Eduard Kuhn

* 1918  †︎ 2017

  • “We got a few kicks, we had to stand ourselves up [in the Ruzyně riding hall - ed.] somehow, and we stood. Then we slept through the night again. Then they transported us away.”

  • “There in the Sachsenhausen concentration camp. [Q: You were split into groups there, weren’t you? And where there any conflicts or disagreements between the groups?] No, we kept together.”

  • “[We] had quite the advantage. We were young, and we were students all of the same type. So we were simply incorporated into the group, and we waited for when they’d let us go. The releases were usually either on 20 April, that was Hitler’s birthday, or for Christmas. They always released about fifty of us at a time. It didn’t get round to my turn until the year forty-two.”

  • “After the bombing. I basically experienced three air raids, and after the third air raid I set off by bus to Pirna with a friend whom I’d met up with the evening before. [Pirna] is a town next to Dresden. We bought tickets there for the train to Prague, and the following week we travelled to Prague.”

  • “Our arrest was a very simple matter. It was some time after midnight. Someone bashed on the door, so one friend of mine and I, it was a room for two, we just got up, we were scared because there were German soldiers standing outside in full kit. So they herded us downstairs, where the other boarding students were already assembled.”

  • “[Future Czechoslovak Communist president Antonín] Zápotocký behaved in a kind of neutral way. They didn’t report that he would be making trouble in some way. There was also one [Jan] Vodička there, Sapper Vodička. Who else was there of those bigwigs? [Ivan] Sekanina. Unfortunately, he and his friend, what was his name? [Pavel] Prokop. They came to a sticky end because they were discovered with a big lump of money. That was something. They weren’t able to explain how they’d come to it, so they stood them in front of the whatsit and shot them.”

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    Praha, 10.12.2014

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Our arrest was a very simple matter

Eduard Kuhn, 1943
Eduard Kuhn, 1943
zdroj: archiv Eduarda Kuhna

Prof. MUDr. Eduard Kuhn, DrSc., was born on 21 September 1918 in Bílsko near Litovel. His father was a blacksmith, and together with his mother they tended to a small farm. Eduard Kuhn had many siblings, but he was the only one able to study, thanks to a scholarship. He attended a grammar school in Opava, and in 1937 he undertook studies of medicine at Charles University in Prague; he stayed at Hlávek Students‘ Hall. On 15 November 1939 he attended Jan Opletal‘s funeral, and two days later, on 17 November 1939, as part of the persecution of students, he and other students were arrested and taken to the barracks in Prague-Ruzyně. The students were then interned in the concentration camp Sachsenhausen-Oranienburg, near Berlin. While in the concentration camp, Eduard Kuhn worked at the brickworks (Klingenwerke) and in various work commandos. On 21 January 1942 he was released from the camp. He returned home and registered himself at the employment office, which assigned him to forced labour in the Protectorate and later in Germany again. He worked at the ironmonger‘s shop C.K. Morgenstern und Kompanie in Dresden, where he experienced the bombing of the city from 13 to 15 February 1945. Before the end of the war he escaped forced labour and returned to Bílsko. On 5 May 1945 he was an eye witness of the razing of the village of Javoříčko. In 1947 he completed his studies of medicine, and he started working at a general medicine clinic in Pilsen, later at Thomayer Hospital in Prague, at the Institute for the Research of Human Nutrition and the Institute of Clinical and Experimental Medicine in Prague. At the same time he lectured at the Faculty of General Medicine of Charles University. He and his wife raised two children. Professor Eduard Kuhn passed away on October, the 2nd, 2017.