Jan Němeček

* 1929

  • “And to finish the story I would like to add that today´s chairperson of the Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia Filip really entertains me with his characteristic statements. Yes, it was a mistake in the 1990s, they should have cancelled the Communist Party the same way it later happened in Slovakia. Because mostly its purpose was not humane, but it was devastating and eliminating people from their ways of life, destroying agricultural premises - ‘we will command the wind, the rain‘ - as their predecessor Stalin stated. They fight against Church restitution. However, they should realize that communists should return their unjustified wages and pension payments which they got because of jobs gained only thanks to their communist party membership books. On the other hand, we were convinced to work in the tertiary sector for the lowest wages even though our work was more visible than the work of those who had communist party membership books. Nowadays, even our Prime Minister has a communist party membership book. Because I do not know a person working abroad who would not have to be answerable primarily to State Security. As Slovaks say it is clear. I still cannot be happy with it, and I cannot be satisfied with the general situation. And especially with the silencing of personalities who have their place in this nation, their renown and are among us. They do not have the space to be seen, heard and respected, life with their views would certainly be more fruitful than it is today.”

  • “My dad was imprisoned in Bory prison. It was because it was still necessary to expropriate our family house which our red town councillors wanted to turn into a health centre and so in 1952, they evicted us within two days to non-residential premises on the first floor. I say it because my mum walked with difficulty from the age of three and her leg had low mobility, but she was able to live on her own until she was ninety-six years old. So, in 1952 they retroactively expropriated the family house to 1 January 1948. They retroactively demanded the rent from my mum from 1 January 1948 which she could not afford to pay from her pension which was two-hundreds Czech crowns.”

  • “(We were) persons characterized by certain criteria of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia as undesirable, untrustworthy and marked with a letter E and sent without guns to forced labours and after a month spent in Libavá military training area we were to my surprise and some extent also delight sent to Mine Ludvík in Radvanice where I had been before.”

  • Eight of us were one by one brought to a police station on 5 March and from there we were taken under a supervision of a police officer to a train station and then to Ostrava, Radvanice where we were in Ludvík Mine convinced without trial as people detesting work. All our documents were confiscated.”

  • “We as soldiers of the Technical auxiliary battalions who were placed in Ludvík Mine started to meet after 1990. The characteristic black epaulette did not mean 'a black baron' as it is misrepresented in Švandrlík´s film story, which is completely made up, misguided and offensive. And also the Czech Union had a condition that it has to be stated before the introduction of the film that it is Švandrlík´s construct and that it does not identify with the Technical auxiliary battalions as such. And the black epaulette which represents 'a black baron ' means that communists are constantly suspicious of this person and that the person could never be a member of the Communist Party.”

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    Hradec Králové, 12.03.2019

    délka: 01:32:17
    nahrávka pořízena v rámci projektu Příběhy regionu - HRK REG ED
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We were convinced without trial as people detesting work

Jan Němeček
Jan Němeček
zdroj: Post Bellum

Jan Němeček was born on 16 June 1929 in Kamenice near Polička. In 1927, the parents started a company called Němeček and Co. in Letovice which soon became the second biggest company manufacturing workwear in former Czechoslovakia. He perceived the atmosphere of fear at the time of Nazi occupation during his childhood. After he finished elementary school, he started to study at the Secondary Technical School of Textiles in Svitavy in 1945. However, he did not manage to finish school given the events in February 1948 and because of his class origin. The family company was quickly liquidated after the communist putsch in February. His father, mother and older sisters were immediately fired from work and the family company was retroactively nationalised on 5 March 1948. On 5 March, Jan Němeček was sent to mine in Mine Ludvík in Ostrava, Karviná as “a person detesting work”. He worked there until the Autumn of 1948. After this six-month brigade, he worked in the Textilana woollen mill in Kerhartice near Ústí nad Orlicí until he joined the army. In October 1951 he had to start his basic military service. He was sent to the Technical auxiliary battalions. He spent his military service in the 55th Technical auxiliary battalions unit in Ostrava-Radvanice. To his major surprise, he returned to Mine Ludvík. He spent two and a half years there. His family did not escape further persecution by the communist regime. His parents were moved out of their family house to two modest rooms. Moreover, his father was arrested in 1952 and imprisoned without trial for eleven months in Bory prison. The family house was retroactively expropriated on 1 January 1948. The witness was lucky to get a job in the textile industry after he was released from the Technical auxiliary battalions in February 1954. He worked in this industry in Oděvy Hradec Králové company from 1960 and he stayed there until his retirement in 1989. He was a chairperson of the Regional Committee of the Technical auxiliary battalions in Hradec Králové from 2017. Despite his old age, Jan Němeček is still interested in social and political events in the Czech Republic. He participates in discussions with young people and tries that those who went through the Technical auxiliary battalions labour camps during the hard communist totalitarianism would not be forgotten.