Show on Map

Antonín Hlaváček

Antonín Hlaváček (1926, Kaliště, part of the village of Nadějkov, Tábor district - year of death unknown)

  • Testimony abstract

    Antonín Hlaváček was born in the village of Kaliště in the district of Tábor and grew up in the village of Ratibořské Hory. His parents were Antonie and Antonín Hlaváček, whose origins were among fairground people, and he had six siblings. His father was a horse trader, but the family were badly off, and his son Antonín also used to go begging. He helped his father sell stoneware, for which they would travel to Kostelec nad Černými lesy; the journey with the horses always took them four days there and back. He recalls the unfair practice of selling horses, whereby the animal was injected with arsenic before the sale to make it appear lively and energetic.

    He went to school at Ratibořské Hory; his relations with his classmates were good, as he recalled. The children of the landowners would share their lunch with him at school, for example.

    During the war, Antonín Hlaváček was sent to a reformatory in Opatovice nad Labem. He said it was because he was “a street urchin”. In 1943, together with seven other boys from the reformatory in Opatovice, he was taken by the Protectorate gendarmes to the camp at Lety near Písek. Hlaváček recalled that the gendarmes in the reformatory chose the boys according to their skin color, so they also took with them two boys named Procházka and Zikmund, who were not Romani although they were dark-skinned; their families were fairground people. He was released from Lety after a month and then placed in the holding camp in Pardubice. In March 1943, he was deported from Pardubice to the Auschwitz II-Birkenau concentration camp. From the end of 1944 he was interned in Auschwitz I, Buchenwald, Gross-Rosen and Dachau, where he was finally liberated.

      He and his wife Maria Procházková raised three children. He collaborated with the Živá pamět' organization and the MRC.

      How to cite abstract

      Abstract of testimony from: HORVÁTHOVÁ, Jana a kol. ... to jsou těžké vzpomínky. 1. svazek. Vzpomínky Romů a Sintů na život před válkou a v protektorátu. Brno: Větrné mlýny, Muzeum romské kultury, 2021. ISBN 978-80-86656-45-8, 95-96, 342-344, 665-666. Testimonies of the Roma and Sinti. Project of the Prague Forum for Romani Histories (Institute of Contemporary History, Czech Academy of Sciences), (accessed 4/14/2024)
    • Origin of Testimony

      Antonín Hlaváček's testimony is quoted from an interview in Czech recorded on 20 February 1995 in Brno and stored in the collections of the Museum of Romani Culture (MRC). An interview with Antonín Hlaváček was also recorded on 20 June 1997 in Čáslav, the video recording of which is also available on-line on the website of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Reference is also made to Antonín Hlaváček's recollections in the context of a lecture entitled The Origin of the Roma and the History of the Roma in the 20th Century, which was part of the Živá paměť (Living Memory) educational programme Disappeared Roma and Roma Today in 2005. The book also refers to the documentary film They're Painful Memories (Czech Republic, 2002, 28 min, directed by Monika Rychlíková; AFIS, MRC) and Výzkumná zpráva 5/2005, projekt o. p. s. Živá paměť – vzdělávací program Zmizelí Romové a Romové dnes (Research Report 5/2005, a project of Živá paměť’s Disappeared Roma and Roma Today educational programme). The reminiscences are accompanied by two photographs from the MRC collections.

    • Where to find this testimony

    Subscribe to our newsletter


    • Muzeum romské kultury


    • Bader
    • GAČR
    • TCAOS