Josef Bachura

* 1926  †︎ 2019

  • “On the sixth of May the Vlasovites arrived. They came from Radotín via Chuchle and Smíchov. Their division was deployed somewhere near Beroun, between Beroun and Rakovník, in that area. They had Czechoslovak flags on their cars, so that no one mistook for the Wehrmacht, because they had German uniforms. I’d say that they helped Prague a lot because they had heavy weapons, they even had tanks. The interesting thing is that their tanks were T34s, captured Soviet tanks, that’s what the Vlasovites had. The Germans had their own tanks, much better ones, Tigers and Panthers. I remember that on Sunday 6 May they set up one gun at the Chuchle playing field, and they started shooting at Komořany. There was a German column in Komořany, where the bridge ends today, so I know they shot at the place somehow, at some German column. The Germans were heading towards Prague, both via Lahovice, but there were barricades there, so they couldn’t, so they also went the other way round, via Komořany and Modřany.”

  • “The commander of our militia, I think his name was Fabuš, made us into a so-called Revolutionary Guard. We were given German uniforms from the Afrikakorps, these yellow coats, we had green military trousers, green boots, and RG bands. We did guard duty after the war. I know we were sent by the Soviets, they directed us, towards Zbraslav, where the Zbraslav RG handed over four German captives to us. We were supposed to take them to the concentration camp. The Soviets immediately began rifling through their clothes, tearing up their trousers at the top; they really did have watches and rings sown into the hem of the trousers. The Soviets were experienced in that. So they confiscated their watches. They were Austrians. Already when they were handing them over to us in Zbraslav, they said: ‘Nicht schiessen, Österreichische.’”

  • “When we came to about fifty metres away from the barricade, a soldier came out from behind it, he couldn’t have seen anything at that distance. The [German] who was on the bike said: ‘Was ist denn los?’ He took his SMG and shot him down from the bike. So we knew... Like startled birds. We started legging it in all directions, the Germans shouted: ‘Zurück, zurück,’ that we should go back. I didn’t go zurück, instead I ran down from the road about ten metres, and because there were bullets whizzing around me - if you didn’t listen and didn’t go back, they shot at you. I flung myself flat on the ground and lay there like I was dead. I know that two people ran further on towards the river, and they shot one of them, Štras was his name, and the other, that was Mr Rezek, he was only wounded. Well, and there I was with no idea of the situation, face to the ground, so I jumped a wanted to run, but the Germans started shooting again, so I threw myself down once more, this time on my back, so I could see what the situation was. There was a ditch, I was running downwards and I was about ten metres away from the ditch, and there was a Vlasovite there. I saw I was alive, that I was looking around, so he shouted: ‘Idi syuda, ya russkiy. Nyeboysya.’ So I wasn’t afraid and I ran to him. That’s how I found myself with the Vlasovites.”

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    Praha, v bydlišti pamětníka, 13.02.2013

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„I’m saving my pessimism for better times“

2537-portrait_former.jpg (historic)
Josef Bachura
zdroj: dobová archiv pamětníka, současná z projektu Příběhy našich sousedů

Josef Bachura was born on the 27th of February, 1926 in Prague. He grew up in Lahovice, where his father built a house. He spent his time mostly playing football, and played for the sports club SK Lahovice. He trained to be a mechanic at the Janka Radotín company. In Lahovice, during the war he became a member of the secret Scouts troop Boys from Beaver River (according to a famous boys‘ book by Jaroslav Foglar), grouped under the auspices of the Young Herald Club, in 1944 he even underwent secret Scouts military training in Zvíkovské Podhradí near Orlík Reservoir. In autumn 1944 and spring 1945 he experienced air raids on Radotín. In May 1945 in Lahovice he joined the fight against the Germans, he was a direct participant of the events of the 7th of May 1945, during which 45 mostly Lahovice citizens died or were executed, together with 16 Vlasovites. After the liberation he was assigned to the Revolutionary Guard as a guardsman in the local prison camp. In 1948-1950 he completed compulsory military service. He began university studies in 1950, but finished them prematurely in 1954. After briefly working as a consultant at the Municipal Marxism-Leninism Advisory Bureau in Prague (1954-1957), he moved on to the Regional Institute of Pedagogics as a school inspector, but he criticised teaching methods and the behaviour of party functionaries. For this reason in 1969 he was expelled both from his job and from the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia, which he had joined in 1945. He then took up work as a mechanic in the Malešice heat plant, and in 1970 he found employment in the Smíchov brewery, where he remained until his retirement in 1986. In 2002 Josef Bachura‘s house in Lahovice was destroyed by a flood, his wife suffered permanent injury, and since that time the family lives in temporary accommodation.