kids were born, I was conscripted to military service in the army and I don’t know exactly how old they were, maybe half a year or so. My wife stayed home with four kids. They moved to Skuhrov and I took Rudík with me to my parents in Slovakia. After some time, I said, ‘Why don’t you move here so you can be with Rudík’. Cause she was missing him badly. So she moved to my parents. But Rudík hadn’t seen me for half a year and therefore, he didn’t recognize me. He started to cry at the gate and the soldiers gazed at the scene and thought, what kind of a father I was if my own child didn’t recognize me.”

  • “Well, believe me, I don’t like going to these meetings of the PTP. They talk a lot of nonsense. The president is Broj. They say a lot of lies. That, they were persecuted even after the war, that they were bullied. That’s not true at all! The guys who served there with me had no particularly high education or qualification. Not one of them, not even that Janzl. But in the newspaper that comes out every three months, they said how they left. A lot of doctors, lawyers, and engineers that only studied later. There was one gynecologist; his name was Balek, a doctor. There’s a lot of engineers among us. So when we came home from military service, they basically left us alone. Nothing was happening anymore. But they’re still kidding. They’re still talking that nonsense about how they were beating us and starving us and similar stuff. Why do these people lie? That’s why I’m talking about character, you know?” Interviewer: “you were actually claiming quite the opposite. What you said is that you were given more food and that you were even able to send some of it home.” “Of course I did. There was plenty of food. Although, I as a Magyar, I’m used to eating a lot of speck. The Czechs aren’t used to it that much. We were given wicker baskets and everybody could load it with food. You could take as much bread as you wanted in the kitchen. In the canteen, you had head cheese, red herring, everything… and at home, you had nothing. Everything was for coupons.” Interviewer: “So you were sending part of it home?” “I did. I was sending speck and coal. Well, not coal but the coal vouchers. My allotment was 18 kg per day. Every half year, I sent it Šerenice (?), Uherský Brod, to Liteň and (his wife) got coal. So why do they lie? Why do these people lie?”

  • “Look, the truth is that by the time we arrived in Málkov, the situation had already calmed down. Even though we were convicts, the people behaved kindly to us. Nobody was threatening us or humiliating us. There was nothing we had to fear anymore.” M. A. Ráczová: “We lived down to earth that first week after we came.” Ondřej Rácz: “We had straw mattresses to sleep on.” M. A. Ráczová: “straw mattresses, that’s right.” Interviewer: “that’s how you met in that year 1947, in March, in Málkov?.” O. R.: “I can see her as if it was today. She had a beautiful face and red lips, a short grey jacket made of military garment. She looked very pretty. She kept running around me and I said: ‘I have to stop you’ and she was, we were normal.” Interviewer: “And then you were together in Málkov. How long did you actually stay there?” O. R.: “About a year. Then, I was drafted to the army. I did my military service in 1951. Then I moved her to Skuhrov. Her dad was in Skuhrov at that time.” Interviewer: “That’s where you went on that horse? On Jiřina?” O. R.: “That’s where I came to visit her but then I took her back to Málkov.” Interviewer: “So you went to Skuhrov for a while?” M. A. R.: “We were in Skuhrov briefly and he was in the army. He wanted to move to Slovakia with me.” O. R.: “Well, that was a bit later, wait, we have to…” M. A. R.: “When you were in the army.” O .R.: “…when her mother died. Her dad was there with her mom, who died and after about a year he was with another German woman and they moved to Skuhrov.” M. A. R.: “They were rather relatives.” O .R.: “It was on a state farm in Skuhrov. They moved away as well and I stayed there myself with Karbana and I went to see her to that Skuhrov. Then, we agreed that we’d marry and Karban gave us two rooms and some food. He also did the wedding for us, decorated the rooms and prepared the food. That’s when she was already living there with me.”

  • “In 1949, we were given citizenship and we got a letter from Prague saying that we could move back to our house. They even put the house number 1037 in the letter. We came to our house and there he was, this scoundrel.” Interviewer: “that partisan?” “Yes, he was living there. When we told him to move out he showed us some decree. If that house next door hadn’t been burned down…” M. A. Rácz (Ondřej Rácz’s wife): “that scared them.” Ondřej Rácz: “The house next door was burned down by the original owners. They returned and found out that they weren’t allowed to move back in, so they burned it. That was the reason he eventually moved out. We were already four grown-up boys, me and my brothers, so we’d tear him apart. That’s why he called the police. Two policemen came and told us that there was already a flat for us. I spoke Czech to them and they spoke Slovak. They said the government would give us a flat with two rooms. We told them, that we didn’t want a flat, that we wanted our house back. We said: ‘what would we do there? We want to stay here!’ They said they’d take us 100 km away. We said: ‘why don’t you take us back to Bohemia, where we came from’. The policemen sided with him. I’m sure of that, because they were Slovak. Suddenly, the fire broke out in the nearby house. That was around noon. We already had our things moved into the yard. The name of that scoundrel was Tomáš but I don’t remember his surname. He said he’d move out and he did. He was out of the house by the evening and we could move back in. I have no idea where he went but he left a big mess in our house. He broke some windows and cut some fruit trees but anyway, my dad and my brother were skilled carpenters so they were able to repair all of this pretty quickly. Afterwards, we lived happily. However, we had to sign up for the employment office within three days all of us and I was assigned to construction works in Bratislava. Bratislava is about 42 km away from our place and when you take the train – which stops at almost every station – it takes forever to get there. It took me almost three hours to work! I was homesick so I returned to Karban...”

  • “It was on December 15, 1946, right at Christmas. We were just getting ready to kill a pig, there was a huge one, weighing 200 kg and a smaller one. We thought we’d slaughter it for Christmas. In the end, we had to leave everything behind. There was loads of potatoes and maize. There was so much maize in the stockpile. Maize is all that grows there, so we had tons of maize. We had to leave behind our livestock as well. Two pieces of cattle.” Interviewer: “What happened? Someone came to move you out?” “Well, it was in the morning, it was still dark, about seven o’clock in the morning. A small truck with four armed soldiers came to our house and they told us, ‘take your personal belongings and get on that truck!’ That partisan had already been waiting at the door.” Interviewer: “Who got your house after you had left?” “Well, who got our house? I do remember it very well. I can still see him with his military food bad hanging from his neck. They called it a food bag. He was leaning to a pole, waiting for us to leave so that, he could seize the place. For the moment, he was alone there but I guess that he moved in with his family later on.” Interviewer: “Was somebody in command of this operation? Was there some commander present?” “There were three soldiers present, that’s all I know.” Interviewer: “Did they show you some papers? Some orders?” “Nothing. There was nothing of the sort.” Interviewer: “Did your father defend himself?” “Well, you know, three armed soldiers. When we were together on that truck platform, my dad told me to take a bit of earth from our garden.” Interviewer: “So you took some earth from your garden?” “Yes, he was 54 years old and he said that he wanted us to put that earth from our land into his grave when he dies. He then lived for twenty more years. Our huge dog was running around the place and one of the soldiers said that we could take it with us. So the dog was about everything we could take with us to Málkov.” Interviewer: “You went to the train station on that truck?” “Yes, we went two kilometers to Dunajská Streda, where a long transport had already been waiting for us. They were bringing the families from the surrounding villages to the train station all day long.” Interviewer: “What do you think, how many people might have been there? Do you think it was hundreds of people?” “I think it was more. Each car could take three or four families, depending on how large they were. It was hundreds of families.”

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    Točník, 09.07.2010

    duration: 01:47:57
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
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“I like the Czechs but they lack backbone”

Ondřej Rácz
Ondřej Rácz
photo: archív pamětníka

Ondřej Rácz was born on November 1, 1928, in Velký Blahov (Nagy Abony, present-day Slovakia) in the family of a Hungarian carpenter. In WWI, his dad was in Russian imprisonment. After WWII, the village was occupied by the Soviets and in 1946, the whole family was sent for forced labor on a farm in Málkov, near Beroun. There, Ondřej met Marie Anna Trüberová who came from a German family, that was in a similar situation. As soon as circumstances allowed for it, the two married and had four children. After the marriage, Mr. Rácz served with an auxiliary technical battalion (so-called PTP), in Karviná for two and a half years. Since 1966, he and his wife live in Točník.