Oldřich Řičánek

* 1936

  • "Well, I had the '16mm' camera with me, so I took it to the hockey game. And I just stood, because I was interested, between the Russian and our hockey players. I stood there and the Russian coach was there too and I heard him calling after them when he sent them on the ice: 'For the family, comrade!' So, I could see that for them it was actually like a war cry. They had this hockey and this Tarasov [Anatoly Vladimirovich Tarasov] was a high-ranking officer and he was leading these hockey players like soldiers - they had to listen to every word and that's why there were these really high performances from these Russians. But ours succeeded. I happened to catch both goals on a 30m reel. Suchý scored one goal and Černý scored the other one, two of our players scored those goals. I was tremendously... Well, Tarasov had his hand like that, I filmed it all, how unhappy he was. Such a shame for them. The first time they got beaten by such a [small] country on the map, it was a terrible embarrassment for them. So, I witnessed that, how he bore it and how he affected his players that it was a terrible embarrassment for them."

  • "On 5 May [1945] a German officer slept in our hotel, and when he had breakfast, he always had his hand in his pocket. And my mother in the kitchen, when she was serving him, she said: 'I don't know what he has in his pocket all the time.' I heard her say it to the girls in the kitchen. And this was an officer who was already afraid for his life and he had a horse ready nearby, they brought him there, or what do I know. And he got on his horse from us and rode towards the station. And there was this Russian Ivan flying as we called the depth pilots, the fighters. And he saw him on his horse, the officer, and he threw a bomb at him. And he knocked down the house next to him. We ran over there, the boys wanted to see what it was like. So, there was a hole instead of the house, but there was only a leg left of the German. His torn off leg with a shoe. I was ten, eleven years old boy. It was a shock for me to see a bloody leg when I realized that he was at our place, that officer. So, it kind of had a terrible effect on me at the time. Just before May 6, when Holešov was liberated."

  • "There were several guests at our hotel who knew about the partisans coming in the evening to get various products. But of course, since they were all friends, no one would mention it. But it was interesting that German officers would go there, because when they heard that it was the best place to eat and the best place to drink and so on, so they went there too. And there was an Austrian officer among them, his name was Hans Kocher. And he started to cooperate with the partisans so much that he was bringing them guns and ammunition in trucks to the forests near Bystřice. I used to ride in that truck with him when I was a boy. I still remember seeing in those boxes that there were big bullets for some machine guns and grenades and things like that. So he, as a German officer, an Austrian, helped those partisans a lot. They had no supply of arms and ammunition and that at that time. This was 42, 43, 44, later, about that time..."

  • Full recordings
  • 1

    Zlín, 11.03.2022

    duration: 01:57:18
    media recorded in project Příběhy regionu - STM REG ED
  • 2

    Zlín, 13.03.2022

    duration: 02:03:31
    media recorded in project Příběhy regionu - STM REG ED
Full recordings are available only for logged users.

I hated the communists from the moment they arrested my father

Oldřich Řičánek at film studios in Gottwaldov, early 1960s
Oldřich Řičánek at film studios in Gottwaldov, early 1960s
photo: archiv pamětníka

Oldřich Řičánek was born on 19 January 1936 in Holešov in the Zlín region into the family of a hotelier Josef Řičánek and Marie Řičánková, née Oškerová. His father ran a thriving business at Sokolský dům, where the family also lived, and during World War II he became a supporter of the Resistance. In 1949, his father lost his trade and in a trial with other self-employed businessmen was sentenced to two years in prison, which he spent in the uranium camps in the Jáchymov region. Oldřich and his brother Vlastimil were not allowed to study as a result of their father’s persecution. Nevertheless, both of them eventually established themselves (sometimes only for a time) in fields that interested and satisfied them. Thanks to his membership in the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia, his brother became an editor of the Czech Radio Brno and Oldřich found a job as a lab technician in the film studios in Kudlov near Zlín. Film strips of footage of Hanzelka and Zikmund or Karel Zeman’s Journey to the Beginning of Time passed through his hands, and later he got a job as a camera assistant. In this way, he worked on The Fabulous Baron Munchausen and Invention for Destruction, or the children’s films by directors Josef Pinkava and Zdenek Sirový. He has been a photographer all his life and, in addition to snapshots from filming, he also documented the events of August 1968 in the then Gottwaldov. In 1969, he travelled to Stockholm for the World Hockey Championship and managed to record the most important moments of the legendary match between the Czechoslovakia and the USSR. At the end of the 1990s, he gave the unique recording to sports editor Robert Záruba. After leaving the film studios and starting a family, he worked in various jobs until the revolution, and for a time he worked in the associated production of the Hvozdná collective farm near Slušovice. In 2022 he lived in Zlín.