Milan Kroupa

* 1932  

  • “My little brother wanted to push a candy through the holes in that fence for me, and the warden immediately started yelling and they had to terminate the visit. I don’t like to remember it, it is humiliating.” (Daughter: “I know, but this is precisely what the people would be interested in.”) “Well, yeah, that’s right. I said that the wardens there were pigs but that there were also good people there, too, but there were few of them.”

  • “During the first winter we were given work clothes which had been left behind by the Germans. They gave us whatever they had stripped from the Germans before. When we went to the town to dig a ditch for a cable, people thought that we were German prisoners, because they have never seen a PTP soldier in their lives. We had no shoes, only rubber boots. We had to work in that for the whole winter in snow. There was no such thing as sweaters or padded coats. We did whatever we could to wrap our feet in newspapers and place newspapers under our shirts so that we would not freeze. It was nothing pleasant. It was in forests. There was no hot water, and there was almost no cold water, either.”

  • “Once they allowed her to come to visit me, but I told her that she should rather not come, because it was humiliating. There was a room for visitors. There was a wire fence from the ceiling all the way down and there was a gap of about thirty centimetres and then there was fencing all the way to the ground so that we could only see each other through the holes in the fence. That was humiliating. I told her, why did you even get this idea to request a visit? You should not have begged them for anything. I would have been able to endure it. Well, but she was my mom, and so she wanted to see me.”

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    Praha-Zličín, 08.12.2017

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Only those faithful received bonuses – just like it is today

kroupa_dobová.jpg (historic)
Milan Kroupa
zdroj: archív pamětníka / Jakub Zvoníček

Milan Kroupa was born on July 13, 1932 in Prague. In 1944 he became a Boy Scout in the Junák organization which had been banned by the Nazis and he remained its active member until the subsequent ban on Junák by the communist regime. In 1947 Milan began studying at the Czechoslovak Trade Academy of Dr. Edvard Beneš and he joined a student anti-state group at this school. He was arrested for this activity in 1949, interrogated and sentenced to six months of imprisonment. He spent four months in detention pending trial in the „No.4 “ department in Bartolomějská Street and then two months in the department for juvenile delinquents in the Pankrác prison. After his release he was no longer able to complete his studies and he had difficulties finding a job. In 1952 he was drafted to the Auxiliary Technical Battalions (PTP), where he served for two and a half years. Since his return from the military service until 1983 he was working for the company Coal Depot where he was delivering coal all over Prague. Then he was receiving disability allowance for eight years and from 1989 until 1992 he worked for the company Reconstruction of Historic Monuments.