Oskar Georg Siebert

* 1942

  • "I grew a beard because I thought, 'Well, if I wear a beard here, they won't recognize me. But of course the communists did recognize me, and you surely know from other participants that at these events there were a number of spies, communists of the State Security, who informed themselves about the people who were leading the resistance against communism and especially against the occupation. Because in Děčín, the Russian soldiers occupied the Děčín castle where the garrison was. We, of course, in 1968, organized signature actions and protests and all sorts of things. Leaflets and everything that went along with it. So I stood on the stage of the theatre in Děčín for the last time in January 1970, where we performed the play Of Mice and Men. Unfortunately, we only played the premiere, the premiere was on a Saturday then, and on Monday I went to Prague to attend a meeting of the Council of the Union of Youth Clubs, where I was to report on the preparations for Miss Elbe 1970 and in front of the building of the then Central Committee of the Youth Union, where the office of the Union of Youth Clubs was located, I was arrested by the State Security officers, where they dragged me into the Volga River, put a hat on my head so I couldn't see anything, handcuffed me and took me to I don't know where, where I was then in the State Security custody until May 1970."

  • "My grandfather, I must say, was practically a traitor to the nation and was sentenced to 15 years in the Jáchymov mines. And of course, all of this went with the whole family. So none of my mother's brothers were in the party, they were not politically involved, and my grandfather was a social democrat and he was an enemy of the republic who helped people to flee abroad. So I think it all kind of tied together."

  • "The first thoughts after a couple of days when I thought it would probably be best for me to commit suicide. Only to commit suicide in a room where you have nothing, you don't even have shoelaces or anything. Because they brought me food, and when I ate it, they took it away again. So I had nothing to cut my veins or hang myself. But I thought, and this was after they beat me up so bad, so it was running through my head that probably the easiest thing would be - because I always had to climb some of these stairs - if I jumped through a window, I'd fall somewhere and kill myself. But I don't know. For one thing, I had no desire to go on living; for another, I was afraid of dying. So it was like, I don't know. I guess I liked myself too much, on the one hand, but on the other hand I was a coward again, that I thought it was probably best to put an end to everything. But how, I just couldn't do it. Understandably, I was thinking about it, or I was convinced I wasn't going to survive this time."

  • "Back then in Czech Republic, we were interrogated and beaten in prison. We were alone in a room with almost no windows, they left us to starve. They simply tried to force us to reveal other people who were involved in the anti-communist movement. Only I was led as a German, a citizen with German nationality, and that was my good fortune. Once - when they beat me again - I said that I wanted a representative of the International Red Cross to be present at the interrogation because I was German. Eventually a lawyer came and he told me not to say anything and just refer to international human rights. After this intervention by him, I was released after about three weeks. They took me by car to the station, put a ticket in my hand and sent me home."

  • "When I was in the third grade, we went with the school on a trip to Terezín. There, of course, they showed us the concentration camp. Kids were mean to me then. They were shouting, 'See, now we should put you there, in the gas chamber, because your dad did it!' But I fought back, because my dad, when he came to the front, within a month, two months at the most, he was captured and thank God he didn't fight anywhere. So I had problems like that. But in that third grade, a young teacher came to us, and he thought a little differently. I - even though I was the smallest in the class - I had to sit in the last desk because I was German. In the first class I sat next to my German friend Erika. Because she was smart, she jumped from the second class straight to the third class and then I sat alone. And then in the third grade, the new teacher, Mr. Beck, came. I'll never forget him. He had the whole class stand up and he said, 'We are one for all and all for one. It's not Oskar's fault he's German. He didn't murder people.' And he let me sit in the first desk and dispelled the unpleasant atmosphere in the classroom." „Když jsem byl ve třetí třídě, tak jsme jeli se školou na výlet do Terezína. Tam nám samozřejmě ukazovali koncentrační tábor. Děti na mě tehdy byly ošklivé. Křičely: ‚Vidíš to, teď bychom tě tam měli strčit, do té plynové komory, protože to dělal tvůj táta!‘ Já jsem se ale bránil, protože můj táta, když přišel na frontu, tak během jednoho, maximálně dvou měsíců, dvou, padnul do zajetí a zaplaťbůh nikde nebojoval. Takže já jsem měl takovéto problémy. Ale v té třetí třídě k nám přišel jeden mladý učitel, a ten přemýšlel trochu jinak. Já – i když jsem byl nejmenší ze třídy – jsem musel sedět v poslední lavici, protože jsem byl Němec. V první třídě jsem seděl vedle kamarádky Němky Eriky. Protože byla chytrá, přeskočila ze druhé třídy rovnou do třetí a já už pak seděl sám. No a ve třetí pak přišel ten nový pan učitel Beck. Na něj nikdy nezapomenu. Nechal si postavit celou třídu a řekl: ‚My jsme jeden za všechny a všichni za jednoho. Oskar nemůže za to, že je Němec. On lidi nevraždil.‘ A nechal mě posadit do první lavice a tu nepříjemnou atmosféru ve třídě rozptýlil.“

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At the time, I would have told anyone who had the chance to run away

Oskar Georg Siebert, 1940s
Oskar Georg Siebert, 1940s
zdroj: Archiv pamětníka

Oskar Georg Siebert was born on 23 June 1942 in Berlin to a German father, Georg, and a Czech mother with Austrian roots, Maria, née Bartos. Two years later his father had to enlist in the Wehrmacht and Oskar and his mother moved to Prague. After the liberation they had to leave Prague as Germans and their new home became the border village of Modrá in the Děčín region, where Oskar started school. After the February coup, the communists arrested his grandfather Antonín Bartos for smuggling and he served his sentence in the uranium mines in the Jáchymov region. Oskar was trained as a machinist in Povrly, Ústí nad Labem, and in the 1960s he was involved in the Czechoslovak Youth Union and the Union of Youth Clubs. After the August 1968 occupation, he co-organised protest actions. In 1970, he was arrested by the State Security and detained in a detention cell. In 1976, Oskar managed to emigrate legally to West Germany, where he completed his education and worked as a sports coach and physiotherapist. In 2021, Oskar Siebert was living in Regensburg, Bavaria.