This house is the childhood home of Rudi Schlattner. It’s the same one he fled with his family after the Second World War, when German nationals were forced out of Czechoslovakia. Now in his 80’s, Rudi recently returned to his home country for the first time since the war.
He visited his childhood house, which, after numerous renovations and refurbishments, was now being used as a kindergarten. But more than anything, Rudi wanted to find something he believed his father left behind: a cache of valuable items supposedly hidden somewhere in the house.
While looking in the attic, he found a loose board with a string attached that no one had previously noticed, even after numerous renovations.
Behind the board was a secret compartment full of family items that Rudi’s father had hidden away in the event that they ever returned to Czechoslovakia.
It was a small space, but it still took hours to clear everything out of the secret room.
Representatives from a museum in the nearby town of Usti nad Labem arrived and began dating and cataloging all of the items.
As wonderful as the discovery was for Rudi, it was also a treasure trove of WWII-era memorabilia.
While many of these things don’t appear valuable, they offer a rare glimpse into life in the 1940s.
“We were surprised that so many ordinary things were hidden there,” said museum employee Tomas Okura. “Thanks to the circumstances, these objects have a very high historical value.”
Technically, the objects remain the property of the Czech government, but Rudi isn’t concerned. Whether or not he gets to take all this stuff back home, he’s just happy to have closure.
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