Milan Richter , CSc.

* 1935

  • "We heard [about the end of the war] on the radio when we listened to it in secret. But as the front approached, cannon blasts were heard from a great distance. We quickly dug a cover in the garden, certainly two meters deep, paneled by wood, to hide in. So some valuable things were stored there in case anyone wanted to get to them. The actual fighting in the village we experienced in a cold cellar. The farmer’s wife kept things there since there was no fridge. I guess we spent three days there. We were leaving very carefully when we felt that the shooting was quieting down. And suddenly we found out that Red Army soldiers were standing on the road in front of our house. My father was a great patriot and a Slav. He taught me two sentences in Russian that I still remember. They were: 'Da zdravstvuyet Krasniya armiya. Da zdravstvuyet generalissimus Stalin. I said it to the soldiers like that and they carried me on their hands. They kissed. They passed me from hand to hand, they took me to the transporter. Suddenly they felt they were among their own."

  • "The town of Šternberk was German. They were the first to drive the Czechs out of there. They raped, they took Czech gendarmes to Germany and tortured them. When the expulsion happened, I saw trucks going from Šternberk through our town, I guess, to Olomouc, where people had to get into the wagons. I saw them. Truck uncovered at the top. They passed through the town. I can't tell you that anybody felt sorry for them. I don't remember that. On the contrary. "

  • On speaking with Soviet soldiers in 1968 in Cheb "I did not welcome them, but I also did not protest against them. I didn't know what happened. I waited for an explanation of what would happen. I was afraid that our nation would stand against the people whose parents set us free. The first afternoon after the troops entered, I found out where their headquarters were near Cheb and drove to them. I asked them what it was all about. They told me that we had a counter-revolution. That the West is preparing for aggression with the aim of tearing Czechoslovakia out of the Warsaw Pact, thereby undermining the power of the Warsaw Pact, and that they cannot accept that. They treated me very well, I can't complain about anything. They had music playing in the field tent: their singers. For me, it was a message that there was a counter-revolution in our country, that there was a danger of foreign troops invading here, and that it was necessary to prevent it. With that, I came back and passed this information on to my loved ones. "

  • "Milada Horáková deserved the sentence. It was not a manipulated process. To this day, I see her as a heroine - even during the Nazi occupation. I don't believe what she said was manipulated. She sided with the party that wanted to liquidate the newly formed regime. Another thing is that she should not have been executed. But the sentence was in accordance with the penal code of this country. A country that was a recognized state of the world community and that punishment was justified. But the sentence is a shame. That should never have happened. That's how I see it."

  • "It must be understood that the world was completely antagonistically divided. Realize that at that time, the West was working to change the regime over here. In 1950, Free Europe was established, paid for by the Americans. It directly encouraged people to leave to have a good life. Free Europe is fundamentally to blame for blood being shed at national borders. Of course, some were leaving because they had entrepreneurial skills and the opportunity to succeed in the West, and not where the national economy was centrally planned. These were the reasons, too. But many left because they had committed crimes, some of them at the turn of the 1940s and 1950s with millions in assets. It didn't have to be everything against this republic, but the republic defended itself against the outflow of wealth and against the fact that the people who left would become agents of foreign services. "

  • Full recordings
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    Praha, 30.04.2019

    duration: 01:57:41
    media recorded in project Stories of the 20th Century TV
  • 2

    Praha, 21.05.2019

    duration: 01:07:43
    media recorded in project Stories of the 20th Century TV
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If something happens, there is a soldier

Senior lieutenant
Senior lieutenant
photo: archiv pamětníka

Milan Richter was born on March 13, 1935 in Olomouc. His father František Richter was the city secretary, his mother Růžena, née Sazimová, worked at the tax office. When Milan was six years old, his mother died and his father had to send him to his sister‘s farm in Moravská Huzová near Šternberk. There he experienced World War II and also witnessed the expulsion of the Sudeten Germans. After the war, he studied at the grammar school in Olomouc for two years, and when the grammar school was abolished, he spent two years at the so-called unified school. He trained as a metal modeler in Sigma Olomouc and after his apprenticeship he worked in Moravské železárny. In 1954 he entered compulsory military service. After the war he remained in the army, at the same time he became a candidate and later a member of the Communist Party. He spent his entire professional life in various positions in the army. For example, he worked for the border guard, as the vice-dean of the Faculty of State Border Protection at the SNB University or as the deputy commander for political affairs. He experienced people detained for fleeing the West, and claims their motives were never political. He takes the communists’ rise to power in 1948 as constitutional and does not see the entry of Warsaw Pact troops in 1968 as an occupation. He describes the change in circumstances after November 17, 1989 as a counter-revolutionary coup. He retired in 1990. He is active in the Czech Border Club.