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Josef Mencik-the Czech Don Quixote

Discussion in 'Prelude to War & Poland 1939' started by GRW, Nov 18, 2021.

  1. GRW

    GRW Pillboxologist WW2|ORG Editor

    Oct 26, 2003
    Likes Received:
    Stirling, Scotland
    This popped up on my FB timeline from a site called "Fake History Hunter". Instantly on my guard, of course, but it turns out it's actually true. Josef Mencik, the self-proclaimed "Knight of Strakonice" actually did try to stop a column of German tanks invading Czechoslovakia in 1938 while in armour on horseback. And lived to tell the tale.
    I've pasted the whole article from a Czech paper to prevent the need for GoogleTranslate.
    "Eighty years have passed since the signing of the Munich Agreement over the weekend. From the fateful days around Munich in 1938, evidence of the Don Quixote attempt by the owner of the chateau in the village of Dobrš in the Strakonice region has been preserved. Knight Josef Menčík then decided to stop the Nazi army in his own way.
    "He was really weird. He rode a horse and wore armor. German troops, who were ordered to cross the border on Bučina, found that a knight was sitting on horseback against them. So they hesitated for a while, then they set in motion and he had to dodge, "Pavel Fencl, a historian of the Prachatice Museum, described to Czech Radio České Budějovice the meeting of the knight Josef Menčík with German soldiers.
    They may have considered the Knight of Menčík a local fool or appreciated his courage. In any case, the owner of the Dobš chateau escaped unscathed.
    Josef Menčík's reputation as a knight dates back to 1911, when part of the local fortress burned down. At that time, Menčík bought the incinerator from the Schwarzenberg family and tried to restore knightly life to the site. According to the periodical Volné listy dobršská, a collection of curiosities and antiques began to grow in the fortress.
    "This modern-day Don Quixote was a lover of the old order and vigorously opposed the new vices. He tried to live honestly, and because the modern knight is said to have a great spirit, he was also generous and hospitable to visitors. He showed his knightly character in September 1938, when he rode on his horse and in full knight's armor to Bučina, where he tried to prevent German tanks from entering Czech territory, ”the periodical Volné listy dobršské described years ago .
    'Swallowed whole herring'
    Jarmila Kramlová, a native of Dobrš, also remembers the knight. Years ago, she remembered for the occasional that one of his "pub rituals was to swallow a whole herringbone, which he then drank with a good glass of rum and then shouted menacingly."
    However, the story of Don Quixote in Šumava is just one of the fragments that describe the course of the first days in the Czechoslovak border after the signing of the Munich Agreement.
    Bohumila Kyznarová, for example, described the events to Czech Radio České Budějovice. In 1938 she was 18 years old and her parents in Bučina have just completed the construction of Pešl's cottage, in which they wanted to accommodate tourists coming to Šumava. For safety reasons, the family preferred to spend the night from September 30 to October 1 in an inn in nearby Nové Dvůr.
    "We negotiated what will happen. My parents spent all the money in Bučina, so we returned there in the morning. There was no living soul anywhere, it was all somewhere in the woods. They never returned until noon and admired us for how brave we were to be there. Then the German army began to ride in the afternoon. It took three days and three nights, "she recalled.
    The Wehrmacht also occupied some purely Czech villages. These were, for example, Vadkov, Mičovice or Jáma na Lhenicku. These remained occupied until the meeting of the border commission, which decided in mid-November to return them to the Czechoslovak Republic.
    "According to witnesses, one thing is interesting that the German soldiers, unlike the local Germans, behaved very correctly and decently, while the local Henleins ( Sudeten German Party, ed. Note) were very unpleasant to the Czechs. The Czech symbols were destroyed, "added historian Fencl."

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