Jehošua Rezek

* 1940  

  • “As the chairman of Maccabi, he flew to Eretz Israel where they were organising the first Maccabiah after the declaration of the State of Israel. All the preparations for it were being made in December 1948, and Maccabi chairman gathered there from all over the world. Dad, Ervin Diamant, and Kanel flew there from Czechoslovakia - that was the Maccabi leadership. They flew by a Czechoslovak airline, and there was a storm, and the plane set off anyway, and they crashed in Greeze; the plane burned up and no one survived. I remember when Mum came to tell me about it - I was at a summer camp. I didn’t go back to Prague after that but instead made the rounds of Mum’s friends in Hrozenkov, Vsetín, the countryside.”

  • “My father took a six-week course under Rabbi Arje from Czechoslovakia – I don’t know much about him – and they became the unit’s rabbi. He and the troops crossed northern Africa and then went to England where they stayed for half a year. A Czech brigade was assembled there, and they went with it to liberated France and then to Dunkirk. Practically the whole half-year until the end of the war, the unit was in the siege at Dunkirk and fought with the Germans there.”

  • “He wore a hat only when he prayed, or ate while praying. I also wore a yarmulke only for meals. You see, Mum wasn’t religious, was anti-religious, but Dad was very pious. Then, later, Mum told me she had quarrelled with Dad a lot over my upbringing. Seeing that I basically grew up without my dad, I didn’t really grow very fond of religion. Mum was very unreligious and a heavy smoker. On Saturdays – when you mustn’t smoke – she’d go to our Christian neighbours for a smoke. I knew it, and I even said it one time, and it was a big scandal.”

  • “Then, when the war was over, I travelled with Mum to Czechoslovakia because Dad had stayed – as it is described in Karel Stein’s eulogy – in Prague as a representative of Joint. He worked as the secretary of the Jewish community and a deputy to Rabbi Aladár Deutsch, who was the chief rabbi at the time and was very sickly from his time in the concentration camp, so Dad saw to the everyday duties.”

  • “[Q: Did you see your father often?] I hardly ever saw him. He enlisted in 1942, I don’t remember him from then, and the first I saw him next was after the war. [Q: So you didn’t meet up at all as a family?] No. He went to war - that was normal for a lot of people back then. He returned after the war. I didn’t see him till Prague. I don’t have many memories of him. I remember that I was greatly impressed, when I would go to visit him in his office at the Jewish community, how he would speak into three phones at the same time, and that made a big impression on me. Otherwise he was, how to say it, a bit odd, I must say. A pious Jew of the type we see nowadays. He was the only one in Prague to be outside in winter without a hat. He wore a yarmulke but not a hat.”

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    Karmiel, Izrael, 10.09.2016

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If Dad hadn’t died, they’d surely have killed him

Yehoshua Rezek (1958)
Yehoshua Rezek (1958)
zdroj: archiv pamětníka

Jehošua Rezek was born on 11 November 1940 in Haifa as the first son of Hanuš Rezek and his wife. Both his parents came from Moravia and moved to Palestine in 1939. In 1942 his father enlisted with a Czechoslovak battalion under the command of General Klapálek, and he saw combat as a field rabbi both in the Middle East and on the Western Front. After the war his father stayed in Prague, where he was joined by his wife and his son Jehošua. Hanuš Rezek worked as the secretary of the Jewish community, as assistant rabbi, and as a representative of the American Jewish organisation Joint. He helped organise the emigration of Jews from Czechoslovakia to Palestine and later to Israel, where he himself planned to return with his family. Hanuš Rezek died in Greece in a place crash in December 1948 - he and other Czechoslovak representatives of Maccabi were travelling to the newly established State of Israel to prepare for the Maccabi world congress. His wife and both children, nine-year-old Jehošua and two-year Daniel, moved to Israel in 1949. The witness lived in the kibbutz of Hulda for two years and later with his mother and sister in Kiryat Motzkin. He attended an agricultural school, after completing military service he graduated from chemistry and worked in the metallurgical industry. In 1969 Jehošua Rezek got married; he and his wife Miriam raised two children.