Colonel (ret.) Alfred Jánský

* 1914  †︎ 2015

  • “My name is Alfred Jansky. I was born in 1914 in Olomouc. I have lived more then 30 years in Prostejov. My father was born in Prostejov, my mother in Vienna, which means mixed marriage. My father worked as a chief of a malt plant. I have worked as an official for investment at the same place. My brother perished in Bergen-Belsen, my sister died in England because of cancer. I had successfully finished high school in Olomouc in thirties. I had no chance to continue to university because of incoming war. In years 1935-37 I had served regular military service and I was promoted to lieutenant. Then I worked shortly in Sigma as an official for export to South America. I was arrested by Gestapo in the first day of war on 1st September 1939. I had passed trough four concentration camps – Dachau, Buchenwald, Natzweiler and Auschwitz.”

  • “Without any warning I happened to be in Auschwitz. At first, number 69783 was tattooed on my forearm – it happened on 24. October 1942. In Auschwitz I was placed in the main camp and put in the building unit: we build roads, barracks, and even few crematories. I remained in the main camp two years and six months approximately, before I was redeployed as older to block 6A. 600 men were living there in two wings. There I started to form a group for possible escape. Preparation works we started in the middle of the year 1944. In those days Americans were in northern Italy already and time to time bombed the concentration camp. Our group consisted of five men. We had been building a sewerage and water-supply for the camp. Within this works outside the camp we had build a small underground shelter during November and December 1944. We managed to get inside sometime around the 12th January 1945. We had prepared wire cutters, but we had to wait for an air strike – in such cases ss-guards turned off electricity in the high voltage wired fence. This way we got into the shelter. There we had been waiting a week until the Red Army freed the whole concentration camp.”

  • “At the time of mobilization I was deployed in northern borderland. The fact I was engaged in clashes with Germans was a reason I was put on a Gestapo list of enemy persons. I was arrested by Gestapo on the 1st September 1939 at my workplace. For one week we were concentrated in Stepanov near Olomouc. Then we continued to concentration camp Dachau and after short period of time to Buchenwald. In Buchenwald I spent two years and six moths. At first we had signs of ‘special prisoners’ which meant we were not obliged to work. All had changed after a bomb attack on Hitler in Munich brewery. We were put to stone pit. The work was really hard and exhausting, while the food was bad and insufficient. In the stone pit I had worked 18 months, and then I was building roads. In Buchenwald I stayed till 1942.”

  • “One of jailbirds among prisoners stole a pig to Gestapo guards. All the prisoners had to assemble on the platform. The chief announced we will stay on the platform until the culprit claims himself. Of course he did not. We had been standing first day, second day, third day... At least we were not working, but we didn’t get any food either. The death toll rose up quickly. At least we could drink water which eased the effect of three day starvation. Finally the collective punishment was called of.”

  • “We were transported to a new concentration camp Natzweiler-Struthof. In this camp we organized an escape. A group of military officers was involved. Only five of us succeeded although more men took part in the preparations. One prisoner, who was in charge of the car of our concentration camp chief, his name was Adler, a son of an Austrian general, managed the car. Another prisoner from Elsass was able to obtain ss-uniforms because he worked in ss-laundry. The plan was only five men could get into the car. As driver was chosen son of an Austrian general Adler, another men sit at the front and three more in the rear. We had counted on they would have advantage of one hour at most. Actually they got two hours. That was enough. They drove straight to the borders of Switzerland, but then marched backwards. No one could expect this. Everything went smoothly until the man from Elsass started to doubt the action. Others four decided to abandon him in the middle of the night while he fell asleep. They changed the direction of their march to assure the Elsassian would not betray them. All four men had successfully reached Marseille in France and then Spain. We three others remained in the concentration camp. The abandoned Elsassian took refuge at one farm. This would be ok until he started seducing the farmer’s wife. The farmer reported him to gendarmerie and within days he was sent back to the concentration camp. He then started to blackmail us three who remained in the camp. He asked our food not to denounce us. This was deadly dangerous. I contacted my friend working in the camp office to enter my name to any transport leaving the camp. He managed to do it, but told me: ‘I don’t know where the transport is heading.’ It was Auschwitz.”

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    Prostějov, 28.11.2007

    délka: 52:22
    nahrávka pořízena v rámci projektu Stories of 20th Century
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Only five of us succeeded to escape although more men took part in preparations

Jansky April 1945 a front photo
Jansky April 1945 a front photo
zdroj: archiv pamětníka

Alfred Jansky, Colonel in retirement, was born on 31st May in 1914 in Olomouc. After he finished high school, he served regular military service in years 1935-37 and was promoted to lieutenant. Then he shortly worked as official in the Moravian malt plant, later he moved to Sigma. In 1938 Alfred Jansky was exceptionally inducted to serve in northern border area of Moravia. There he fought in clashes with members of Henlein‘s separatist movement. The first day of war on 1st September 1939 Jansky was arrested by Gestapo. After interim detention in concentration camp Dachau, he was transported to Buchenwald, where he had to do a slave work in a stone pit; he had been building roads as well. In 1942 Jansky was transported to France to Natzweiler-Struthof labor camp. There he took part in preparations of a successful escape of five military officers, but he himself stayed in the camp. In October 1942 he was transported again, this time to Auschwitz. In Auschwitz Jansky had been put in construction unit. In autumn 1944 he organized escape of five prisoners. In January 1945 they cut trough the barbered wired fence during an air strike and hide themselves in prepared shelter near the concentration camp. At the end of Jaunary after a week of hiding they were freed by incoming Red Army. Jansky immediately enlisted Svoboda‘s army and fought in Slovakia and Moravia. After the war he was deployed to fight the Bandera‘s guerilla.