Antonín Gajda

* 1925  †︎ Neznámý

  • "Twenty of us set off from that school, I think. Twenty of us were walking to Bolatice, where our soldiers had their meeting point. We all got there on foot and we were also attacked by a plane when we were at Štětina, [it was] a German on a plane. We were walking in formation, we were led by a soldier. The only option was to go towards Kravaře, where they had a repaired bridge, because there was no bridge anywhere. We went over [the bridge] and were assaulted at Štítina. We dashed into ditches, [there were] such small bridges, and bullets were flying around. But he didn't hit any of us. Then the pilot probably found out it wasn´t worth it, so he flew away. So we happily got to Bolatice, where the center was."

  • "The front line was approaching, so it was like this. Before the front came, everyone was assigned to forced labour. They called it Einsatz. This was all dug up. The Germans came to the completed trenches. They had everything ready to retreat. They knew it. People had to go dig the trenches. "

  • "I remember what the funeral was like. Dad bought a radio back then and we had the kitchen full of people listening to the funeral. It seems weird today, but people wanted to know what it looked like. No one got there at the time because they couldn´t afford it. "

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    Mokré Lazce, 01.07.2004

    délka: 28:39
    nahrávka pořízena v rámci projektu Stories of 20th Century
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I felt at home in the army

Antonín Gajda was born in 1925 in Mokré Lazce in the Opava region. He grew up on a small farm and attended the local primary school. Despite being greatly populated by Czechs, the village got occupied by the Third Reich [Nazi Germany, trans.] after the Munich Agreement. At the beginning of the war, the witness was assigned to forced labour in the Říman locksmith factory in nearby Háje in Silesia. The village of Mokré Lazce was liberated on April 20, 1945 by Soviet troops. Immediately afterwards, Antonín, together with his brother and other young men, set off for a military post established in Bolatice. On the way, they experienced an attack by a German plane. The witness then joined the 1st Czechoslovak Independent Tank Brigade and got involved in the final battles of the Ostrava operation. After the war, he moved with the brigade to Vysoké Mýto, where he joined the non-commissioned officer school. Later, he was assigned to the armourers and he trained newcomers. In 1947 he left the army and went over to civilian life. At the time of recording (2004) he was living in the village of Mokré Lazce.