Vladimír Linhart

* 1924  

  • “We were going home and I wanted to take Nadja with me. But this time we were going via Hagenwerder and not Zittau, because we thought that there were Poles and Germans, and they would not stop us... But it was the Poles, not Germans, who separated us in Hagenwerder. I still have it written on one of the pictures, that they had returned to their accommodation, you will see it written there. I made several attempts after that – my brother-in-law was going to Russia as a researcher from the Construction Materials Research Institute in Brno and he was trying to find her. Then I had a friend who worked there as a company representative for Škoda, but he was not successful, either; we simply have not found her. We even learnt that in that village, in Dubrovka, none of the original residents remained.”

  • (When he met Jan Masaryk in the Olšany cemetery after WWII). “Only after the war, when he [Tomáš G. Masaryk] was elected president, she learnt that the boy who had been pulling her plaits was actually the son of the president. And he remembered that. He thus told me: ´My friend, in this case I grant you the right to use the name of my father as the name of your godfather.´ And so this way I happened to have President Masaryk as my godfather.”

  • (During forced labour in Germany, when he and his friends met Hitler in a pub). “Somebody there exclaimed: ´A Czech cake – a good cake, and spasiba!´ They noticed that the girls had the letter U [standing for Ukraine] and that they were serving there as waitresses. They gave our construction manager a ride home, because they were going through Hirschfelde, and they thus let him go with them so that he would not have to return with us. I asked the manager the following day who was the person who had said those words of appreciation and thanks, and he claimed that it was Hitler himself.”

  • (When Vladimír Linhart complained to colleagues in the ČKD factory that he would need a strong light bulb for construction, which was normally not in stores, but which they had in the factory.) “What happened was that a friend, a guy who was younger than me, tells me: ´Boss, that’s no problem. I will bring it to you.´ I asked him: ´But how could you do it?´ They were doing random checks in the gatehouse and one could get into trouble, and I didn’t want this to happen, I hated stealing. But he did this: he took the light bulb, he tied a cord around it and he tied the other end around his neck. The bulb was bouncing on his back, and as he was passing through the gatehouse, the gatekeepers were making fun of him and laughing – they thought that the light bulb was broken, not stolen. And so I got hold of it, it was a theft, but not my own.”

  • (When he was a little boy and went with his father to see Tomáš G. Masaryk.) “When Mr. President got off and he was walking on the platform, he patted me on my head. I had red hair, and I didn’t know this, but he liked red hair. I learnt this only later, but I will speak about it later.”

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    Jílové u Prahy, 30.07.2014

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I promised to my dad that I would not be active in politics nor religion in my life, and I have kept my promise

Vladimír in 1947
Vladimír in 1947
zdroj: archiv pamětníka

  Vladimír Linhart was born in 1924. He has lived in Malšovice in Hradec Králové since he was a little boy. After completion of the higher elementary school he learnt the production of cement products. When he was eighteen he was sent as conscripted labour to German Hirschfelde near Zittau to do construction concrete works. While there, he allegedly accidentally encountered Adolf Hitler in a pub. After the end of WWII he returned home, but this also meant having to part with his Ukrainian girlfriend who was not allowed to travel with him. After completing his military service he worked in a stonemason‘s shop in Prague for three years. When his father died, however, he had to return to Hradec Králové in order to work in the family company which specialized in cement production. After the rise of communists to power, the family company was appropriated by the state and Vladimír Linhart had to begin working for the municipal services company. Later he also worked in the companies ČKD and Tesla. He retired in 1984, but as self-employed he continued working in his field for many years after. During his life, he met seven Czechoslovak and Czech presidents, and Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk even symbolically became his godfather.