JUDr. Karel Pexidr

* 1929  

  • “Back at the insurance company, in 1972 maybe, everyone had to make a statement regarding the Soviet invasion of our country. And my answer would be Pythian in a way. I had to think about it for quite some time. In the end, I wrote: 'It would be better if the Soviet troops wouldn´t enter our territory.' After that, the director would summon me so I could give her an explanation. I told her: 'I meant that it would be better if the situation would develop in a way so they didn´t have to enter.' But that was just an oral statement.”

  • “So the political officer would give this passionate speech about the Soviet army. About the perfect performance of the Soviet army and how well organised it was. And the political officer sees that Sojka is sleeping. So he would yell at him: 'Sojka!' So Sojka woke up. 'Well, Sojka, told us about the situation in the Soviet army,” he asked him. Sojka would stand up, squinting, and say: 'How should I know, I wasn´t there.' And that was the end of it.”

  • “A class enemy. What is a class enemy? It´s a member of a class not defined by its political stance or thinking. It´s being defined by economic criteria which have nothing to do with life. So people who decided that I should be drafted to the Auxiliary Technical Battalions (Pomocné technické prapory) never met me in person. They were just some action committee or street committee members. And they just said: “His father is a successful lawyer. He is wealthy. A class enemy, that´s what he is!'”.

  • “After the May 5th protests at the US memorial, some students were denied the opportunity to pass the school leaving exams. Twelve people were affected at the gymnasium, and naturally I was among them.”

  • “I remember that quite clearly, as I was looking from the window with my parents. Back then, we still had a maid. And she cried as well. We were watching the German troops passing by. We had been living on the main avenue. And as I went to school, as we had school on that March 15th, the trams were not operating. So I went on foot. And I remember quite clearly the scene I saw at the Škoda factory. There was some snow. It was very cold on that March 15th. In front of the gate, there was this German soldier lying with a machine gun, covered with snow. That image I will never forget.”

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Communists took forty years of my life from me

Karel Pexidr in an Auxiliary Technical Battalions (PTP) uniform; 1952
Karel Pexidr in an Auxiliary Technical Battalions (PTP) uniform; 1952
zdroj: Archiv pamětníka.

Karel Pexidr was born on November 4th 1929 at Podolí maternity hospital in Prague (Praha). His father, Karel Pexidr, was a lawyer in Pilsen (Plzeň), while his mother, Josefa Moníková-Pexidrová, was a court reporter. He had been living in the city of Pilsen with his family. He accomplished elementary education at Pilsen´s teaching institute´s training school. He also studied piano and composition from František Rauch and Antonín Brejcha. He wrote his first pieces at the age of ten. He continued his education at a ‚classical gymnasium‘ type secondary school. In winter of 1944, he lived through the bombing of Pilsen in a basement shelter. The family house had been damaged by a shock-wave following the bomb explosion. Fearing further air strikes, his father had him moved to the country in March 1945. He witnessed the end of the Second World War and the liberation by the US Army in Horšice near the town of Přeštice. Right after the liberation he joined the Scout movement. In 1947, he received a hunting permit, starting his life-long love for hunting. He also carried on with his studies. On May 5th 1948, he joined student protest at the US memorial in Pilsen. He had been punished by being denied the opportunity to pass the school leaving exams at the regular term. However, he had passed the exams later with outstanding results. He had to do a six-week mandatory ‚voluntary work‘ at the ‚youth construction site‘ (stavba mládeže) in Vizovice. After that, he enrolled in law school. His studies had been interrupted in 1950, when he had to start his compulsory military service in Auxiliary Technical Battalions (Pomocné technické prapory). Being considered a class enemy, he had to enlist while in convalescence. He had been serving in Šternberk in Moravia (Štěrnberk na Moravě) for 28 months. He had graduated from university and become a barred lawyer as late as in 1955. He began to work at the National Business Transportation enterprise (Doprava státního obchodu). In 1956, he started working for an insurance company as an assessor. He got married in the autumn of 1963. Year later, a son has been born to the Pexidr family. In years 1962 to 1966, the witness had been building a house in Pilsen (Plzeň) – Lochotín. During the 1960s, he refrained from political engagement. In 1972, he passed the ‚ideological screenings‘, becoming the chairman of the Revolutionary Union Movement (Revoluční odborové hnutí) cell at the insurance company. In his spare time, he had been composing and studying philosophy. Since 1983, he had been working as a lawyer at Thermal Supply (Tepelné zásobování) and Pilsen Exhibition Management (Plzeňské výstavnictví) national enterprises. After the 1989 revolution, he begun to publish his prose and philosophical works in print. From 1993 to 1999, he gave seminars on philosophy and ethics at the University of West Bohemia (Západočeská universita) in Pilsen (Plzeň). From 1993 to the summer of 2011, he was the chairman of the agricultural coop in the village of Horšice. In 2020, he has been living in Pilsen (Plzeň) and in Vícov.