Miloslav Tlapák

* 1936  

  • “Nothing happened on May 8. My mum was scared, didn’t know where my father was, where they took him. She walked around Barrandov, asked people who were returning whether they knew something. She learned that in the Pod Habrovou street the Germans shot some people, and indeed, in that garage they shot four or six people. The bodies were no longer there but it was splashed with blood and it was ugly. She asked people who lived in that villa and they said that all shot bodies were taken to the church at Zlíchov. So we ran to Zlíchov and there my mum learned that my father was among those shot and his body was at Zlíchov. There were about thirty people who were shot in that part of Prague.”

  • “I remember, although the memories are vague, actors and others who arrived in the kitchen, as I was there often with my mum. Many actors and other important people, not just actors, use to come for recipes. They came to the kitchen, thanked for the delicious lunch and left some money, as it was something that was just done. Either to send money or to come in person to the kitchen, thank or ask for the recipe. In this it was nice.”

  • “On May 8, early in the morning, my dad returned from Prague, Lucerna, where he was with Havel all the time. It was 7 or 8, I can’t remember exactly, and someone rang a bell since the doors were locked. Someone called at the main gate and my dad said he would go and open. So he went, my mum told him not to go, but he did. And there were four German soldiers, three or four. I remember the moment when my mum shouted at him, ‘Jenda, don’t go with them, the war has ended.’ This stayed in my memory and it was the last time I saw him.”

  • “As I said, I was in touch with Věra all the time. In 1965, when it was possible for the first time to travel west – well, perhaps it was in 1964 but I went in 1965 – I and my two friends from Škoda told ourselves that we would try, ask for the foreign currency assurance and would go to Switzerland and Italy. I told myself: great, we’ll go to Switzerland and I will call on Věra, my cousin. We made an effort to get the foreign currency assurance, we obtained it, but it took so much work, so much bureaucracy was involved. When the money was promised, you needed approvals to go. At Škoda, you needed about ten stamps, proving that you have not borrowed a hammer from the factory, for instance. You needed a stamp from your residential confidant, all kinds of things. What was worst was that you had to go the the military office and they had to give a stamp. But they would always say: ‘Well, but a military exercise is planned for you when you want to go.’ So you had to ask them to shift the exercise, which they usually did.”

  • Celé nahrávky
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    Praha, 11.04.2017

    (audio)
    délka: 01:59:17
    nahrávka pořízena v rámci projektu Memory of nations (in co-production with Czech television)
Celé nahrávky jsou k dispozici pouze pro přihlášené uživatele.

Don‘t go anywhere, the war has ended

Family photograph, spring 1945
Family photograph, spring 1945
zdroj: archiv pamětníka

Miloslav Tlapák was born on January 15, 1936, in Prague. His father, Jan Tlapák, worked as a butler for the film producer and entrepreneur Miloš Havel, his mother worked in the same household as a cook. Until 1942 he lived with his parents in Havel’s flat at Rašín Riverbank, then they moved to a villa at Barrandov. The father of Miloslav Tlapák was – for unknown reasons – arrested by Germans on May 8, 1945 and shot on the same day. His mother remained in the employment of Miloš Havel until 1947, then left and worked as a cook in the film studios at Hostivař and Barrandov. since 1948 Miloslav Tlapák and his mother were in contact with his cousin Věra Neumannová and her husband Lotar, who moved to Venezuela in 1948. Miloslav Tlapák trained as a lather operator from 1951 in the Škoda factory at Smíchov. He worked here until 1969 and then made his living as an assembler of hydraulic devices at Inova. After 1994 he helped with the operation and activities of an art gallery established by Věra Neumannová and her husband Lotar in Switzerland. Miloslav Tlapák has a son, two grandchildren and lives in Prague.