Postbellum

Memory of Nation

 

Jaroslav Bukovský (1940)

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 Jaroslav Bukovský (1940)
Anti-Nazi resistance brought my father all the way to the death row. His life was saved through courage and luck

His father didn’t give away any names, even when tortured

“When he was imprisoned, his fellow inmates begged him to confess everything, that the interrogators already knew everything anyway. But the Germans were thorough, and they needed to have the testimony of the head of the group. And because my father didn’t give away any names, they received quite mild sentences, unles they’d spilt too much about themselves. My father was finally given about a seven-fold death sentence for each of the paragraphs [he had violated - trans.]. I won’t even go into much detail about what torture techniques they had, but apparently they placed a person’s head into a press and tightened the screws until the skull cracked; they ripped fingernails off, poured cold or hot water over them, beat the prisoners with a bull whip, punched them, kicked them. For instance, one young boy was kicked up to such an extent that he bled to death by morning. The Germans then wrote that the prisoners died during interrogation or that they had committed suicide. They covered it up well. The Germans were cunning liars.”

  • born 24 March 1940 in Prague into the family of engine master Josef Bukovský
  • 1938, his father escaped from armed Freikorps thugs, who wanted to shoot him for owning a legal service weapon
  • 1938, his parents left the sudetes and moved to Pilsen
  • his father established a resistance group of railway employees in Pilsen
  • Bukovský’s group sabotaged railway operations
  • spring 1944, his father was arrested by the Gestapo
  • December 1944, his father was sentenced to death by a Nazi court in Dresden
  • February 1945, his father managed to escape from the death row during an air raid
  • he reached Prague ten days later
  • Jaroslav found his father’s wartime diary after his death in 1996
  • the witness graduated from the University of Transportation in Žilina and worked in the administration of Czechoslovak Railways in Pilsen
  • worked with children in a tourist group and in other activities
  • his brother Stanislav is a prominent Czech artist
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