Diary Entry on Otto Wolf’s Arrest, April 19, 1945

Diary entry from April 19, 1945, in which Otto Wolf's sister, Felicitas, describes Otto's arrest.

[On April 19, 1945, Otto was arrested during a raid on the village of Zákřov. From this point on, Felicitas kept the diary.]

April 19, 1945, Thursday

At 6 A.M., they [the Vlasov troops] ask us all for personal identification. They confront our Otošek [diminutive for Otto] first. He is at a loss for words, and finally says that he is visiting the Oheras and that he is from Telč. The Vlasovite commander does not believe him, though, and simply says: “You’re coming with me.” Otto rises to his feet like knives are being driven into our hearts. They demand identification from Papa, too, but he says that he has special dispensation and besides he is sixty-one already, so finally they leave him alone. They don’t even both Mother and me. [. . .] After a search, they line up all their prisoners. There are about fifteen of them, including Mr. Ohera, our Otošek, Michlík, Hodulík, the two Závodník boys, and some others we don’t know. Papa is the last to glimpse them as the Vlasovites lead them, double file, toward Újezd where they have their headquarters. We are all half dead with anxiety about what will happen next. [. . .] Papa decides that whatever happens, we cannot afford to stay here and must go off to the forest, though unfortunately without our beloved Otošek. We take nothing with us except a piece of bread with some shmaltz. [. . .] We are all so crushed by events that none of us had eaten anything since yesterday, and we all feel emotionally exhausted. Each of us tried to hide sadness, pain, and tears from the others. Papa laments and weeps terribly, and we have our hand full keeping him calm. Just before I returned from the Oheras’ in the afternoon, he had gone off to cut some branches so we have something to lie on in our hideout: a job that used to be Otík’s [diminutive for Otto]. It made him so sad that he had to return to Mommy. He was so weak that he could not talk or even breathe. Mommy immediately gave him some medicine to calm him down. The weather is changeable and somewhat cold. We go to sleep at seven without having eaten anything.1


  • 1 :  Alexandra Zapruder, ed., Salvaged Pages: Young Writers' Diaries of the Holocaust, 2nd edition (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2015) 155.

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