Rudolf Lux

* 1939

  • They had to have beaten him a lot. But he hardly ever spoke about it. And there were these gravel paths… in one camp, in Rychnov (we were altogether in three camps, the last one was Liberec, you could almost call the conditions there humane), but previously in Rychnov, there were still prisoners in half of the camp and they made them crawl about on the gravel and they didn’t look to nice afterwards. That’s what they told me, my mother made sure we couldn’t see it, of course. And that was all in the same camp. Whether or not that happened to my father, I couldn’t say, he never talked about it. But there were still prisoners there who they tortured with whips and shots in the air, I did understand what was going on, but only through the screams and the shouting of the guards. Our mother made sure we weren’t watching. It would have been possible, but thank God one doesn’t have to see everything. If the reason they tortured my father was, well after all he was a deserter… from the Czech side I would understand how they don’t want that kind of person, if they were supposed to sign up and protect the country, but ran away. Of course that’s no good, I understand it today, but on the other hand I can see why a lot of Germans did that, it makes sense too.

  • We were on a field. I can’t remember what exactly we were doing there. There was snow on the ground, I know that, and then a dark limousine arrived with four men, like in the movies, they had some kind of black leather coats on and grabbed him. And they were gone. It was a Czech car, I saw as much. And then there was a lot of crying in that field. Mother couldn’t leave the children at home, she had to take them with her. I don’t know whether we were digging out the last of the potatoes, but it was something like that. It was almost January, but I couldn’t say exactly. I just know they arrested him. My mother cried after that, obviously. Our grandmother was there too I think, she cried as well. So it wasn’t anything easy, not even for us children, even though it didn’t hit us as hard, because he’d never been at home anyway. If they’d grabbed our mother that would’ve been worse. But our father felt more or less a stranger. He was always so prickly when he came home. He always had to pick up his first-born in his arms and that was terrible for me, I can still dimly remember it. He had a beard like I do today, it was very prickly. So my father wasn’t exactly what he should’ve been, he was almost never at home. ar.

  • Later on in the camp it was our mother, her mother and us five children in a single room, there was also a shower somewhere, but very primitive, if at all. Every four weeks we had to go out and stay outside overnight, because they were gassing the rooms to get rid of the bugs which were crawling everywhere, bedbugs, fleas, all sorts. Bedbugs were the most interesting, as a child. I had to sleep on the top bunk, because I was only just about able to climb up, the others couldn’t because these were triple-decker bunk beds. At any rate when they turned off the light and the room was even partially lit by moonlight, you could watch the bedbugs rustling about above you. They climbed up the wall, onto the ceiling and where they could feel the heat rising, that’s where they dropped down and suddenly you had a bedbug in your clothes. It was no problem for me, the bites were gone by the next day, but my sister? Oh she looked terrible! Covered in bites, from her head to her toes! They really liked the taste of her blood and her bites got inflamed. Another brother, the third one… We were pretty well fed, because our mother worked in the kitchen, but he never ate anything. Later when we came to the West, at fourteen years he was as small as an eleven-year-old, with a sparrow’s chest and sunken shoulders.

  • About the Russians in our house, our mother was alone at the time with five children, I still know about that. But I can only remember my mother’s terrible screams. In that way she, most likely, that’s how I interpreted it later, prevented her rape. By her furious screaming.

  • It was a rented inn of sorts, it was called Blaue Donau (Blue Danube), a public house with a small butcher’s. None of the places there were very big. In Jablonec yes, but there they had to cater to the glassworks. But it wasn’t like that in Loučná. And that Blaue Donau, after the war, for whatever reason, it was an old building, they pulled it down. You can still see the cellar and gallery, what’s left of it, but I haven’t tried digging there to see if there’s any beer left over or anything like that. But the interesting thing is, that instead of the tram line which they tore up as well, there’s a bus station and that’s still called Modrý Dunaj – Blaue Donau.

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    Weidenberg, Německo, 30.05.2019

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I graduated from “Camp School”, but nobody compensated my missing school years after the expulsion

Rudolf Lux v roce 2019
Rudolf Lux v roce 2019
zdroj: Natáčení

Rudolf Lux was born on 14 March 1939 in Loučná nad Nisou (Lautschnei), Jablonec district, into the family of the butcher and innkeeper Rudolf and Elisabeth (née Fleischmann) Lux, from a glass-blower family. His father rented out the Modrý Dunaj (Blue Danube) inn in Loučná, which was close to a tram line, and also operated a small butcher’s. After completing his mandatory military duty with the Czechoslovak cavalry, he decided to desert rather than submit to the general mobilisation around the time of the Munich Agreement, something he was convicted for after the war. During the war the family business was run by the mother, their father fought in the USSR under the Wehrmacht and was seriously wounded. Little Rudolf witnessed the arrival of the Red Army and indirectly an attempt to rape his mother, in autumn he saw his father being arrested by the Czech authorities. Around Christmas of 1945 the rest of the family was forced to leave their home and were interned in camps in Rajnovice, Rychnov and later Liberec. The family spent almost three years in the Regional Concentration Centre in Liberec. There Rudolf attended a centre school (“Lagerschule” in German), where the adults in the camp tried to provide the children with some basic knowledge. The teachers of the school were also interned camp members, teaching only reading, writing and arithmetic in German. Today Mr Lux has problems with spelling and has a largely photographic reading style, missing basic knowledge from most school subjects, which is why he trained to be a butcher. The Lux family was deported to Bavaria at the end of 1948, after their father was released. In 1954 their father was able to start his own butcher’s, and his son Rudolf carried on with the family business, having lived all over Germany before returning to Bavaria. He married in Stuttgart and has one son. In 1961 he served in the Bundeswehr nearby the town of Regen, where he helped protect the NATO border with what was at the time the CSSR. Recently Rudolf has been regularly travelling to Bohemia and still feels at home in the Jizera Mountains.