Karel Budil

* 1929

  • „My younger sister had at home her bottom drawer for future wedding. They confiscated it and had exposed it in a shop with defamatory signs: ‘the ground squirrel Budil lives like that – he piles up goods, deprives the state of food and other staff’. Representatives of the national committee from Hořovice were instantly coming to our home and store. Every time they had some official papers that a control is needed whether my father had not concealed some goods. They were looking especially for money, gold, dollars, etc.”

  • “A political training was led by lower officers who knew at least something. Lieutenants and higher ranks officers were so stupid and uninformed that they had to finish immediately after they had started. Among us were well-educated people from universities who were able to ask questions. After some time the whole thing diverted in such a way that they were lecturing us instead. Otherwise the political training was all time the same: about the USSR, dangerous imperialists, etc. There was nothing to learn. The officers brought some newspapers and read something from it, talked about Russian pilots who lost their legs, about the cow Nikita, which gave 60 liters of milk, about super-humans living in Russia and that everything went perfect there: ‘The USSR is our pattern and our salvation!’.”

  • “To Karvina we came on the 1st May. We were forced to take part in a manifestation and immediately after it ended, we had to start mining in the pit of president Beneš. We hadn’t passed neither training nor course how to behave in case something went wrong, for example in a case of a gas leakage. We were simply stepping in the dark. Everyone who passed trough without injuries or long time health consequence was lucky. Affected friends put up with health consequences the worst. They were affected for their whole lives. Someone lost his leg or hand, someone went blind or deaf, and someone was even buried. Nobody else wanted to work there so they put there ‘unreliable’ soldiers.”

  • “Ordinary military service took two years. There were rumors we should go home after these two years. We were getting ready for a civilian life already, but suddenly we were told our military service had been prolonged: we were not class-conscious enough, we needed more reeducation. We had to carry on. If someone wanted to leave he had to sign so called ‘labor contract’ for another 3-5 years in the mining or the building industry. Only after that they let us go.”

  • “We were regularly paid, but certain amount from our salaries was used to cover the meals, the cloths and the accommodation. Approximately one third of everyone’s salary was deposed on a bank account. This money we were supposed to get in time we were leaving military service. But then came the monetary reform and we lost almost everything. Money were changed only up to 50, 000, - Czech crowns. So we got only around 1, 500, - crowns each for all our work during the service in the PTP.”

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    Praha, 27.03.2007

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„On the 1st May we were forced to take part in a manifestation and immediately after it ended we had to start mining in the pit of president Beneš.”

Karel Budil at military service in Marianske Lazne
Karel Budil at military service in Marianske Lazne
zdroj: archiv pamětníka

Karel Budil was born on February 9th in 1929 in Prague. He grew up in Hostimice pod Brdy, where his father carried on a general store. After the communist coup in February1948 the whole family was persecuted and all its property was confiscated step by step. Because of his origin Karel Budil was called into the military service with the PTP (Auxillry Technical Batalion) in 1950. He was placed in different mines in Ostrava, Karviná and Orlová. At the beginning he worked as an unskilled laborer, later as a miner. From the PTP he was released in November 1953, but first he had to sign an enforced contract for another year in the mining industry. After the contract expired he started to work in the company Arma. He worked in the army canteen and later at the military airport Milovice. Finally he found a job in Prague in the food trade. He retired in 1983.