Jaroslav Hrubeš

* 1926  

  • “Back when the Russians attacked Hungary, that was in 1956, then of course the Communist immediately organised extra work shifts. Do one shift extra for Hungary. I worked at the aeroplane factory in Letňany. The Communists called up a meeting, and so all the employees gathered in the big hall. The director said: ‘Comrades, the situation is thus... And we proposed that we could do one shift for Hungary. Hands up who agrees.’ So everyone raised their hand. ‘Is there anyone who doesn’t agree?’ The only one who didn’t agree was me. ‘Why don’t you agree?’ I said it seemed odd. That I hadn’t heard them ask the people who agreed, why they did. But apparently, it was a matter of course to agree. I said that in that case it was a matter of course for me to disagree. ‘You have to explain why.’ I said I didn’t, but I would explain it to them: I hadn’t caused any damage to Hungary, nor had anyone from our country, so I didn’t see why we should work eight hours for Hungary.”

  • “There was a lot of collaboration. We didn’t want to work for the Germans. So we injured ourselves in various ways. Do you see this mark on my arm? I took a grinder and a grinding wheel, and I held it to my arm. The pain was dreadful. I ground my own arm. To make it even worse, I clipped the tips of some matches, put them into the wound, and stroke a match. It caught immediately. So I burnt it and made it even worse. I didn’t go to the doctor’s that day, I wanted to leave until the morning of the following day. Before I went to bed, I wanted to make the wound worse, so I poured salt into it. I couldn’t endure it. I had to go wash the salt out after an hour. It stung and hurt terribly. And I went to the surgeon next morning.”

  • “There was a civilian standing by the office, and he addressed me: “Are you Jarda Hrubeš?’ I said ‘yes’. He said that when I went inside, I shouldn’t play hero, that I should agree to everything. I thank him and went inside. The German there told me to sit down, and he handed me a sheet of paper - it was a transport to Terezín. You can imagine I had probably turned chalk white. I passed the paper back to him, and he tore it in half and threw it in the bin. He spoke fluent Czech. He said he had studied in Prague for seven years - that’s why he spoke Czech so well. He said: ‘You won’t go to Terezín, you’ll go to a labour camp. I have to defend my decision. I can’t let you go completely.”

  • Celé nahrávky
  • 1

    Praha, 05.01.2017

    (audio)
    délka: 05:07:42
    nahrávka pořízena v rámci projektu Stories of 20th Century
  • 2

    ZŠ Strossmayerovo náměstí 4, Praha 7, 16.03.2017

    (audio)
    délka: 01:19:47
    nahrávka pořízena v rámci projektu The Stories of Our Neigbours
Celé nahrávky jsou k dispozici pouze pro přihlášené uživatele.

I still think it was a German officer who had me released from the labour camp

Jaroslav Hrubeš
Jaroslav Hrubeš
zdroj: archiv pamětníka

Jaroslav Hrubeš was born on 13 October 1926 in Pečky, into the working-class family of Jaroslav Hrubeš and Františka Hrubešová, née Plačková. He had three sisters. When his father‘s wagon service failed, the family was harshly hit by unemployment during the economic crisis in the 1930s. Struggling to sustain a family with four children, his father - like others of the poverty-stricken inhabitants of Pečky - stole coal from parked cargo wagons, which he then sold or exchanged for other goods. Jaroslav trained as a mechanic and worked in Vysočany during the war. In 1944 he was to be transported to Terezín for refusing to work twelve-hour shifts when still a minor. His sister bribed the officials with 40,000 crowns, and so Jaroslav was „only“ sent to the labour camp in Kamenný Přívoz. He worked in the nearby quarry. He was released two and a half months later, apparently on the intercession of a German officer. After his return he survived the air raids on Prague-Vinohrady. His son, who was not able to fulfil his ambitions in the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic, emigrated from the country in the 1970s, but died prematurely in Germany in 1990.