František Lhotský

* 1932  †︎ 2016

  • "The candies as such are of course of an earlier date, but they were replaced, if I remember the history exactly, by two names: Caruso - in the more educated circles the name Caruso was known, but it probably meant nothing to the common people, so he obtained Emma Destinnová's permission, so the candies were called Destinky, but even that did not have a miraculous effect on their sales. So, he visited Karel Hašler. There is a number of more or less true but distorted information about it... The verified one is [the following]: In December 1920, when Karel Hašler was working in the Lucerna cabaret, [my father] visited him, no doubt with a box of these candies, and asked him for approval, so that the candies could be called Hašlerky... Perhaps, according to some versions, Hašler had a cold at the time, so it made his throat feel good - I don't know, I can't confirm that. But he gave his written consent on original letterhead with the Lucerna cabaret letterhead. The original exists, I have now handed it over to the National Museum, where they welcomed it as an interesting originality. Such gossip about what Hašler said to himself is again more from the realm of conjecture and judgment. My father was a good businessman - but so was Hašler. [Probably] he would not give up the opportunity to participate in the profit, but he understood what my father tried to tell him as the basis of his proposal: that it would be advertising for both parties. Because when Hašlerky are sold throughout the country, they will advertise his songs, which are also called Hašlerky. So, it was without any financial consideration and I think it was profitable for both parties [?]..."

  • "We went to the Castle with the student procession. To Nerudovka. There it was in such a disorganized state, and it basically started to [be organized] only on the Malá Strana, where people waved and shouted hello, etc... We [went] through the Malostranské square up to Nerudovka until we reached the church, which is on the right side and - we were curious - we went about twenty meters behind the front, which collided with the ranks of the SNB Emergency Regiment. We didn't reach that ramp and that arch, the police officers were already below, with guns in their hands. The boys who carried the flags walked in the front, Kde domov můj began to be sung, they marched on even through the anthem, until they started calling and whistling at them there. Actually, they had nowhere to march when the two groups came close to each other. Then someone started shouting something to the effect that they should separate, but since we were twenty meters lower, we couldn't hear anything intelligible. There was a scuffle and then a shot rang out. To this day, it is not clear, nor is there any authentic testimony, whether anyone was injured or not. Of course, they started yelling that there was shooting at the students, etc... The shot was a sign that the procession began to retreat back, but the lower ranks probably didn't hear it and pushed it up again. There was really crazy pressure. I know some girls wanted to hide in that church, but it was locked. Well, we gradually got out of that pressure and went back across the Charles Bridge. But the comrades were already returning from the meeting in St. Wenceslas’s square, where Kléma came and [thundered]: 'I'm just coming back from the Castle, Mr. President accepted my proposals'. There we shouted at each other, we were full of rage and they laughed at us. They were in a good mood.'

  • “That battalion commander was a former government soldier. He had, for example, experience with Italy from the past. He ended up as a captain, and he was still a captain to those Technical auxiliary battalions. He also had a stalled progress, he was not alone. But in addition, he declared one piece of "wisdom": He admitted that they, as commanders, with their bonuses, not the basic tariff, but bonuses, depend on our fulfillment of percentages, performance, or extra performance. 'And when you do, or have extra performance, then we will have bonuses and you will have peace of mind. If you don't perform, we will make it a military service for you.' Like this. It wasn't said in an honest way, it was in the context of 'I'm a lieutenant and who's more' and in the context of alcohol. But it was honest…”

  • "A group went, probably on vacation, from Martin back home. There were about four guys in the compartment, and a typical old lady with a back basket came and [started]: 'Guys, where are you going and what are you doing in the military service... ' 'But grandma, we can't tell you that, it's a military secret.' 'And I also have a grandson and he is (I don't know, over there...) with the cannoneers and he has such a badge and you don't. What does it mean...?' 'But grandma, it's a secret....' 'And you tell me, I also told you that my grandson is with the cannoneers...' 'Okay, grandma, it's a secret, but: there are only thirty of us in the republic.' 'Why is that?' 'Grandma, we are the executing squad...' Well, grandma didn't say anything, she packed the back basket in a moment and they were free in the compartment..."

  • "Approximately after those fourteen days, I wrote a letter like this in the evening to my student love at the time, how terrible it is that everything is on command, sit on command, get up on command, go to the latrine on command... and this is how I described it poetically. And in the meantime, as I was just writing about that latrine, I suddenly felt the need to go there, I left the written letter (it was during my personal time off) on the couch and left. When I was coming back, I opened the door and Corporal Orságh was standing there - I remember the name, although he was a person from Haná region, he had such a Hungarian name, since then I didn't like Haná people - and he says: 'Who wrote that?' No one reported on it. [He asked] the third time already, when I was already standing in that door: 'I, comrade corporal.' 'Tomorrow morning you will go to see the political commissar...' I didn't know how and why, I didn't guess. The next morning I was taken to Comrade Lieutenant Cintl - he had one more person there, he was also probably some ZVP – a representative for political matters - 'You wanted to escape from here across the border...' I almost laughed at the surprise, but because I was used to telling the truth and what I think and not moderating my expression according to the circumstances, so I said: 'Comrade lieutenant, if I wanted to run away across the border, I ran away a long time ago and not when I go to Krumlov.'' 'No, as you write here about the military service, you can see how you relate to our establishment and that's why you wanted to run away across the border...' So, I repeated it once more: 'Comrade lieutenant, if I wanted to run away across the border, I ran away a long time ago. After all, we found out that I was going to Krumlov in Budějovice on the train, I couldn't have known that I was going somewhere here. This was probably the first step taken to [make] some notice or request for the reassignment of such an unreliable person."

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    Praha, 18.06.2011

    délka: 04:49:42
    nahrávka pořízena v rámci projektu Stories of 20th Century
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I will pave the way from Buzuluk to Prague with your skulls, you robbers of the Brdy forests!

František Lhotský as a soldier of the Czechoslovak People's Army in the 1950s
František Lhotský as a soldier of the Czechoslovak People's Army in the 1950s
zdroj: archive of the witness

František Lhotský was born in 1932 in Prague. In the 1920s, his father František Lhotský Sr. had a successful confectionery factory built in Michle, which produced the then popular Caruso and Destinky candies. In December 1920, his father visited singer Karel Hašler in Prague‘s Lucerna, asked him to lend his name to this unique confectionery product, and received his consent. The candies then became famous under the name Hašlerky. František Lhotský grew up in Vysočany and graduated from a secondary grammar school in Libeň. On February 25, 1948, he took part in a student march in support of President Beneš, and experienced its police dispersal. Soon after that, his father‘s factory was nationalized by the authorities, and the family was labelled as bourgeois exploiters. Despite this, František still managed to graduate in 1950, but he was not accepted to study at the university, so he completed a one-year course at the Higher School of Economics. Shortly after starting a job at the Tesla company, in November 1952, he was called up to join the 1st Infantry Regiment in Český Krumlov. After seven months, he was assigned to the 52nd Auxiliary Technical Battalion (PTP) to garrison in Svatá Dobrotivá (Zaječov) within the military area in Brdy. He later served with the 68th Auxiliary Technical Battalion in Martin. The memorialist‘s sister underwent rehabilitation in Switzerland during the February coup in 1948, did not return home and entered a religious order in exile in Germany. František Lhotský died in 2016.