Here’s how he remembered him Marshal of the Soviet Union I. S. Konev: “Man, he was organized and exceptionally brave. It is possible to say without exaggeration: this is the battlefield of the head before the enemy does not bow… He wasn’t in the war a Communist, but was a true patriot, a man of progressive ideas associated with the best aspirations and hopes of its people… Freedom was a real national hero, one of the bravest people I knew, a soldier in the highest sense of the word.”

on the Eve of the 75th anniversary of the great Victory, the correspondent “RG” was found in Prague the daughter of a General of the army, Hero of the Soviet Union, the President of Czechoslovakia, Ludwig Freedom Zoya Klusakova-Svobodova and asked her to remember with what feelings her family met may 9, 1941.

Zoe Klusakova-Svobodova: Three and a half years my mom was hiding from the Gestapo have the good and brave men, came out from hiding. Only after the war learned that my brother Miroslav and both mother’s brother – Yaroslav and Edward – were executed at Mauthausen. Have been executed and my dad’s nephew, Jan doležal. My grandmother, Agnes Stratilova died in the gas chamber at ravensbrück. The Germans persecuted us, because the whole family helped the parachutists – the Czech paratroopers who were trained in Moscow for struggle against the invaders in the Protectorate.

in addition, the internment camps in Svatoborice were detained thirteen members of dad’s family, two stepsisters, a half brother, ten nieces and nephews from his own sister. From my mother’s side in Svatoborice held in detention, her sister, husband and wife executed brother Yaroslav.

So the feelings and impressions from the 9th of may was difficult. On the one hand the joy at the end of the war and victory, and the bitterness of so many losses and misfortunes that fell to our share.

Your father since 1943 has been at the forefront, participated in the bloody battles against the Nazis. He wrote about it in his letters? Whether they survived?

Zoe Klusakova-Svobodova: Dad wrote the book “From Buzuluk to Prague”, which was released in 1960, the publishing house “Mlada fronta”. The book was translated into several foreign languages. Later in 1971 in the publishing house “Our troops” published his two-volume memoirs “Roads of life”. Later I published his personal diary, written by hand, called “Diary of war”, which, however, ends with his departure for the front, where he operated a General ban on keeping personal records, so they do not fall into the hands of the enemy.

the Book was popular with readers, and several editions have been printed. About our family and not only about her, I wrote the book “About what happened”, its second edition was published in 2017.

Ludwig Freedom two years of war had made strivesEloy career – from Deputy battalion commander to corps commander. And in April 1945 he was Minister of national defense of Czechoslovakia. I wonder if he commented on the rise?

Zoe Klusakova-Svobodova: can Not talk about the career of commander in the military, at the front, when people risk their lives daily. My father went to fight fascism is not to make a career. He, according to his beliefs fought for the liberation of Czechoslovakia from Nazi occupation. In 1939 Ludwig Svoboda moved to Poland, where a group of young officers and sergeants, being in exile, has created the so-called “Czechoslovak Legion in Poland”, which was then taken to the USSR. This group and became the military core of the Czechoslovak military units formed in Buzuluk. Part originated and grew at the expense of volunteers who are father and head of the military mission of the Czechoslovak Republic in the USSR Colonel Heliodoro Peak managed to escape from the Gulag and labor camps. Basically, they got there for illegal crossing of the border.

First, Colonel Svoboda was formed in Buzuluk regiment, which participated in the battles at Kharkov. Later, the regiment, with the advent of new volunteers, has grown to the brigade, it participated in the liberation of Kiev. Incidentally, all three Czechoslovak tanker for participation in the battle of Kiev became heroes of the Soviet Union, which tells about the fighting quality of this connection. Then, the brigade participated in liberation of Western Ukraine.

Due to the liberation of Volhynia, and the Volhynian Czechs living there, the team grew to the body. 1st Czechoslovak corps took part in the Carpathian-Dukla operation, together with the red Army on 6 October 1944 crossed the border of Czechoslovakia and began the liberation of Slovakia. The 1st Czechoslovak tank brigade corps went through Poland and took part in the liberation of Ostrava. Case together with the Soviet army and finished his military path in Central Moravia.

the Front my father is not avoided, as evidenced by how his fellow soldiers and Soviet commanders. So “career” is not the right word for the life of a frontline commander during the war.

Perhaps I used not a very good word, sorry. Marshal Konev in his memoirs also suggests that Ludwig Freedom were marked by unusual bravery and even, as the commander, sometimes he went on the attack, as a simple soldier…

Zoe Klusakova-Svobodova: It’s true. Also wrote about him and his fellow soldiers. The father was an experienced soldier, he participated in the battles of the First world war. But because in the difficult situations he did, by personal example showed how to behave, and to win the victory, and not to suffer unnecessary losses.

Tell us again what he was – at home, among friends? How to treat the duties of the President, who performed in the spring of 1968?

Zoe Klusakova-Svobodova: He loved the people, understand their problems, if she could help. No wonder the soldiers, remembering him, said – “our father,” and girls who served in the army, called him “our daddy.”

After the war, I with many of them met, they came to our home, usually when they had some problems in civilian life and they need to be solved. Dad wanted me to know them and became friends with them.

Now there are many who want to revise the results of world war II, belittle the Soviet role in defeating fascism. How do you explain this and what can you say about this?

Zoe Klusakova-Svobodova: unfortunately, it is. Current international relations are used, and in order to serve their purpose to distort history. I think that first of all politicians, not historians.

Our Czech pre-war society was the Slavophile. His role was played, among other things, and unjustified claims against us by Germany and Hungary. We were looking for a moral and historical support in the Slavic countries. The development of good relations with Russia and contributed to the legionaries who brought a lot of positive memories, not to mention came along with them Russian wives.

I Also can’t ignore the episode with . In Russia it caused a very . Preparing for the interview, I reread his memoirs Konev and drew attention to the fact, with what love and respect he writes of Czechoslovakia as he did everything to the liberation of Prague without destruction, without prejudice to the city. What explains this vandalism, manifested towards the monument.

Zoe Klusakova-Svobodova: I personally Scam all around the monument to Marshal Konev deeply unpleasant, I’m ashamed that it happened in Prague. And I’m not the only one, but, unfortunately, we have not heard.

I know the attitude of Marshal Konev to Czechoslovakia. During a joint fighting this commander came to really respect and to Ludwig Freedom, and to other comrades-in-arms. I can testify that what Konev and Marshal Zhukov helped my dad get out of jail, where he landed in the years of repression under the Communist regime. I then studied in Moscow.

Konev secured the release and General Klapalek, which has also been imprisoned on false charges. I was a witness of it from my father heard about the arrest Klapalek. Then immediately appealed to the President Zapototskogo and said sharply: “I learned that General Klapalek arrested. Do you know who General Klapalek? This is the national hero of your country”! A few days later the General was released.

do your fellow citizens today Generaland Freedom as their national hero? Whether to keep the memory of him?

Zoe Klusakova-Svobodova: the Descendants who fought in the 1st Czechoslovak corps was created “Society Ludwig Freedom” and “the Club of descendants of soldiers of the Czechoslovak army corps in Russia and in other Czechoslovak units on the fronts of the Second world war.” The members of these societies seek to preserve the memory of our participation in world war II.

In Eastern Slovakia in Svidník, the burial place of the Soviet and Czechoslovak soldiers who died in the Dukla operation, there is a monument to Ludwig Freedom. Here, too, the memory of the beginning of the liberation of Czechoslovakia from German occupation.

Tell us at least briefly, how was your life: where you studied, what did I do now?

Zoe Klusakova-Svobodova: I learned to be an economist. He received the degree of candidate of Sciences. Taught at the Higher school of Economics in Prague, then at the University. The husband was a diplomat, Czechoslovak representative to the UN, so some time I spent with him abroad. Now – retired.