"After a while- I can´t guess how long- the car came and brought one of the citizens that were hiding the paratroopers for two or three days in Bonov village. It was some Mr. Kratochvil, who was 71 at that time. When they arrived, we stood close to him, the officer was beating him badly, the blood was pouring out from his ears. He fell down. He was kicking him. It was an awful experience I will never forget.
"The paratroopers were all set for leaving and one of them was guarding - it was Mr. Jiri Novotny. All of a sudden he heard something like the weapon ratteling and said: Boys, it is bad, they are encircling us. So they got up leaving all their stuff there and ran outside forward the beehive where was a ditch and they started to crawl in it. And the German soldier knocked on Jirka´s shoulder and said: ,Du, Fritz?´ After that the paratroopers got up and started to run and that was when the shooting began and when my father ran outside of the house. Instead of running into the woods the paratroopers ran across the garden and jumped in the grain field that was in front of the house. Unlike our dad, who ran towards the wood, he tumbled over some root and hurt his knee pretty badly.
Because he knew they would use the dogs he ran thrue the stream and after some big troubles he made it safely to some forest keeper.
"We were watching all this from our window. Yeah, I have to point out, that before the paratroopers said good bye that night after dinner, one of them, Mr. Kotasek gave my mom 50 thousand crowns - in case something would happen to him- because they were about to move somwhere else. He asked my mom to give the money to his mom which lived in Ratiskovice by Hodonin. Now mom have had not only those 50 thousand, but also her brother has installed this lamp in our radio. When we turned it on we could listen to the London radio station. Mom, holding the money and the lamp, went outside and before she entered the wood, she made a stop at the woodshed, she lifted a big log we used for cutting the sticks and hid the money there. She pushed the lamp into the rabbits hole. Then mom got outside where all the soldiers were aiming at her and were stepping forward to her when she tried to return in the house. Her hands were up, of course. They all entered the house. First thing that got knocked down was the radio. Then all the clothes from the closets, from the beds, they ruffled everything...At first we were standing outside by the wall and then they took us on the field path, which was in front of our house. The keeper´s house was built surrounded from three sides by the woods and by fields on the front side. The fields were farming by the former landowner, we can even say grand landowner, named Mr. Kuthan."
"They put us in the cars and because there wasn´t any reasonable road from our house, they took us to the road leading from Mysliborice village to Zarubice village, where the buses were already waiting for us. We were not alowed to take anything with us, we left just as we were at home without anything. We must have carried the paratrooper´s bags. We carried those and came to the bus where Mr.Papula´s family was already sitting. Not only Mr. Papula and his wife, but also his sister and even the cattlemen. There were about five or six of them and all of them were executed at the end. They have seated us on the bus, it was always gestapo officer, me, officer, mom, officer, sister. They took us to Brno city to the Faculty of law where we got out of the bus. They took us inside of the faculty and we had to stand there facing the wall. After some short while they took our mom away for questioning and put me and my sister to some small room.
It didn´t take long and some young lady entered the room and told us to go with her. There was a car outside waiting for us. We got in, this lady sat between us put her arms around our shoulders and the car left. We didn´t know where we going. The whole time in the car this lady was asking us if we didn´t see anything, if somebody wasn´t in our house. We both were crying of course, after such experience... That lady said:,Don´t cry. If you tell us that there were some men in your house we will let your mommy go for sure.´We are grateful, that our parents were careful enough not to let us know that somebody was in our house. Because being so worried about our parents we would have surely said something and that would have been the end. Our mom was not judged, she was a hostage, and if the war would have last for fifteen years, she would have been arrested for fifteen years. We had to wait. There was a reward 50 thousand german marks for my dad´s head, his picture with his description was hanging on all police stations. And me and my sister went into the detention camp in Svatoborice town."
"As kids, we had no idea about our parents activity. Mom at 11pm....the paratroopers always came. I have to point out that they never lived right in the keeper´s house, but just behind the house was well equiped beehive, where they kept their belongings and stayed during the day. This Mr. Papula, I´m not saying that thanks to his unwariness or his overcredulity, met some czech officer, who unfortunately happened to be the gestapo informer and has told the gestapo about everything. Then on June 15th 1944, just when mom was listening to London radio station, daddy was not at home, they were saying that this operation was betrayed and they worned the paratroopers to change their hiding place immediately. Mom was serving them dinner at 11pm and at 1am the shooting started. Dad put his pants on, he grabed the rifle and ran outside. It was so dark outside you could´t see a thing. Then at 4am mom left the house, walked across the frontyard and entered the wood behind. And then we saw her putting her hands up as a few rifles was aiming at her.
"There was the protectorate here, everybody was scared of what tomorrow may bring, we were not allowed to listen to the foreign radio, the Heidrich operation started, people were being executed, arrested. We were not saved from all this either. At the beginning of May 1944 my dad was asked to hide three paratroopers, which were sent here from the west. They were supposed to arrange the revolt activity here in our republic. These paratroopers were introduced to my parents by Mr. (Jan) Pelan and Mr. (Jan) Durda. These men were from Bonov village and worked for my dad as woodmen. Our dad agreed with hospitality of the paratroopers. There were the three of them. Their names were Mr. Jaroslav Kotasek, Mr. Rudolf Novotny and Mr. Jan Vavrda. They had nicknames, of course. But we were living in the wildrness without the electricity and the paratroopers needed the connection with London. Our dad had a friend named Mr. Papula, a farmer, who lived in Mysliborice village. So they discussed that with his help, they might renew the connection with London... There were several problems with the transmitter, which I can´t exactly describe, only from what I heard, that this transmitter was hidden somwhere and after some time and some troubles they found it and reset the connection afterall."
"We stayed in Svatoborice for 10 months, and when the battle over Hodonin town started, the order to close the detention camp came. In the camp we were in, were also women, men. Mostly these people had some relatives or friends abroad, some of the foreign pilots. The battle over Hodonin town started around the April 10th, most of the people from the camp were sent to other place. There was about two thousand prisoners. About one hundred of these prisoners and us, kids, those fifty kids, was moved. In fact we walked to Kyjov town, where we were accommodated in local school basement. I don´t know exactly now how many days it was, but I think two days or so, when all of a sudden at 8pm some buses came. All of us had to get on the bus, adults had to get on the trucks and then when the dark came we were off to somewhere we didn´t know. I can´t describe where we were going to, we could hear the shooting. And it was around 3am- You could guess by the sunrise coming up soon- when we have arrived to Brno train station on platform no. 5. They put us on the wags without the windows, they were broken. Because we were not allowed to take anything with us, everyone was carring only one blanket, nothing else. We were cold on that train, of course, we didn´t have anything to eat, nothing at all. It was morning, the hooter sounds started, so they took us off the train. I found out later that we were hiding in the basements under Petrov town. We have survived a big air attack on Brno city. Afterwards they took us back to the train again. Nothing was happening then. In the afternoon we saw the pilots bombing the Horni Herspice town. We were watching the planes approaching, the fires.... And then at night the train started to move . It was another night, another day, then one more night and the third day around 6pm we have arrived... We have seen the sign on the building - Plana over Luznice town."
"They simply searched thru this place, two other officers brought two dogs, because the whole wood was encircled, there was a machine gun every 50 meters apart. It was a huge operation indeed. It wasn´t like - I don´t know- five or six gestapo officers or so. They simply brought the dogs on the hint. Thanks to the fact that our rabbits were running freely outside, the officers were not able to use the dogs after all. The rabbits knew our dogs mean no harm to them, therefore they were not afraid of the gestapo dogs at all. The officers were angry, but didn´t use the dogs. I´m sure that our rabbits saved the lifes of the paratroopers that night, because they were hiding in the grain field about 100 meters away. If they would have used the dogs, they would have surely find them.
"We have lost the track of time. We didn´t have any watch. Me and my sister were standing on that field path, and we could see, they were loading something covered with a blanket into the car. And it was one of the paratroopers, who got shot down by the deadly gun shot. And it was just the one who gave our mom the money, Mr. Jaroslav Kotasek."
"My wish is for my children and the children of their children and the future generation generally to never have to experience what we once had to go thrue. For them to appreciate their life, for them to appreciate every nice day, because non of us is here forever. And we think that the End is still to far, but it´s not truth. All of a sudden it´s here and you have to put up with it somehow and when you look back you have to say: I didn´t lived for nothing, I don´t have to be ashamed for what I have done in my life and I don´t have to be ashamed for I lived the way I lived".
My only wish is for my children, their children, and future generations to never have to experience what we had to go through.
Vera Dolezalova was born on March 10th 1930 into the family of Frantisek Vitous, a forest keeper and his wife Marie. Because of Frantisek‘s job, the family had to move frequently and live alone in the wildrness. In 1938 the family had to leave the border region and move to a small village, Mysliborice, where they stayed in a keeper´s house. During the Second World war Vera‘s father actively participated in the revolt group called Lenka-Jih (Lenka-south). The parents were hiding three paratroopers from the Spelter operation in their keeper´s house. Unfortunately, the hiding place was uncovered and the house was assaulted by gestapo. Both Vera and her sister were sent to a detention camp in Svatoborice. Their mother was arrested at the Kounic campus in Brno city and their father hid in different places until the end of the war. The family reunited again after the war was over.