War is the worst for ordinary folk, they get hurt the most both at home and on the front
Vratislav Šeps was born in 1933 in Hradec Králové. In 1936 he moved to Nová Paka with his brother and parents; his father managed a pub there. His father was devastated when the border regions were surrendered to Germany without a fight; he died in 1942. Mrs Šepsová continued to manage the pub, and the London broadcast was a regular feature of the place. Towards the end of the war the Wehrmacht commandeered the school that Vratislav attended and changed it into a hospital. The witness was given regular homework, but there were no lessons. German civilians fleeing from the approaching front passed through Nová Paka together with transports of POWs and prisoners. The Czech May uprising broke out in Nová Paka on the third day of May, and the witness watched the Wehrmacht give up its arms. The following day a unit of German soldiers entered the town and put an end to the matter. With cannons trained on the town, the group of rebel civilians were only saved from execution by the hospital commander. When the soldiers left, all weapons and military equipment were taken to the Sokol training grounds and gym hall. Vratislav Šeps and his friends continued to find both weapons and ammunition, but toying with their finds cost some of the boys their health or even their life.