“We should have defended ourselves, that’s true. But on the other hand, it would have resulted in disaster. The Germans were very well-armed and prepared. On the contrary, we had just a couple of tanks and planes. We wouldn’t have won the fight.”
“All of a sudden he shouted, ‘The Germans are here! Jesus Christ, the Germans are here!’ Of course we immediately finished. Hooray! We all rushed to join our company. We saw the row of German cars advancing from the windows. It was already getting dark – it could have been around five o’clock in the afternoon. The row [of cars] came to the gate and the German commander jumped down from one of the cars and approached our guard at the gate, holding a pistol in his hand. The guard shouted ‘stop’ at him three times whereupon the German shot at him and the bullet scratched his face. The guard then fired his rifle in the air, and that started the whole fighting.”
“I was the commander of the 4th platoon and I had two pistols with me. I jumped out of the window from the first floor and landed on the industrial rooftop. From there I opened fire at the Germans. I didn’t have much ammunition with me – 8 rounds in the pistol and another 8 in the clip.”
“We would go on patrols, and I used to take one corporal with me. Once we encountered a group of about four young lads, and as we were passing by one of them shouted, ‘You Czech swine!’ That corporal was a bit hot-headed and immediately jumped at him, slapping him in his face. The Germans blew it up tremendously and it was immediately a big case. They claimed he had been attacked and wounded by us. The Germans reported the incident to the local Czech police station. The case made its way before the court and the judge – when she saw us standing there – just smiled and said, ‘There will be no trial – we know very well how the story went.’ The Germans shamefully walked away from the court. Luckily, it had been a Czech judge.”
To this day I’m very proud that I was able to take part in the fight for the Czajánkovy barracks on March 14, 1939
Svatoslav Kalich was born on June 2, 1915 in Frenštát pod Radhoštěm. He comes from a family of textile workers. As a young lad, he did his apprenticeship as a painter and then he worked in the textile industry. In 1937, he enrolled in the army and served as a professional soldier after he passed a two-year basic military service. During September 1938 and the Munich crisis, he was stationed in Písek. On March 14, 1939, he got actively involved in the defense of the Czajánkovy barracks in Místek as the commander of the 4th company against the Germans. Today, he is probably the last living defender of that barracks. After the disbanding of the Czechoslovak army, Svatoslav Kalich was integrated in the governmental army and in May 1944, he was dispatched to Italy. After the war, he was decorated by the president for bravery. Thereafter, he spent numerous years in military justice as a liaison officer.