Ing. František Toulec

* 1925  

  • “In 1957, in Sedlčany, the chief engineer would send for me and he would tell me: 'You live in Praha, you are married, you are expecting your second child; we were ordered to build a department in Lysá nad Labem, trial of early potato cultivars in wet soil. So you will take charge of it.' So I took charge of it. And again, so much work had to be done. And again there was some Communist party conference, in Karlovy Vary I think, and again, there was a resolution that people of such and such class origin couldn´t do such kind of work. So it applied to me as well. So as we just begun to plant, we were in the midst of work, I saw that the director came to me to the field, so I would say: “So comrade director, have you come to kick me in the ass yet?' That was the folklore back then. And he would say, 'No, Franta, I will come when I would have my ass against the wall so to speak.' So fine, nothing had happened. This occurred in 1958, they placed some supervisor in his office, whom they no longer needed at the central committee, and he was done with me in no time so I had been fired.”

  • “The year was 1945, it was in January so it was cold in Hostivař. On Sunday, I would glance out of the door, from the flat we had been living in, and I would see a person moving slowly through the gate, a woman judging by her dress, with a brush, dressed in green, apparently some German woman. And I thought 'Jesus Christ, what´s going to happen now?' Then she came closer and I recognised her. It was that girl, the Püffeld´s daughter, who had been staying in our house in Hostivař. Her name was Annemarie or Animi by short. So I told her, 'Come here, come in', and so on, so we would talk. And I would ask her: 'How´s your father?' And she said, “My father, he has been grumbling that now, they would send us, the Sudeten Germans, to the front lines, so our people would take the greatest casualties.' Of course, I couldn´t comment on that. But then, I would ask her, saying, 'Listen now, Animi, I remember names of the boys with whom I had been playing back then, we would contest and so on. So how´s Riedel doing?' - 'Well, he had drowned in a submarine.' - 'And what about Hannes?' - 'He was killed on the Western front.' - 'And what about the boys, the Bauers?' - 'They died at Stalingrad.' - 'And what about that one?' - 'He was shot by partisans at the Balkans.' Everyone I remembered had fallen somewhere. So I would say: 'That´s quite unpleasant. But I can´t do anything about it. But tell me, please, where do you live now?' And she would say: 'We moved to Dresden.' Dresden, February 1945. That was it. That´s how it all ended.”

  • “As I was in the fourth year of gymnasium, there was that decree that you had to prove Aryan descent and everyone had to provide a birth certificate. And what happened was that... It was the 1st of September, Bloch would sit in the first row and our class professor came and she would say, “Bloch, listen, don´t be mad at me, let´s go see the headmaster.' - 'Well I am a Christian. My father was also a Christian!' A baptised Jew, right? So he wouldn´t come again. And the others, who were also Jewish, they wouldn´t come either, right? There were... The final year started on September 1st 1943, and I can show you, as I have the photo with me, there were thirty-two of us in our class and only thirteen of us graduated. Those born in – as it was mixed up and we were not of the same age in our class – those born in 1924 were sent to forced labour, girls were sent to work regardless the year they were born, they had been working as tram drivers, conductresses or at the post office. So there were only thirteen of us left. So they would put us in a closet of sorts. It was awesome. But it was... Two of us were arrested by the Gestapo because of weapons, Jarda Krátký and Franta Bauer, but they both survived.”

  • “In 1966, my father died and we had our tomb in Hostivař. It was on Sunday, some time after the burial, the boys had been already going to school. I would say, 'Gentlemen, mother needs to rest for a while, let´s go to Hostivař to visit the cemetery. So we went uphill from the church to the cemetery and on our left there was a pub 'Na Kačabce'. And as we would be going by the pub, a man would stagger out of the door and as he saw me, he begun: 'Oh hi, hello.' He was a bit drunk. And he would say: 'I have some work at your place, at your place. I am working at the place where we the pigfeed is being prepared. Come on, I will take you there, I will show you.' I would say, “Come on, you will get in trouble.' But he kept insisting so in the end I went and the boys were going with me. And as we were entering the gate, there was this big bloke and Lojza would say, “See, that´s comrade manager.' So I would introduce myself, I told him who I was. And I would say that I suppose that it wasn´t appropriate for me to be there. 'No, no, Mr. Toulec, on the contrary, I am so glad you came. You know, there is a rumour about some underground vaults, I have been asking old people in the neighbourhood and no one could tell my anything about it. Do you know anything about it?' - 'If you want to know, I could tell you. Come on, I will show you.' There is the so-called small courtyard with an old granary, and underneath, there is a cellar, where potatoes for the people had been stored. And in the corner, there had been this hole to the underground. And the hole had been covered with planks who got rotten over time, and potatoes had been falling down through the hole. So my father would call for Vosáhlo, a mason from Košík, and as Vosáhlo had been bricking it up, he brought me and my sister. And he said: 'Look, remember this.' I didn´t go to school yet at that time, it might be around 1930. So he would brick it up, he would pave it and that was it. And then, in 1966, this thing had happened. So the underground had been rediscovered.”

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I am glad that Toulcův dvůr still operates

František Toulec, photo from the Kennkarte, an identity card issued by the Germans during the Second World War
František Toulec, photo from the Kennkarte, an identity card issued by the Germans during the Second World War
zdroj: archiv pamětníka

František Toulec was born on May 19th of 1925 in Praha. He was the youngest of five children of František Toulec, a leaseholder of a farm in Hostivař, now known as Toulcův dvůr (Toulec´s Homestead). František had been living on the farm with his parents till March 15th 1949, when it had been taken over by the state. As a child, before the Second Word War, he had been going to Mariánské Lázně every year on a child language exchange, where he got to know local Sudeten German community. He graduated from gymnasium in Vršovice and the University of Agriculture in Prague. Since 1949, he had been working as a farmhand at the State Farm in Ruzyně, operated by the same company that took oved his farm in Hostivař. Later, thanks to his degree, he got an agronomist job at the District seed and sowing company, but being a “kulak” family member, he was transferred to an unqualified job position in 1958. Since 1964, he had been working at cultivar testing department of the Central Agriculture Institute for the Control and Testing in Sedlec. In 1985, he retired but still had been working as an agronomist on a voluntary basis. Since the 90s, he has been attending gatherings at the Toulcův Dvůr Centre for Ecology where he has been sharing his precious memories.