58-year-old Ludvik Dolezal is considered to be the dirtiest man in Europe. He’s homeless, he has no access to a shower, and he’s been sleeping in a pile of hot ash every night for the past year.
Ludvik spends his days in an abandoned old farmhouse in Novy Bydzov, Czech Republic surrounded only by ashes of what were once his personal belongings. “A year ago I simply decided to quit my job. Since then I’ve been staying here with the fire,” he said. He burnt all his material possessions at the time, even his mattress and duvet, to achieve the perfect mound of ash to sleep in. Now, he just burns whatever he finds to create his ash-bed. “Every night I lay down with hot ash in my clothes and cover myself to keep warm. I look like hell then.”
“I had everything – jacket, boots, mattresses and even a duvet. But I burnt everything because there was nothing else to keep the fire going,” said Dolezal. “People help me, they bring some old tires here for example and I burn them. I keep the fire going all day and in the evening at 7.30 I go to sleep.” Understandably, he’s covered head to toe in soot – only his eyes and mouth are visible. Even in the dead of winter, he can be seen wearing just a fleece, which is also dyed black from the smoke.
Photo: video caption
Dolezal’s affinity to fire and ash is quite strange – many believe him to be suffering from a psychological disorder. “I mostly burn wood from bushes that grow around,” he said. “But it has to be dry to glow. When I don’t have enough of it I grab an axe and cut boards from surrounding sheds. I burn even rubber, that’s not a problem. And if I have foam from a mattress I’ll throw it on there as well. The tires are very good, they make good heat. But there is smoke as well so then I need to go out for a while.”
Dolezal might be the dirtiest man in Europe, but he doesn’t quite live up to this 80-year-old Iranian man, Haji, who hasn’t bathed even once in the past 60 years. Haji hates any kind of contact with water and even the suggestion of a bath angers him. And then there’s Kailash Singh, an Indian man who hasn’t bathed in about 40 years. Looks like Dolezal still has a long way to go to join the ranks of the world’s dirtiest people.