Jarmila Foralová

* 1927  

  • “The Gestapo drove to Místek, first to the doctor, but Mum knew I wouldn’t be there any longer, because I was there in the morning and they came in the afternoon. The Gestapo began checking a wide range of young girls. They were looking for me. Later, I found out that they had searched the bus from Palkovice. They came back to Palkovice, but I still wasn’t at home. At that point Mum sent word by my cousin to Sviadnov that the Gestapo was looking for me. The Gestapo came to the gendarme station and told them to bring me to the Gestapo in Ostrava the next day, otherwise they would arrest my mother and the rest of my relatives. They said the rest of my relatives because they knew that most of my relatives had already been arrested or executed. I deliberated. In the evening my uncle Ludvík came. I told him I would go to the Gestapo because they didn’t have any evidence against me. The Soviet army was already in Budapest, and I’d hold out. It was a difficult decision. I went to the Gestapo. I knew they wouldn’t release me, because I came from a Communist family, but I was certain that they didn’t have any evidence against me. But I had no idea that I would fall into the hands of one of the worst sadists of the Gestapo, Werner Fitz.”

  • “I didn’t admit that I could speak German. That was an advantage because I could translate the questions. Otherwise there was a translator there. I tried to make myself out as a village girl who has no education because the schools had been closed. Just the bare minimum of education. I kept claiming that I didn’t care about politics and didn’t understand it. So that’s the way I behaved there. But he was suspicious of that, and he kept asking where Jakub Bílek is and where Harabiš is. It was still during the first interrogation that he raised his stick, wanting to hit me, and broke the chandelier. There were shards on the floor, and I had to tidy them up. I was kneeling on the floor, leaning on one hand. He stood on my hand, and the skin was all cut up from the metal studs he had on his treads. I thought he’d crush my bones. That was the first interrogation; the following ones were truly horrific. I can’t even remember them. They went on until I lost consciousness. I was taken from the women’s section to correction cell number ninety-two, solitary confinement.”

  • “He was tasked with various matters, such as collections to help those fighting in Spain, and he took care of German anti-Fascists who succeeded in escaping from the concentration camp near the Czechoslovak border, and brought with him [sic] the so-called brown book, Braunesbuch. Here in Palkovice we had the anti-Fascist Karel Beck, and Father secured food, accommodation, and so on for him. We looked through the the brown book. It contained horrifying pictures. Photographs of tortured prisoners, prisoners executed in that concentration camp. When I saw it, it didn’t occur to me that my father and I had a similar fate in store for us.”

  • “He underwent interesting training. One professor prepared him for being sent to one Asian Soviet republic. I don’t remember which one it was. They still had a tribal system there in the Thirties. There was one tribe there which was dying out because the girls, when they grew up, they screwed boards of wood on to them so that their breasts wouldn’t develop, because that would be a disgrace. Which meant that when they gave birth to babies, they couldn’t breastfeed them, and so the tribe was dying out. My uncle was sent there to bring enlightenment. He told us how he had taken loads of magazines with him which emphasised the shape of women’s bodies. The younger ones were persuaded, but not the shaman who ruled the village. My uncle was staying at [the shaman’s] sister, and he started to feel very sick. He went to the hospital, and there they found out that the sister had been poisoning his food. So they tried to remove him in this way.”

  • “The front was moving. We were right under artillery fire. The German artillery was positioned two hundred metres behind us, and the Soviet battery was on the other side. And as they shot at each other, it also rained down on our house. We suffered some damage to our chimney and roof. And we had some thirty craters around the house from mortar shells, but we survived. Our nearest neighbour, some three hundred metres away, got a direct hit and his house burned down. We had water at the ready. My brother prepared it in the bathtub, in case they hit our house. In the morning my brother rode to the village. We expected them to come, and we saw military cars moving up along the road. I was finishing sowing the red flag. That was still our Soviet, Communist one. We made a yellow sickle and hammer out of paper, and I sowed them on it and attached the flag to the mast, and then I saw two Soviets riding along on horses. I started waving at them with the flag and calling at them. They were some two hundred metres away from me. They just waved at me with their hands and rode on to the village. That was the first meeting. It was amazing.”

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„I didn’t know who I was, where I was, or what happened to me.“

Jarmila Foralová (Kišová)
Jarmila Foralová (Kišová)
zdroj: Kniha Františka Čvandy "Noční akce"

Jarmila Foralová, née Kišová, was born on April 27th, 1927 in Palkovice in the Beskydy Mountains to the family of a metal worker. Her parents and most of her relatives believed in a classless, just society as they were members of the Communist party. When the Nazi occupation began, the family immediately joined the Resistance, and her father, František Kiša, was executed in the Mauthausen Concentration Camp on the 5th of November, 1941. The witness claims that altogether eleven of her relatives were arrested during the war, eight of which never returned home. Jarmila Foralová herself as a fifteen-year-old girl became an important messenger for the partisan group Jiskra (Spark), led by her uncle, Jakub Bílek. She barely avoided capture several times. Even so, she ended up in a Gestapo interrogation room in November 1944. As she did not want to betray anyone, she was subjected to brutal torture, finally falling unconscious and for the following week, she did not know her own name or where she was. But the Gestapo had no idea that they had arrested a messenger for the partisans, and so in the end, they sent her to hospital. After recovering, she continued with her resistance activities. When the war was over, Jarmila Foralová became an official member of the Communist party. She remained faithful to the Communist party for her whole life and fully agreed with its ideology. Despite this, she claims that she was always a supporter of parliamentary democracy. She also says she did not agree with the death penalties carried out during the 1950s or with the relaxed politics of 1968.