Václav Blažek

* 1920

  • “They brought beets and potatoes to the kitchen. So we always jumped up on the cart, grabbed a beet and a few potatoes. There were some Italian POWs working with us, an SS man came up, he hadn’t even hit him yet and already ‘santa maria, parco dio’ and he squeaked it all out on us. And we got a beating.”

  • “I was sent to the airfield. Every builder had to send one of his bricklayers, we rebuilt the hangars. The Germans didn’t like how the hangars were. They already had the plans with them when they arrived. You could see they had everything under control. They kept us there for three days.”

  • “I could hear a shot here, a shot there. I wasn’t sitting by the window. Suddenly, the boys who were at the window said: ‘The Germans, the Germans are running.’ We could see tanks, those weren’t Germans, those were Tommies, advancing. On about the fifth day they came up with loudspeakers and spoke first English, then German, French, Russian, but not Czech - there were a lot of us Czechs there - ‘You’re free.’ Do you think they gave us grub? No, the stuff the Germans gave us, that’s what we cooked. That’s how we were liberated.”

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    Raškovice, 08.12.2012

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    nahrávka pořízena v rámci projektu Stories of 20th Century
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An SS man came up, took the Russian’s pickaxe, and smashed his head in

Froncovi 680.jpg (historic)
Václav Blažek
zdroj: Martin Reichl

Václav Blažek was born on 14 September 1920 into a farmer‘s family in Raškovice, Pardubice District. After completing primary school in Heřmanův Městec he trained as a bricklayer. He helped construct the district court in Pardubice and the barracks in Popkovice. After Bohemia and Moravia were occupied, he was put to rebuilding the Pardubice airfield to suit the needs of the German army. In 1941 he was summoned to forced labour in the Reich. He worked in factories in Stuttgart and Friedrichshafen in south Germany. In 1942 he was allocated to the Buchenwald concentration camp, subsequently to Camp Dora, where he constructed an underground factory for the production of V1 and V2 rockets. The end of the war found him in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in the north of Germany. Upon returning to Czechoslovakia he was employed by the railways, and he remained there until his retirement.