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Seven stashes of Mr. Schonbach
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Let's do a little test: When had been pronounced the names Jan Antonin Bata or Tomas Bata, all literary experts know who they are. When we say Rudolf Schonbach - native of Cernovice in the Czech Republic, and founder of leather manufacturing in that region - not even one person in several hundred have any idea about him. Using Google you can find many notes about Schonbach. There are actors sharing the same name, a hotel owner, and travel agencies which direct you to information about the beautiful village of Krasna (Schonbach u Ase), but absolutely nothing about Rudolf Schonbach and/or his family. It is almost as if that which is not on Google does not exist. In the past, however, Rudolf Schonbach was compared to Bata with regularity. They had a lot in common such as their enterprising spirits and their tirelessly pragmatic thinking. Both of them were captains of industry. Rudolf Schonbach navigated his boat around an unknown island while the luxury boat of Tomas Bata navigated to the bright big cities. Did Rudolf Schonbach pay the price of being loyal to his own region because he started his business out of the way in Cernovice u Tabora? This book has been written in order to remind people about the life of a person, who, in only a few decades became the moving power behind organising the life in that region. The story of Rudolf Schonbach's life is not just a regional story. It is the story that characterises that historic time before and after the Second World War with clear common validity. It is a story that contains moral aspects relevant to today. The story of the life of the Cernovicky and Bata has been told basically from the memory of Jozef Hrdlicka, Schonbach's friend from childhood. A smaller part of the story has come together through historic documents and newspaper articles from the poisonous communistic times in the 1950s. This work is not strictly a historical scientific study, but it is more about remembering a highly admirable person, who demonstrated strength and focus while fighting against his disease, limiting conditions, and history. The factory which he founded is still there - a quiet witness to the memory of all the changes. The factory is again in private hands. We can only feel pity that it is not in a Schonbach's hands.
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