František Cenkl

* 1923

  • "People were brought there on trucks. Soldiers - their dead bodies that is. They were simply dumped out of the tipper and then covered with dirt. The pile of the corpses and dirt was about three or four meters high. Sometimes, when I go to the cemetery I see the dirt is sinking. The corpses are still there. Most of them are Germans. They couldn´t dig a hole in advance though. Do you know how many dugouts are around Olomouc town? Anti-tank dugouts; the tank couldn´t get over it. They were all the way from Kopeček throughout entire Moravia."

  • "I used to go to church for blessings or confirmation and I don´t know what else. And then when you see...If only God could watch that...These camps...Indescribable...It didn´t happen in our camp, but in other camps they used to gather the dead bodies into the ditch with a digger. That was something terrible. You realized there that you´re nothing. I´m still having nightmares about it even though it is so long time ago."

  • "As soon as the Germans began to rage they became more visible as well. Hitler had all the power and promised them the moon and the stars. The fights have begun. The girls started to wear white knee socks (the terry ones). They started to behave as they are something better than...So the boys brought the gloss used on the horse´s hoof, it contained a bit of the globins. They took the painting brushes and as the girls were passing by they caught them and painted their sock with it."

  • "It happened in Přáslavice village. One Russian soldier ran into one house and stole a bag with grain for his horse from the grandmother. The old lady came out and started to scream. Another Russian soldier came on horse, shoots the other Russian soldier and continued in his ride. The old lady was crying. I told her: ´First you were crying that he took the bag, now you´re crying that he´s dead.´ She shouldn´t have screamed."

  • "They arrived on their motorbikes to town. Germans who were already in Olomouc were celebrating. They brought big boilers in front of the Town hall and began to cook. They were offering soup to poor people. It was the German typical dish - the Eintopf (German, lit.: "one pot"). There were lines of people waiting and the Germans were taking pictures of them. They made propaganda out of it - if Hitler wouldn´t feed us we would all die here. And it was exactly the opposite."

  • "It was awful in general. The made a rule all of a sudden that nobody is allowed to smoke after 10pm. They announced it as a n order during the evening line up. I came back to my room and light up a cigarette. They caught me and put me to the correction room. ´Why am I here? ´ - ´Don´t you know it is forbidden to smoke? ´ - ´I don´t.´ - ´So the others should told you that.´ I spent the whole night there. The room was made out of concrete so it was freezing cold in there. And since I wore only my underwear the boys threw me some coat and covers inside."

  • "It was really terrible in Přerov. The town was under permanent supervision. Přerov has always been sort of central town for Moravia, all trains were going there. It was awfully stinky on the platform. There were packs, luggage, everything what was sent to Germany. But they never loaded it in; they needed the trains for other things. Those packages could have been there for as long as two years. It was rotten and stinky; nobody cleaned it. Later I have asked one Přerov resident about it and he said: ´That´s where the epidemic started.´ Just then they started to loading it on the train and taking it away. There were thousands of rats! It was disgusting."

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    Olomouc, 05.02.2010

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    nahrávka pořízena v rámci projektu Stories of 20th Century
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“Human life had absolutely no value there.“

Corporal František Cenkl - in Olomouc 1945
Corporal František Cenkl - in Olomouc 1945
zdroj: archiv pamětníka

Mr. František Cenkl was born on September 13th 1923 in Charváty village nearby Olomouc town. During his life journey he has been through not only the Nazi but also the communist prisons. During the WWII he attended the Business high school in Olomouc town. He had one really good school mate German Walter Knapp there. He was a member of the partisan group operating in Velká Bystřice. This group was focused primarily on damaging the big military supply transports in Olomouc region. Their actions, however, increased the vigilance of the German security forces, which started to intervene in this area more and more often. The shadow of suspicion fell also on František Cenkl. In June of 1943 he was sent by Gestapo to the forced labor camp in Auschwitz. After his arrival to the camp he unfortunately became a prisoner at once. In very poor conditions he was building the factory of the I.G. Farben group producing the synthetic petrol. At the beginning of 1944 he and his friend decided to runaway. He hid himself into the train that was going all the way to the factory and under dramatic circumstances managed to get to Olomouc. To prevent the suspicion he faked the employment book and began to work at Wagner-Werke Company. Thank to this he lived to witness the liberation of Olomouc by Soviet army. After the war he firstly underwent the military training and after that he started to work in the wholesale and became the chairman of the unions. Being a national specialist he didn´t agree with the communist regime. He refused to join the Communist party and during the business meeting he held a speech where he said that the trade unions must be in opposition to the ruling party otherwise they´ll be meaningless. Shortly after that he got arrested and sentenced to one and a half years to forced labor in Jáchymov mine. He was transported to Jáchymov just when his wife was pregnant. For the entire time he spent in there nobody even informed him whether his wife and the baby are alright. In 1951 he was pardoned in Karlovy Vary (Carlsbad). He never lived to see the apology, let alone the compensation. After he returned to his hometown he started to work in Moravian Ironworks factory. He worked hard to be the manager; he stayed there until his retirement. Today he lives in Olomouc town.