History of the building

Tomášov was actually a continuation the Baťa School of Work, as Baťa held the motto “ To be able to have a quality workers we have to educate them.”  Young people of 14 year of age came to the Baťa School of Work (BSP). The school gained an excellent reputation because it was able to employ the best teachers and educators. The slogan “Every dollar that we spend on effective schooling, will be given back many times in life.

The studies were very hard. The boys and girls lived in dormitories along the boulevard where the House of the Arts is located. The Baťa School received the children free of bad habits and experience, because he said it is better to educate the students from the ground up. When the students, called “young man” and “young woman”, were admitted into the school dormitories they could bring only limited clothing. Everything else they had to provide from their own earnings. Each day students worked as adults – from 7 to 12pm and then after a two-hour break they continued to work until 5 pm. After their work was finished, they were then expected to study for a further three hours. This was very tough – about 50% of the students at BSP didn’t complete their studies. Some of Baťa BŠP graduates are still alive and own a graduation badge called ABŠ, which is very rare.

Baťa school of Work was established in 1925. In 1940 there were 4 280 students who successfully graduated. In the second half of the 30’s, despite the school having a such a good education system, Baťa company began to loose young men, who would be able to hold the highest economic positions such as directors, throughout the world. The BSP had not enough challenge to meet this. Therefore, it began to build superior levels of education at the institute named Tomášov, in honor of the founder, and later the institute Miladov, for women, was also built. Mr. Hub was named as the director of the Institute. About 50 people from ABŠ were selected. These students were the best, the elite of BSP students were called Tomášovci. The management of the factory said “ There is no worldwide school for directors. Although Tomášov is designed to raise educated managers no “Tomášov man or woman” was certain to become a leader. They were being prepared for leadership roles in the modern economy of the world. They copied the elite English and American colleges of Harrow and Rugby to educate future businessmen. During their studies they had to wear suits, hats and learnt the habits of high society such as foreign languages, social behaviour and also how to communicate with people around the dining table. They even had to put on formal clothes in the factory where they worked. At work, they had to wear a jacket, white vests, hats and gloves and then dress in working clothes.

After returning from work college education continued. They learnt how to play rugby, golf, horse riding and other “gentlemen games”. Their tutors were professionals in high education.

On the walls of the company and the building of Tomášov were the mottos: “Let us be first, let us be winners”, “Fighting is the father of everything, “The day has 86 000 seconds”, “Do not be afraid of wounds”, “Let us not made of glass, be from steel”, “Strong love a live”, “The speed is a power”. We can say that Baťa fulfilled the classic Greek ideal of Calocagathia here – the harmony of body and spirit.

After 1945 the building of Tomášov was nationalized and became a part of the Enterprise Svit. In the building N. 31, where the ambulance was before, was created into an internal department, surgical, gynaecological, later neurological and after all Tomášov became to be a internal department. In 1959 Doctor Francis Bakala introduced one of the most modern neurological departments of that time, which was at a high level. It was also accompanied by a rehabilitation centre, which is part of today’s modern trends in treatment. In the next phase there were separate wards for neurology, internal, gynaecological and long-term hospital patients.

The location around Tomášov is very interesting: it is above Nad Ovčírnou, where, on the slope below Tomášov, are similar types of buildings – “single house”. Around 1924 Baťa announced a contest for “single house” designs and  the winning ones were built in the area just below Tomášov. There is also the house of Karfík, despite being a little unmaintained. Before you enter the Tomášov building there is quite an interesting part of the site. There are two buildings of the Institute, now one of them is a Police station and the second one is a College. Between them there is perhaps the greatest architectural memorial of Tomaš Baťa, built in memory of his tragic death in 1932.

Text is from archive of doctor Jiří Bakala.