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Antonín Hnilička (1927) - Biography

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Antonín Hnilička was born on 16 January, 1927 in Uherský Brod in a family of a farmer. In 1938 Antonín experienced a mobilisation of the Czechoslovak army during which also his brother was draughted. During war many citizens of the Southern Moravia including Antonín Hnilička, were forced to manual labour in Austria. After the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich in summer 1942 Antonín was arrested together with other three Czechs and accused of sabotage. The witness is unaware of the exact case of his imprisonment. After questioning he was transported into the fortress Lanzendorf near Vienna, where he spent Christmas in 1942. Soon after that he was transported with other prisoners to concentration camp Mauthausen. In Mauthausen Antonín alternated between many workplaces, also did ground works in so called Russenlager, but the toughest work was in a stone mine. At the end of 1943 after transporting to nearby concentration camp Gusen, he worked for about a year in a stone mine again and at the end of war in an aviation factory. In May 1945 he experienced a liberation and set off on his way back home through České Budějovice towards Slovácko. After the war he worked at state railway. In 1949 he enlisted in the army and until 1984 he worked at the border patrol in Šumava. Antonín Hnilička lives in Prague and is still active in the area of awareness and education and participates in debates with secondary school students.

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