Adolf Ruš

* 1937  

  • “Then this company came, those three gentlemen, who had been staying at our neighbor's house. They had rented a room there and they had been observing our house. I learned about that from our neighbor's son, who was a friend of mine. He told me that there were secret police men living in their house. So I had to be careful. As we knew that our house was under surveillance, and there was some weird talk going on, like that my father managed to escape. We had learned about this for sure after he had been apprehended, as he was the last one from that group, and they were identifying those people, and they came to mother to show her those photos to make sure that it was him. They took this picture of him at the Pankrác Prison, from the front, from the right, from the left. And my father, he was all skinny, as he was on the run for nine days before they got him.”

  • “I wanted to join the Svazarm. They hadn´t accepted me because there was this report on me that I didn't possess a positive attitude towards the socialist regime and that I was under the influence of my father's worldview, who had been sentenced for anti-state activities. And it stayed with me for quite a while, for the whole time there was this communist regime; it showed up when I was looking for a job, for example. The only opportunity I had was sports, as they didn't care so much about such things. Also my uncle, my mother's brother, kept telling me that the only thing I could excel in was sports. And I got so much thanks to sports. As I could say that it had been helping me to forget what was going on around me.”

  • “I remember visiting my father in Leopoldov, where he had been transferred after his escape. Our visit could last one minute, maybe a minute and a half, and then it was all over, as my mother asked my father how he was. And he said, 'Well, why don't you just look at me.' And after that the warden said that the visit was over. So we just packed up and went home. And before we could make this visit we went for five hours at night. We came there at five in the morning, the visit was to happen at nine in the morning, but in the end we got there at half past eleven. And before we got to the place where our visit could have been, we had to pass those nine gates. And in each there were wardens on guard with sub-machine guns.”

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    Ostrava, 07.10.2020

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I was so proud of my father when he had escaped from a camp in Jáchymov

Adolf Ruš / around 1953
Adolf Ruš / around 1953
photo: Archiv Adolfa Ruše

Adolf Ruš was born on 23 April 1937 in Třinec. He was the eldest of five children of Anna and Adolf Ruš. Adolf Ruš Sr had been working as a carpenter in Třinec Iron and Steel Works. During the Second World War, as Třinec became a part of the Third Reich, he had to serve in the Wehrmacht. In France he deserted and joined the resistance, he made his way to the United Kingdom and joined the Czechoslovak army in exile. In 1951 he was arrested and sentenced to 15 years for treason and espionage in a show trial. In 1955 he managed to dig a tunnel out of the Nikolaj forced labour camp in Jáchymov region with the help of his fellow inmates and managed to escape. He had been apprehended and sentenced to an even longer imprisonment. In 1960 he had been released thanks to a general amnesty. In the meantime, witness’s family had been persecuted by the regime. From the age of 15 Adolf had to do part-time jobs at the Iron and Steel Works to help his mother to sustain the family. He graduated from a business school, yet blue-collar jobs were all he could find. His siblings were not allowed to study. He had been working at the Třinec Iron and Steel Works till his retirement. After the fall of communism, his father, no longer living though, had been rehabilitated by the court.