Czech Republic / Biography
Oldřich Babka, born in Pilsen in 1925, was a grammar school student during the war and was forced to join the local German Technische Nothilfe (TN) regiment to defend the city. At the war’s close, he assisted Karel Šindler's resistance group "Bike on the Shot" to take a radio tower to broadcast Pilsen was free.
Oldřich Babka was born on May 31, 1925 in Pilsen. His father worked for the State Railways and had the experience of an Italian legionnaire from the First World War. Oldřich spent his childhood in the Letná and St. Petersburg neighbourhoods in Pilsen.
During the German occupation of Pilsen in 1943, he and several of his classmates of the grammar school in Mikulášské náměstí were forced to join the Technische Nothilfe (TN). As part of its ranks, he participated in the construction of engineering works for the air defence of the city and surroundings, including clearing the impacts of the U.S. Air Force attacks on Pilsen.
Concurrently, he maintained contact with Karel Šindler's resistance group "Bike on the Shot". In the final days of the war, the Technische Nothilfe units of local boys were left unattended and quickly disintegrated. Oldřich Babka assisted in the resistance’s operation to take over the German broadcasting station in Štruncovy sady, from which Karel Šindler broadcasted the message: "Svobodná Plzeň speaks!" (Free Pilsen speaks!). He also went on to be a volunteer who kept order in the German camp in Karlov.
In mid-May 1945, he left for Prague and took part the spontaneous cleaning of the buildings and dormitories of Charles University. In September 1945, he began studying forestry at the University of Prague.