Stanislav Husa

* 1927  

  • “I had worked in heavy machinery and chemical industry. I got to Hamburg and my mum asked me to go search for my dad’s grave. I worked on large pumps which were being tested only at night due to their large electricity consumption. These were ethylene cooling pumps intended for the Záluží factory. During midnight snack break the head of the inspection asked me what was I about to do, that they had someone to accompany me to the Reeperbahn. I replied: ‘Sir, I have a completely different goal. I will go looking for my dad’s grave.’ He told me: ‘Mr. Husa, I should first introduce myself.’ He took off his shirt – and there was the SS! He said: ‘My dad was a social democrat. He was imprisoned for six years and died of cancer three weeks after his release. In nine months I was called up to the army and assigned to the SS. My mum wanted to hang herself. I received a training, they were bringing me to Schleswig-Holstein but I managed to jump off the train. I knew a farmer nearby with whom I took refuge. But then the war ended and I feared being put into an SS-lager where the inmates would have killed me for desertion. And now, Mr. Husa, my best neighbor-friend is the director of Hamburg cemetery.’ I arrived home and just laid down after my night shift. At half past seven the chambermaid woke me up saying that there was a phone call for me. The director of the Hamburg cemetery was calling me, saying that he expected me at 9 a.m. in front of the gate. This is where the search for my father’s grave began. For two days we couldn’t find it. I went everywhere. Each inmate regardless of their nationality has a gravestone there with date of birth and date of death engraved. A fancy cemetery that we can’t even imagine. On the third day the director got an idea and searched the card index for stateless people. That’s where he found Josef Husa.”

  • “Suddenly, this Bruno – the smuggler Brunner – came over and didn’t want any bread. He came over with an address so that my mother-in-law would ensure for the given guy to come on this and that day at 10 p.m. He would then pick him up and take him across the border. This is how the people smuggling began. Bruno came over and said: ‘I will be back in four weeks.’ My mother-in-law would take a postcard, write down the address and the return address, adding a text: ‘Remember that this and that day’ – the date they were about to be taken across – ‘is my birthday. I expect you to come for lunch at my place before noon.’ The person would arrive and my mother-in-law would immediately send them from Litvínov to Most to buy a kilo of coffee there. But not ground so that it wouldn’t be sniffed out. In exchange for this kilo of coffee, the person received travel documents all the way to West Berlin, a ticket and all the rest. There was no other money involved. According to my interrogators, some twenty-eight people had made it across this way.”

  • “Queen Elisabeth arrived, and so did George W. Bush. Emperor Putin was also present there and the Czech president Klaus sat in the second row. The veterans were marching, me among them. I had a folding cane. In front of me was Mr. Uruba who served as a flying instructor in Prostějov. He scuttled nicely, not following the rhythm at all! The tempo was somewhat slow, French veteran, based on drums… And he just scuttled like a hen. My cane was getting in his way so I folded it and spread my legs to get round and not to trip him. We marched on as the drums were getting louder and louder. Then, there was the touching march of the French veterans – the most beautiful thing of all. Me among them. I was at the edge of the ten-people-row and the cameras were all upon me. When I later received the recording and watched it, I could see my beautiful pointy hooter – my gob covering the whole screen. Then, there was the ceremony. They sat there and Elisabeth was saying something. She was looking at us, me also. I thought: ‘Dear God, Betty, don’t get up, don’t come to me and don’t ask me where I had been fighting.’ My legs were shaking of the thought that the old woman comes to me and asks me: ‘Standa, where had you been fighting?’”

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I had been doing better than Gustáv Husák

Stanislav Husa – school leaving portrait, 1947
Stanislav Husa – school leaving portrait, 1947
zdroj: archiv pamětníka

Stanislav Husa was born on 6 May 1927 in Košice, Slovakia. His father, a WW I veteran from the Eastern Front, worked there as a policeman. Following the declaration of the fascist Slovak State, Husa‘s family were forced to move back to Prague because of their Czech origin. Due to his collaboration with the resistance Stanislav‘s father was arrested by the Gestapo. He died of a heart attack on 8 May 1945 in a prison in Hamburg. Stanislav was therefore growing up without a father. He witnessed the shelling of Prague and the construction of barricades during the Prague Uprising in May 1945. After the war‘s end he got employed in Stalin Works but was soon conscripted into the army. Once there, he applied to train at the Aerial Military Academy in Hradec Králové. He served with a combat battalion but also participated in the military crop dusting of the leaf beetle. He was sentenced to four years of forced labor at the Jáchymov uranium mine for helping people cross the border to Western Europe. From Jáchymov he was later reassigned to work as a design engineer in Opava. After his release he worked in Škoda Plzeň and later in the Czechoslovak Naval Registry. Despite him being a former political prisoner, his technical skills and the job of an inspector at the investment bureau enabled him to travel the world in the 1970s, including Poland, West Germany, France, Japan and Iraq. He even worked in an Iraqi refinery at the time of the Iraq-Iran war. After 1989 he was an active member of the restored Czechoslovak Legion Community, serving as director of its Prague 6 unit for fourteen years. At present he is retired but still engaged in keeping the memory of Czechoslovak war veterans alive.