Horní Slavkov (Camp XII.)
former communist prison camp · U Lesoparku 747/1, 357 31 Horní Slavkov, Czech Republic
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I crept before the eyes of a guard

Available in: English | Česky

Luboš Jednorožec came to the Slavkov camp in June 1951. He was sentenced to ten years in prison and was firmly determined to run away at his first opportunity. That opportunity came in September. When the prisoners were being taken to their night shift, he managed to separate himself from the others and slip into a small space between an old and a new windlass. In order to get out of the camp, he had to overcome a shooting down zone, five metres wide, and two sets of barbed wire. There was not enough time, so he slowly crept under a guard’s nose. “The wires were made of tough steel and I just had these small pliers. You can’t imagine, how human will can work. You get such strength into your hands and you ignore the pain, because it’s driving you forward. After two months, I still had bruises on my thumb, from the way I was squeezing the pliers.” His disappearance was revealed after five hours.

Luboš Jednorožec

Luboš Jednorožec

Luboš Jednorožec was born April 17, 1925 in Prague-Břevnov. His parents had a leather-manufacturing workshop, which was confiscated by communists in 1948 after Luboš's brother took part in organizing the student march to the Prague Castle and subsequent emigration to Austria. At home, his father often held gatherings for his friends from the Sokol sport's association. Once, following the events of 1948, a certain Růžena Švestková and several other "members of the resistance movement" otherwise unknown to the family, attended one of the gatherings. They were, in fact, agents of the StB (the secret police). Švestková asked the Sokol members to help her cross the Czechoslovak border. Luboš was twenty-five years old when he was arrested in March 1950 together with his father. He had committed a crime by not having reported Švestková to the authorities. He was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment by a Communist court. Luboš decided to escape from prison no matter what. He did not have to wait long. His chance came in June 1951 in the Svornost mine in Jáchymov. His is one of the most remarkable successful escapes. After nine months on the run, he was caught together with his fiancé during an attempt to illegally cross the border and was sentenced to a total of twenty eight years imprisonment. He was granted amnesty in 1960. He married and in 1964 he and his wife tried to emigrate to the West again. Even this attempt was unsuccessful. They were deported from Yugoslavia and taken to court in Prague. Luboš, as the one who organized the escape, was sentenced to two and a half years of imprisonment. He was released in 1967. He saw the Prague Spring of 1968 as his last chance for emigration. Following a made-up false notification of his brother's death, he immediately received a passport and went with his family to Vienna, where his brother Ivan was waiting for them. Together they traveled to the USA, where they live today. Luboš returned to Czechoslovakia once after the revolution of 1989, but he lost his leg in a car accident. At present he lives in Fountain Valley near San Francisco.

Horní Slavkov (Camp XII.)

Available in: English | Česky

The camp was founded in 1951 and became well-known in the same year because of an eleven prisoner escape on the night of 15 October. One of the prison guards was fatally shot during the escape. However, the escape failed when on the second day, most of the refugees were hunted down and shot. Two of them managed to remain at large for a bit longer, but they were eventually shot as well. Two apprehended refugees were later sentenced to death. The only ones who survived from the group were Karel Kukal and Zdeněk Štich, who remained mentally and physically scarred for the rest of his life after the brutal interrogations. The camp was closed down in August 1954 and the extraction of uranium in Slavkov was discontinued a year later.

Horní Slavkov (Camp XII.)

On this place

I crept before the eyes of a guard

I crept before the eyes of a guard

Luboš Jednorožec
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