František Bareš

02.04.2016 | 17:17
František Bareš

A thousand times I would rather choose death than to live as a slave
František Bareš was born on November 13th, 1920 in Prague as a son of French legionnaire František Maxa, after whom he got his name. He inherited the surname from his mother Božena Barešová (single mother), who lived in Prague district Žižkov in Žerotínova street no. 30. František’s father, who was hit by the mustard gas during the First World War, never recovered and spent long years in the Prague legionary house.

Her mother was without money. Therefore, in an agreement with František’s father, she took the boy even as a baby to his grandmother Maxová, who lived in Klikov no. 13 (today local part of Suchdol nad Lužnicí), at her second son Josef. František was in a regular contact with his father, but he did not know much about his mother, probably, she went abroad shortly after his leaving. František was a talented child. Thanks to the foster parents, he even graduate from a gymnasium in Třeboň. Under the impression of September days in 1938, he wrote to his father: “You can rely on me that in the case, if I am charged with this beautiful task, I will not be a disgrace to you as a French legionnaire. Since A thousand times I would rather choose death than to live as a slave of Germany. Be assured that every task assigned to me by my home country in the next few days, I will certainly do for your pleasure…” He passed the graduation already in Protectorate in 1939 and his goal became to defend his country.
At the end of his holidays, he and his friend Jan Kos (he came from Klikov) went to Ostrava region, where he crosses the border to Poland in the second half of August and enlisted to the Czechoslovak troop of lieutenant colonel Svoboda. He was registered on August 29th, 1939 under the no. 2168. After the invasion of Poland on September 1st, 1939, by the so-called Balkan route, he got directly to the French port city Adge, where the Czechoslovak military offi ce in Paris has a gathering place of volunteers. František joined the 1st Czechoslovak battalion on November 16th, 1939 (since January 5th, 1940 it has been 1st Czechoslovak division, where 13614 Czechoslovaks enlisted in March 1940). After the invasion of France by Germany on May 10th, 1940, by the 1 and 2 were transferred to the front line on June 5th and put into battle on the rivers Marne and Grand Morin on June, 13th. František Bareš, a private of the 1st Regiment, was promoted to the rank of lance corporal on May 30th, 1940 and participated in the battles at Montereau and Gien in Loira. During the retreat, František was declared missing. After the surrender of France, he appears on the part of France unoccupied by Germans administered by the government in Vichy. He was detained by the police for vagrancy allegedly and after he attempted to escape twice, he ended up in the internment camp Le Vernet. From there he was probably sent to forced labour in Germany, but he managed to escape and he appeared in Klikov in the autumn of 1941.
Thanks to Mayor Kolář, he received a certificate of residence with a regular cancellation. It allowed him to go to Prague and on October 25th, 1941, he registered for permanent residence with Jan Lejček in Michle no. 1022. But he lived in the fl at of the mother of the interbrigadist from Spain, Blahout, which was in the yard of the back wing of the Thun palace. It is supposed that there lived also others, with whom František had known from France. Also a Resistance fi ghter A. Svoboda (a member of the illegal Czechoslovak Communist Party) lived here, who apparently arranged a work at the post offi ce at the Hybern station for František, where he started on December 15th, 1941. After a year, he left the post, worked at the station and from there he joined forwarding company Holan in January 1943. At that time, he is already the experienced Resistance fi ghter. Together with Communists Pösl and Havelka, they established a group “Flame of Liberty”. František quit the job at the company Holan on September 12th, 1944, but he went to illegality, the employment offi ce could send him to the forced labour in the Reich. But the Nazi net is closing dangerously around the Flame of Liberty. The arrested co-worker of the group revealed to the Gestapo the address of K. Holler away, the fl at, where František also went. A criminal employee Friedrich was ordered to arrest František at Holler’s. On Saturday January, 27th, 1945, at half past two, Friedrich with the Czech policemen Leibner, Panenka, Nergr and others got into the flat of Holler’s. When they entered the room, where František was hiding, a shot sounded, that injured Leibner. During the gunfi ght also Holler was injured fatally, but František managed to escape and hide in Vršovice at Havelka family. On Saturday, February 10th, 1945 unsuspecting Novák, Pösl and Bareš had to meet at the square Bratří Synků occupied by the Gestapo. František arrives at 18.10. When he is passing the waiting “friend traitor”, he invites him in a whisper to follow him. In front of the hotel Kriváň, Novák joins them and they all disappear in the dark toward Nuselské Valley. František moves away to go for Pösl. Shortly thereafter, Novák is arrested. In the same evening, the Germans at Petschek palace learn about Monday’s meeting of František and Pösl in Nusle. On Monday, February 12th, 1945 at 18 o’clock, František stands under the square Bratří Synků and watches three arriving cars. These cars stop suddenly and 12 German policemen throw on him so that he cannot take his hand with the gun out of his pocket. He is arrested, but Pösl managed to escape with a light shot wound on his left hand.
The Gestapo took František to the Petschek palace, where he was subjected to severe interrogations that even his acquaintances didn’t recognize him in the confrontation. Even though he gave nothing away. He was transported to the Pankrác Prison on February 13th, 1945, where in the book of prisoner reception was added in writing under his name “preparation for high treason”, with the addition “Selbstmordgefahr, Zwangsjacke” (risk of suicide, straitjacket). Later, the XYZ note was added to his name (execute without trial). He was transported to the Terezín Prison on April 10th, 1945 and placed in the cell EZ. It seemed, he has the worst behind. On May 2nd, 1945 Berlin fell and the defeat of Germany was irreversible. Nevertheless, the same day, May 2nd, the last and biggest execution took place in Terezín’s Small Fortress. By the order of the Prague Gestapo, a list of the particularly dangerous prisoners with the XYZ note was created; this list was approved by Frank. Frank’s hatred for all Czech did not prevent the order of the Chief Kaltenbrunner, who forbade the executions of the unconvinced prisoners in the second half of April 1945. So, on May 2nd, the offi cers of the Prague Gestapo arrived at the Small Fortress with the list of XYZ comprising 70 prisoners, mostly left-wing members of the resistance groups. According to the list, the prisoners were called gradually from their cells to the fourth courtyard or to the women‘s courtyard. The subsequent shooting from the execution ground was an unmistakable sign of the Nazi’s intent. The result of about two-hour massacre without a court judgement was 51 executed, including František Bareš. The youngest victim was 18 years old, the oldest 57 years and also three women were executed. The remaining prisoners from the list saved their lives. They did not react to the call and the guards were afraid to enter the cells infested with epidemic typhus. The absurdity of the whole act is intensifi ed by the fact, that only three days later, the guards and also the SS guarding company left Terezín. After the war, the executed persons were honoured in Memoriam with the Czechoslovak War Cross and the memorial at the National Cemetery in Terezín bears their names.

List of 51 executed on May 2nd, 1945 Balabán Jiří (1927), Bareš František (1920), Bärtl Karel (1925), Černoch Jindřich (1910), Černý Vojtěch (1903), Česaný Josef (1898), Dlouhý Miloš (1918), Dvořák Jaroslav (1925), Fabián Jaroslav (1896), Hájek František (1914), Hampejs Bohuslav (1910), Hanuš Bohuslav (1906), Hillebrant Josef (1923), Hiršl Karel (1922), Holát Vratislav (1926), Hošek Miroslav (1920), Hubený Jiří (1909), Janáček František (1907), Janda Josef (1894), Jasenský Rudolf (1905), Kohout František (1914), Kulhánek Ladislav (1908), Lachmanová Zdeňka (1920), Langer Jiří (1916), Líva Miroslav (1923), Mojžíš Jan (1920), Novák Jiří (1920), Pacovský Antonín (1920), Pajer Miroslav (1924), Petrák František (1908), Plevka Bohumil (1891), Romaněnko Emilian (1890), Řach Antonín (1897), Schwarzová Alžběta (1923), Smrčina Jindřich (1908), Sobolák Stanislav (1922), Staněk Jiří (1921), Strouhal Čestmír (1924), Šesták Evžen (1920), Šiška František (1910), Tichý Jiří (1924), Trachta Edmund (1902), Vajsar Miroslav (1919), Veronika Čiperová (1888), Vezděněv Sergej Pavlovič (1916), Vosejpka Jaromír (1913), Weidner Arnošt (1916), Zach Josef (1904), Zachariáš František (1904), Žižka Josef (1904) a Jan Kordík (1894).

For Památník Terezín Luděk Sládek

Camp Agde, Jan Kubiš in the door The so-called black notebook of the Terezín Chief
Mirko Charvát of April 10. 1945 List of CRC London, František Bareš – fifth from the bottom The part of the execution ground with the gallows, behind the wall of former SS vegetable garden. Figures in white are mostly women, most
probably medic´s from ČPA The National Cemetery in Terezín

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