Rudolf Stursa or The story of Czech "Oscar Schindler"

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Dátum: 07.12.2014
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Rudolf Stursa or The story of Czech "Oscar Schindler"
Rudolf Jan Stursa was born on the 5th of July, 1911. After leaving secondary school he studied at the Law Faculty of Charles University. After leaving the university he became a translator from English into Czech. He read English newsletters, in where he knew western policy of "appeasement", western policy of 30s related to Hitler's Nazi Germany. He knew that this policy was ominous. He met with the question of Jews on the 13th of March, 1938 for the first time. This day Nazi Gemany occupied Austria. Rudolf Stursa had Jewish friend Frantisek Mautner whose life was threatened now. Frantisek Mautner asked Rudolf Stursa what he was doing in his position (if he would be a Jew too). Rudolf Stursa recommended him to leave Czechoslovakia and to go very far from Czechoslovakia. Frantisek Mautner chose New Zeeland. Because New Zeeland was English country, Rudolf Stursa recommended Frantisek Mautner to let him baptize. Rudolf Stursa took Frantisek Mautner to the archivist, historian and priest of the Old Catholic Church Martin Jan Vochoc to let Frantisek Mautner baptize. Father Vochoc lived in the attic in the house No 171 in Neruda street. (The Old Catholic Church arose after the first the Holy See Concilium because it disagrees wiht the dogma of the unfailingness of the Pope. Its centre is in Dutch Utrecht. This Church has about 2 800 believers in the Czech republic now.) Father Vochoc baptized him and gave him the baptism certificate. The advantage of these baptism certificates was that the whole text was in Latin and didn't contain the date of the baptism but contained the date of the issue of the certificate. Even Nazis accepted in the time of the occupation of Czechoslovakia that Father Vochoc had the right to baptize but communists sentenced him for five years after WWII in 1947 to Valdice. (Valdice is one of the worst prisons in the Czech republic. Valdice is in Jicin County in northern Bohemia.) Rudolf Stursa endeavours Father Vochoc to be rehabilitated now.

The Mautners invited Rudolf Stursu to visit them on Boxing day, 1938. There were next of kin of the Mautners. Some of them asked Rudolf Stursa if they can be baptized too. One of them asked him if he can obtain only the baptism cerificate without the baptism. ThereforeRudolf Stursa visited his friend, typographer Frantisek Fleischmann who works in a Prague printing-office. Rudolf Stursa borrowed a baptism certificate from Father Vochoc and gave it to Frantisek Fleischmann to let print about thousand copies. Rudolf Stursa lived in the house No 505 in the street U zemepisneho ustavu" ("Near the Geographical Institute") between 20s and 1939 when he went away to Poland an then to England. This address became known among Jews and Jews came here for Rudolf Stursa. Also three Jews from Korfu came here. (Korfu is one of the biggest Greek island near Albania.) In the beginning all consulates recognized also false baptism certificates. The problem began when some consulates began to want old baptism certificates. Therefore Rudolf Stursa visited Victor Mautner (the father of Frantisek Mautner) and said him that Victor Mautner was certainly an orderly retailer and therefore he had documents from the past. He had them in cases in the cellar. There were old Austro-Hungarian revenue stamps on these dokuments. (Austria-Hungary was a large monarchy in the central Europe including Bohemia until 1918.) Rudolf Stursa needed a false rubber stamp of the Prague Old Catholic Church community that was made by his friend from the elementary school Pistora. Consulates recognized these new (false) old baptism certificates and issued transit visa to all applicants.

Rudolf Stursa tried to convince the Mautners (father Victor, mother and daughter Edit) to leave Czechoslovakia because it was evident in the spring of 1939 that Czechoslovakia was going to be occupied by Nazi Germany and that the Nuremberg Laws are going to be applied here too. (The Nuremberg Laws were Nazi anti-Semitic laws that were past in Nazi Germany in 1935.) Unfortunately he didn't convinced them and all of them (except his friend Frantisek mautner who went to New Zeeland) died in a concentration camp.

Even through Rudolf Stursa believed "his" Jews, that they didn't inform Gestapo (Nazi police) against him, it was dangerous to stay in occupied Czechoslovakia because he would certainly be executed or sent to a concentration camp.
(Czechoslovakia was occupied on the 15th of March, 1939.) Rudolf Stursa got acquainted with English journalist Henry Stowin who was correspondent of labour daily paper "Daily Herald". Stowin was interested in the fortunes of them who left Czechoslovakia thanks to Rudolf Stursa. He agreed in April, 1939 that he went with Stowin to Poland, They went to Ostrava. (Ostrava is big city in nort-eastern Bohemia in the border with Poland.) Because Rudolf Stursa hadn't a valid passport, he had to cross the border illegally. This crossing succeeded with his friend from the Law Faculty for the second attempt. He lived in Varsaw, Krakov and Katovice in Poland. The refugees lived by groups in Poland. Because Rudolf Stursa belongs to no group, he went to southern England where lived till 1941.

Rudolf Stursa handed out the baptism certificates free. If someone gave him something for it, he took it, but he wanted to get money from nobody. Rudolf Stursa don't know how many and whom he handed out the baptism certificates because he didn't keep records. He don't know what it happened to these people. Somebody told him years ago that some Jews (with his baptism certificates) went to Southern Africa and are called "Stursa's (Schturzo) Church". Unfortunately this information isn't verified.

Rudolf Stursa says to his activities: "I looked at all people as equal people, it means I made no distinction between nations, religions, but, on the contrary, I tried to learn something also from other other religions than only Christian religion. He says also: "I did what I could do, it means I tried to help the others. In talmud there is a sentence, a big wisdom: Whoever saves a single soul, it is as of he had saved the entire world because you save entire world for him."

Rudolf Stursa can speak (of course including Czech) German, English and French. Rudolf Stursa is married for the second time today.
He has no children from the first marriage. From the second marriage he has two children - a son (born on the 7th of July, 1968) and a daughter (born the 24th of July, 1969). His wife is 29 years younger than him.

These informations are from the documentary film of Czech televison from year 1996:
"I made a crime - Rudolf Stursa"; dramaturgist: Josef Platz; theme: Martin Smok; production assistant: Lucie Sindelarova; communications van No P29 executive: Lubomir Drtina; in collaboration withs: Frank Roubicek, Th. Dipl. Jan Herna, Antonin Svach, Jan Prochazka, Vladimir Bezdek, Zdena Smekalova; sound: Jiri Mach; music director: Pavel Hrubes; editor: Miloš Malek; executive producer: Ales Novak; director of photography: Jaroslav Kocourek; script-writer and director: Petr Bok.

I you have some another informations to this topic (for example what happens to "Rudolf Stursa's" Jews), including my English, please, send an e-mail at my address.
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