Oldřich Vašák

* 1926  

  • "So I started working at Diana. While I was there, I worked in the tunnels on Messerschmitt. They let me put some pipes into that machine. I didn't pay enough attention to it to do it carefully. Please, I had it in my heart. However, they then put me on the hardest job - transporting the column. From below, below the tunnel, various components were pulling up. I also want to say that at that time, as a young person, I was disappointed with our people, because they would work for them on Sundays for a piece of salami or a bit of a cigarette or a little brandy. I was surprised, as a young man, that they were our capable guys. They were students, non-students, God knows who worked there. I felt really bad. I didn't work on a single Sunday, I always went home."

  • "I welcomed the Russians and we were in the cellars for some bombing. I saw the Russians, but then, when they had headquarters there, they visited us in the cellars. Each family had a fenced part of the cellar that we were in. I was there together with my mother, my brother, my second brother, and another family, a young lady, she had a three-year-old daughter and a stepdaughter with us in the cubicle. Since there was a 90-year-old grandmother with us wearing a large skirt that was once worn by old women, especially country girls, she hid the daughter, then sixteen, under her skirt in case anyone happened to come and lust after her. Coincidentally, two Russians came with rifles, and now they were choosing, choosing. Tension, you know, no fun, such ugly guys, greasy. When I saw them marching around us, it was horrible, with the horses, and some soldiers running beside them. So in the evening they came to that cubicle and chose the lady."

  • ​​"I was at home. Two Czechs came and asked if Mr. Vašák was home. I say, 'No, but he's coming for lunch.' I had no idea they were the Gestapo. If I knew, I might have thought to send them into the house through a certain entrance, one my father didn't use, he would use the other. If it only had occurred to me, however, one does not realize it. So they were waiting for him and arrested him downstairs in front of the entrance to the house. You know, he didn't come home, so we were nervous about father. In the end, we found out that he first was in Kounic's dormitories for some time, then he was transferred to Flossenbürg and then to an offshoot of the Flossenbürg camp in Liberec [the witness confused it, it was a concentration camp in Litoměřice]. I have some letters, those people think he got there and was in factories in tunnels and working there. Father was forty-eight years old, he was a man full of strength, I don't remember him being sick. In the end, on February 5, 1945, we received a paper declaring that he died.​​"

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    Moravský Krumlov, 06.08.2020

    (audio)
    duration: 02:14:38
    media recorded in project Příběhy regionu - JMK REG ED
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Two Czechs came and asked about my father. Little did I know that they were the Gestapo

A period photograph of Oldřich Vašák
A period photograph of Oldřich Vašák
photo: Witness' archive

Oldřich Vašák was born on June 24, 1926 into the family of the Czechoslovak legionary František Vašák. He grew up in Moravský Krumlov, from where the family moved out in 1938, when the town fell within the Sudetenland. At that time, Oldřich was studying at the military gymnasium in Moravská Třebová in the Hřebeč region. He recalls the conflicts between the local German-speaking Germans and the soldiers. After the occupation of Czechoslovakia by Nazi Germany, the school was shut down and Oldřich returned to Brno, where he later studied at the business academy. In June 1944, his father was arrested by the Gestapo for his participation in the Czechoslovakian resistance. He died in the concentration camp in Litoměřice six months later. At the end of August 1944, Oldřich had to enter forced labor in the Diana underground factory, where he manufactured Messerschmitt Bf 109 fighters. The arrival of Red Army soldiers foreshadowed another evil for Oldřich when he witnessed their violence. He perceived the Communists as enemies throughout his life. He found a job position as the head of the accounting department of the Faculty of Education, which fell under the rectorate of Masaryk University, where he worked until his retirement in 1987. Oldřich moved back to Moravský Krumlov. In 2020, he had a “stone of the disappeared” placed in front of his birthplace for his father František Vašák.