A long time ago, the author of these lines read that Adolf Hitler, driven by the desire to free up more living space for the Germans-Aryans who are so beloved by him, wanted to resettle the Czechs in Latin America. Specifically - in Patagonia. Which the author then was associated only with information from the novel by Jules Verne "Children of Captain Grant." Climate and life in distant Patagonia in general were classic adventurous literature presented in harsh tones, and the author therefore regretted in absentia the poor Czechs, who, apparently, only miraculously managed to escape this unenviable fate.
However, settling in the Czech Republic and trying to find out the details of this stories, the author is faced with a complete lack of intelligible data. But it turned out something completely different. It turns out that there is a serious suspicion that Jan Antonín Baяa, one of the representatives of the famous Czech shoe kings dynasty, the brother of its founder Tomáš Baатиa Sr. (1876 – 1932), was seriously nurturing plans for such a “deportation”.
After the tragic death of his brother in a plane crash, Jan Antonin headed a huge company. The times were hard: the economic crisis, the Munich conspiracy in 1938, the occupation of the Czech Republic in 1939 ... The businessman did his best to preserve the viability of the enterprise. Perhaps the Nazis hooked him up on this hook by arresting Batyu in the town of Mariánské Lázně. The shoe magnate was released on the condition that he meet in Berlin with Hermann Goering. Reichsmarshal tried to convince Batu of the need for the cooperation of his company with Germany. After this meeting, the "oligarch" decided to go away from sin, to the USA. At the factories “Batya” in Zlín a German manager appeared. The company supplied the Wehrmacht with the war not only with military footwear, but also with spare parts for submarines, V-1 and V-2 missiles. In the summer of 1939, the United States seal accused a Czech businessman of sympathizing with Nazism. The Allies blacklisted his collaborators with the enemy and did not extend the US visa. Dad moved to Brazil.
No one knows for certain exactly what Yan Antonin was talking about with Goering and other Nazi bosses in 1939 year. What later gave rise to speculation, both in terms of sympathy for the tycoon with regard to Hitler's gang, and in connection with the notorious relocation to Patagonia. The question should be considered in a historical context: when the head of the shoe corporation in 1939 in Germany was inclined to cooperate, the Second World War also did not start, and no one knew how this whole story would end. There was a powerful Germany and a small Czech Republic, betrayed by the Western powers and conquered by the Germans. Quite possibly, Goering really hinted at Bate: soon there would be little space on a small central European “glade”. On the map of the world there is a mass of uninhabited regions. No need to wait until the thunder clap, the fathers of the Czech nation need to be baptized right now.
Jan Antonin Batya may have been flattered by this approach. He considered himself one of the pillars of Czech society. And even "climbed into politics." In the second half of the 30, for example, the Czechoslovak President Benes was bombarded with projects to improve the road and rail networks in the country and revitalize the industry. When his advice was coldly rejected, Batya became very critical about the head of state. They clearly did not get along. Once, at a meeting in London, a huge Daddy slapped little Benes on the shoulder: “Man, together we can do a lot!”. The president was offended and Bate said that he should “look after the shoes better”. In the fall 1938 of the year, after the Germans captured the Sudetenland, the resignation and emigration of Benes, Batya seriously thought about taking the vacant presidency.
But the shoe magnate was not a politician, but a practitioner. For selfish capitalist considerations, his plans did not include the future war leaving in place of the Czech Republic the ashes and the mountain of corpses. Here lived his skillful workers and his loyal customers; for the sake of preserving this priceless market for every business, it was ready for anything. Perhaps even the creation of a working "plan-plan" for ... the relocation of the Czechs and Slovaks to South America in order "not to crowd in Europe."
Since this story in the Czech apocryphal heritage is overgrown with so many conjectures, the author will try to stick to the facts only. And they are. 12 December 1946 of the year Czechoslovak law enforcement authorities opened a criminal case against Jan Bati. He was accused, for example, of “an attempt to forcefully change the Constitution of the Czechoslovak Republic”. The investigation thus had in mind precisely his “plan for the resettlement of the Czech people to Patagonia”.
This part of the indictment was based on a single letter, which Jan Batya allegedly sent to his secretary, Dr. Jiří Udřalu, during a business trip to Chile in 1941. In the letter, the businessman spoke about the "magnificent" plan for moving Czechoslovakians to the regions stretching between Chile and Argentina. Secretary Urdzal, apparently, the bug was still that; he painstakingly saved up dirt on his boss. The next two years, when the scales of the second world hesitated, and it was unclear who would prevail in the war, Udržal kept the master's message in secret. But then, after Stalingrad and El Alamein, it became, in principle, clear that the Nazi veins were cut. And the secretary wrote to the son of the founder of the shoe empire, Tomasz Bata Jr., who lived in Canada, a letter dated 19 on April 1943. Where is all about the "insidious deporter uncle" told. The letter said that “the secret folder of Jan Antonin contained a map with the territory set aside for the future of the Czechoslovak state (in Patagonia - Auth.)”. Udržal wrote: “There was a replica in the text:“ I agreed with the leaders of the German people that they would support the resettlement plan. ”This seriously shaken my trust in Jan Antonin Bata.”
Manuscripts do not burn
The plan, which, according to the secretary, contained 27 pages, “for history” was rewritten by his wife Adela Udzhalova. The original was allegedly returned to Bata when he returned in the summer of 1941 from Chile. The project consisted of two parts - a draft of propaganda lectures and descriptions of the economic use of Patagonia. Although Batya was not 100% sure of the victory of Germany, but with her participation in the enterprise he was certainly considered first of all. Therefore, the main place in the plan was assigned to the idea of Berlin.
“Goering told me that we live in a German courtyard, we must give ourselves an account of this and act accordingly, allegedly stated in the text of the Batev memorandum. - Of course, in this maxim there is a lot of truth. We live in the German environment, even if we are talking about the newly Germanized Slavs, Silesians and Serbs ... But it is also clear that ... the Czechoslovak nation survived and withstood the blows of all the Asian hordes, while serving Germany as a buffer from the east ... "
Dad hits the historical philosophizing: they say, it is the Czechs who are well aware of the "art of being a small people." It follows from this: the Czechs cannot be Germanized, “it’s about the people who will be hiding their fists (read: figs - Auth.) For decades and, finally, break the German Reich just like it destroyed Austria”. “Reflecting on all the possibilities,” writes Jan Batya, “I find only one solution. I am looking for a way out that would be in the interests of all and would not leave behind me a sea of hot blood ... The solution I have in mind is the resettlement of the Czech and Slovak people to another continent. To a better environment, to better lands, to great opportunities for free national development. I am ready to personally suggest and ... organize the relocation of the nation. In case of victory, Hitler will not stop in front of any rights of the Czech people to exist .., therefore we must get ahead of events and find the best place on the globe and come ourselves with such a project so that we have the benefit, both moral and economic. . "
Speaking of other warring powers (the USSR, apparently, was still outside the war and was not taken into account, Aut.), Jan Batya says: if the British lose, they "will not have the opportunity to speak out on this." If it turns out otherwise, the British Empire will be able to benefit from the project: Czechoslovak Patagonia will become a tasty morsel, where Albion will be able to “get new territories, and the territories are very valuable, since they will be inhabited by a valuable people consisting of people developed culturally, technically and economically ". Czechoslovakians, in his opinion, would have nothing against the interim English administration, "considering it more likely a guard than a citizenship."
$ 20 billion, 30 years
The United States would have to participate in a grand "relocation". According to the businessman, the cause of the war in Europe is "overpopulation". He calculated: the conduct of hostilities (at that time - the help of the fighting Great Britain - Auth.) Costs America 36 billions of dollars; for the resettlement of the Czechoslovak people, you need to pay "only $ 20 billion." Dad, as a specialist in the national economy, recommends that the amount be divided among individual powers. Given the fact that Czechoslovakia will be able to participate in the project in the amount of 4 billion dollars. Relocation, according to Bati, can be done in 30 years.
What was Bata’s “Patagonian Empire” supposed to look like? The industrialist wanted to start production in the 25 industries at the first stage. The basis - of course, shoe business; it was planned to link to the raw material base, mines, wood processing and aircraft building plants, chemical, cement and paper factories, shipyards and railway companies. Total planned to create jobs for 340 thousands of people.
Raise Patagonian virgin soil
The transfer of Czech and Slovak colonists was, according to the plan of Bati, to take place in "waves". In the first, people released from concentration camps and landless peasants with their families would be moved. Behind them are workers, artisans and traders. Property could be sold. Practitioner Y. Batya gives a specific example: a hectare of arable land in the Czech Republic “flies” for 30 thousand crowns, and in Patagonia you can buy 5-10 hectares for this money. Such a prospect supposedly could well seduce the Czechs. Batya paints in detail the most fruitful regions of Patagonia: from the Pacific side - the valleys of the rivers Rio-Palen, Puelo, Velho; from the Atlantic side - the basins of Rio Hubut, Rio Negro, Rio Genoa and other rivers. According to the plan, “new Czechoslovakia” (or “Batyaland”) was supposed to receive approximately 2000 islands, for the most part rich in minerals. If we leave aside the geopolitical husk, then Yana Antonina, of course, was interested in the colonization of free space by people who would strive for life and work of the pioneers in difficult conditions.
15 years with confiscation
The Prosecutor's Office of the Czechoslovak Republic in 1947 made an indictment in the case of Jan Antonin Bati. Of course, the investigation failed to prove that his theses (even if they really were written by him - after all, no one but the spouses Udrzhalov could see the original) turned into something more serious than reflections on the "defeatist" theme.
In the verdict of the prosecutor's office, it was said that citizen Batya Ya. A. “in agreement with Hermann Goering in the 1939 year, went to the USA; from there, supplying raw materials to the occupied countries or directly to Germany, as well as by other means, brought the enemy considerable benefits, “dissuaded workers from joining the Czechoslovak army,“ harmed the Czechoslovak defense might and allies, ”“ condemned the victims of internal resistance, endorsed the actions of the invaders and their minions; being a famous industrialist, he refused to join the resistance. " The accusation was not very convincing, but the then justice, in which the communists set the tone, was guided primarily by political considerations. The court sentenced Batu in absentia to imprisonment of a special regime for 15 years; his property was subject to confiscation. The conviction of Jan Bati was very opportune: the largest Czech company, Batja, on the basis of presidential decrees, was already confiscated earlier. The verdict legitimized this dubious legal act.
Rehabilitation - posthumously
The rest of the days Jan Antonin lived in Brazil, where he founded four towns (for example, Batagaussu and Bataipora) and was engaged in the same shoe production. He died in the 1965 year, at the age of 67 years. He had 5 children. Three daughters - Lyudmila, Edita and Maria - arrived in October 1991, home, in order to achieve the rehabilitation of the father. Czech courts 16 for years rejected their complaints. Only 60 years after the conviction of Jan Antonin, in November 2007, the Prague City Court took into account the evidence that the convict during the war turned out to have financed the London government in exile with millions of dollars and helped the Jewish families to escape from the 300 protectorate. The name of the manufacturer has been cleared; the court found that he was not a collaborator. The cold water of history shifted its strata over its "Patagonian fantasies."