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Josef Bílý (1926) - Biography

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We must have watched the executions.

Mr. Josef Bílý was born in 1926 in Horní Heřmanice village in Lanškroun town region. During his life he went through not only a Nazi concentration camp, but also through a communist prison. His father, Josef Bílý sr., participated in resistance activities during WWII. He provided hiding places for partisans, runaway captives, but also for Vítězslav Lepařík - the commander of the parachute landing, code named "Glucinium". On March 6th 1945 Gestapo officers burst into his house. Mr. Bílý Sr. had been warned in advance and managed to escape in time. Instead of him the Gestapo arrested the eyewitness Josef Bílý Jr. and his mother Anežka Bílá. They were transported to Terezín concentration camp precisely to the Small Fortress of the camp. Despite the approaching end of the war Josef Bílý and his mother experienced shocking events there. Josef Bílý became infected with spotted fever and his treatment last until June of 1945. After February of 1948 his father refused to enter the JZD (collectivized farming in former Czechoslovakia). For that reason he was sentenced to nineteen years in a communist prison. All of his property was confiscated and his wife had to pay out his own clothes. He was released in 1960 on amnesty. Josef Bílý Jr. also refused to enter the JZD and that cost him eight weeks in Lanškroun town prison. After his return he worked in JZD in Rudoltice village and after that he worked in Tesla Company in Lanškroun until his retirement. In the 90´s he got back his seven acres of land, but his father´s property (despite the court trial) was never returned. Today he lives in Lanškroun.

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