Jiřina Duchoslavová

* 1946

  • “They took a trade licence from my dad but he thought he will work as the head of the bakery. Nevertheless, after a year, in 1949, they fired him. He found out that people from the State Security went after him. He was visiting his mom in Litomyšl when they came to arrest him in our house. My sister managed to warn him on time. So, my dad got in a car and drove away. The State Security pursued him but he managed to turn in a curve to the forest, they missed it and he went back and went to my aunt’s cottage in the Iron Mountains to the secluded place where there was no water nor electricity. My dad stayed there for about fourteen days and then he went to Ostrava. At that time, Ostrava was being built and it was in the interest of the Republic to have as many workers as possible and to build Ostrava. So, my dad was able to disappeared among the workers. He spent there few years. It was a harsh time because a new currency came and my parents had nothing left. And my dad would send the few crowns he earned to mom sometimes, but it wasn't enough for basic living. And I remember that I came home one day and my mom cried that she did not know what she will give to me to eat the next day.”

  • “My brother Pepík [informal version of the name Josef – trans.] got married, his wife was six months pregnant, she helped mom cook lunch, she cut noodles for soup and I saw that someone is walking towards their flat. I told it to her so she went to take a look and then we only saw how some men pushed her into a car and mom ran out toward them and told them that she is pregnant. The just laughed at her that they will take good care of her. On the same day they arrested Pepík in his job and imprisoned both of them. In 1948, my brother was a student at a food industry school in Pardubice and among the students, it was in ferment at that time, they distributed some leaflets and they imprisoned him for that. He spent eighteen months in custody. When he came back, he did not want to talk about it much. He only told me that he had to lie on a plank bed, they shined into his eyes with a 200 Watts light, he was not allowed to fall asleep or that they put him naked into a dungeon for 24 hours where he had to stand at attention. He was tired also because he did not know what happened to his wife. His wife was released after two months and they told her no maternity hospital is allowed to take her in that she has to pay for everything. But they confiscated everything they owned, they sealed their flat and she naturally did not have money to pay for it. Thanks to the senior doctor Kovařík, who worked on a maternity hospital in Vysoké Mýto at that time, she gave birth. And I think she gave birth under false name. They had a son, in seventh month, and my brother saw him for the first time when he was two years old. But that was not the end of repressions, on the contrary it was the beginning.”

  • “It was the 20th anniversary of liberation and we did not raise the flag at our place. And suddenly someone ringed at our door and there were all the comrades from the national committee and my dad said: ‘This will be trouble, we did not raise the flag! That will be bad!’ So, he went to the door and someone there wore through these comrades from the back and took my dad in his arms and that was Krylov. The comrades said: ‘Oh, Mr. Smékal, we did not know, we have to give you a medal.’ They did not have instructions about how they should behave and what they should say. Nevertheless, at that time, my dad made a deal with Pičkar, they had some comrade with a rubber hand or leg who watched them so they could not speak properly. But later he wrote my dad a letter that he was indeed in prison for ten years and he took is as a great wrongdoing on him because he went through the whole war and then he disappeared into the gulag for ten years because he was locked up for three days before the end of the war.”

  • “I remember there were house searches at our place. I came home and I saw that the doors to living room were open, everything was open and comrades were walking there and they took what they liked. They literally robbed us. And later, when I was already adult, I found out that the comrades divided the booty in one pub and as a token of alliance they cut their ties. So, the house searches were done this way. I even have a record about it which we found at home.”

  • Celé nahrávky
  • 1

    Pardubice, 30.09.2021

    délka: 01:56:25
    nahrávka pořízena v rámci projektu Příběhy regionu - HRK REG ED
Celé nahrávky jsou k dispozici pouze pro přihlášené uživatele.

After the revolution they bought a colour TV to see how communists grow pale

Jiřina Duchoslavová, graduation photo
Jiřina Duchoslavová, graduation photo
zdroj: archiv pamětníka

Jiřina Duchoslavová was born on 31 January 1946 in Vysoké Mýto as the youngest of five children into the Smékalovi family of bakers. When her father saw the way things were going in post-war Czechoslovakia, he voluntarily rented his bakery to Jednota. He hoped he will stay there as the head but he was fired after a year anyway. In autumn 1948 the witness’s brother Jaroslav Smékal emigrated and State Security started to be interested in her father. He escaped the arrest and left to build new Ostrava. He came back to Vysoké Mýto only in the middle of 1950s. Her other brother Josef and his pregnant wife were arrested. Josef came back only after two years. The stress from those event that affected the family from war years until the 1950s left its marks on the health of her mother who died suddenly in 1958. The then twelve years old Jiřina was left alone with her father, the background profile did not allow her to study at any secondary school and she had to go to work immediately after the ninth year. In a hospital in Litomyšl, she started as a cleaning lady and later they allowed her to study secondary medical school. As a nurse she had worked in hospitals and surgeries until 1990 when she requested the return of the family bakery in restitution. The renewal of the Smékal’s bakery took them many years and aside from huge financial means it cost them her and her husband’s health. In 2015 she handed the company over to her son-in-law. In 2021 Jiřina Duchoslavová lived with her husband in Vraclav near Vysoké Mýto.