Rudolf Baumruk

* 1927

  • "When I came back from the course in Dukovany, they said to me: 'We have everything about you, all the certificates they gave you, comrade. Would you object if we offered you to join [the party]?' And I said to that comrade director, 'Comrade director, I'm too young, I have to let these things go through my head and think about what to do next.' And you know what he said to me? 'That's not offered twice. It's only offered once, and then it's arranged accordingly.' Also, [once] an acquaintance of mine, with whom I never talked about this, who was in charge of employees´ cadre profile, said to me, 'You idiot, whatever you would do, you could never do anything to get in a [better] position.' [And] I said, 'Why?' 'Because it [your cadre profile, trans.] says you refused to join the party. So you wrote yourself off. There's nothing to talk about! You have already pronounced your verdict on yourself.'"

  • "At that time Prague was still being bombed by the German army, so we saw what it looks like when the bomb falls out of the plane. And as I say, only there you learned to appreciate life, what it means. No matter where you hide, behind a corner or wherever you go to survive. At that time, when we were there, the Prague people thought that maybe we were somebody from the Hitler Youth or something [like that]. It was only after we explained to them how we had been dragged onto that train that they took care of us and accomodated all of us in a pub. After we settled down and ate, they asked us to go and tear up the pavement and make - as they were making then - the roadblocks so that the tanks couldn't enter the streets. They also used us to pump petrol and fuel. [It was] poured into bottles [that] were meant to be thrown at the tanks, but I never saw anything like that happening. We were staying in that pub, and when there was an air raid, they would squeeze us all into the basement, where the radio had already been on. And there the propaganda was already clearly visible, what it was, because on 6 May they said: 'The Americans are behind Pilsen in Rokycany and they are letting Prague bleed!' There you could already see how these people were beginning to divide [according to] their opinion about this or that. Then... When they needed us for a job, they just sent us. But I didn't meet that group anymore, that certain part, only another group, which we didn't leave Prague with until 14 May, because the Prague-Pilsen railway to Budějovice was supposedly cut, so we took a detour. And in Budějovice I would have nearly lost my life when the Russians were there. Suddenly a little Russian guy appeared opposite me saying: 'Give me your watch!' And if a Czech hadn't shouted at him to leave me alone, I probably wouldn't have survived."

  • "[There were] about fifty of us [in Smilov] and the SA-Mann was in charge of us. And there was one among us who was known for his Scout life, and when it was 4 May, he said, 'No, we'll break down the door here, I´ll distribute food and we´ll walk to Šternberk.' We took the train from Šternberk to Olomouc and by then the situation was getting uncertain. What was going to happen there or not. Our SA-Mann, who was guarding us, was also hanging around there in Olomouc. And one of them said, 'That was their leader, we'll detain him right now.' I don't know what made them to put us on the military train as hostages. But the railwaymen in Olomouc [told us]: 'It's the last train going to Prague. Don't worry. We will make sure that you are freed.' In Kolín, where we arrived, that was the only place the train was standing. There we could already see that things were stirring. And after some time we continued to Prague. The information was that in Prague it was arranged in such a way that the train would just arrive there without being attacked. We arrived in Prague then, in Libeň, and when the train was liberated, we were accommodated. The soldiers, the Germans, were glad to get rid of it, only they had some trouble with the low rank officers."

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    Tlučná, 17.08.2019

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I refused to join the party

Rudolf Baumruk was born on 16 January 1927 in Merklín into a peasant family that owned a small farm. At the end of the World War II, in early 1945, he was sent to forced labour in Olomouc and then to Smilov, mainly to make anti-tank trenches. Together with other trench soldiers, he was put on a military train as a hostage in May 1945 without being given any reason. The crew of the train was liberated after arriving in Prague. Rudolf became involved in the Prague Uprising, helping to build barricades. In 1948, he first began a five-month military service in Jičín, after which he was allowed to return home due to work on the farm. However, as the only worker to help his mother on the farm, he had to re-enlist so that the communists could more easily make his mother enter a cooperative farm (JZD). In 1951, Rudolf was selected within the „77,000 people to manufacturing“ campaign, when people from administration jobs had to enter industry or agriculture. He became a worker in an insemination station. In 1956, he started working as a warehouseman at the Týnec Mine and got married. He and his wife moved to Nýřany. From 1965 he worked at Tesla company, then at the wood yard in Nýřany and then again at Tesla. He refused to join the Communist Party, he did not approve of the entry of Warsaw Pact troops. He believes that the Communist Party should have been abolished. He considers the Velvet Revolution to have been staged by the communists.