Ing., CSc Prokop Šmirous

* 1939  

  • “The Germans set up a kind of headquarters in our place as well, in early 1945 during the war. They took two of our rooms. One, in which we three children had slept, they made into a tailor’s shop, and then one big room, where they set up their office, so we were all crammed up in the bedroom. And sometime towards the end of April, presumably with the front approaching, they packed up and left again.”

  • “After the Číhošť Miracle, foreign journalists, all the local Catholics, and other curious people started coming to Číhošť, which is six kilometres away from Leština, and the matter continued to be discussed. When they attempted to re-enact it later on, during the investigation, many things got out, although they were supposed to have been secret, and that caused further anxiety. At home, we spoke of Číhošť as of a portent of something worse to come. And it really did come.”

  • “In 1949 they have already changed the compulsory delivery quotas for potatoes, wheat and everything else. My father was not allowed to employ other people. It took only a year, because then they confiscated everything from us. Some comrades began to be active there and they were calling on the individual farmers and persuading them to establish an agricultural cooperative. Some of them said that there would be no point in it unless large farmers like Šmirous, Zelený and Landa joined as well. That’s probably what they gathered from it and they tried another way. They sent some StB agent who claimed that he was a foreign correspondent.”

  • “The school was managed well. I would say that it was also thanks to the headmaster, Mr Kořist, who - God bless his soul - later admitted that when my documents arrived, he destroyed them so he could even accept me at all. The way we agreed it, [it was stated that] I had said in the interviews that my father was a worker in Jáchymov. That was kind of true, so I hardly even lied, and I managed to stick to the school. Except there was a boy back then in the third year, one Růžička, who wasn’t very bright, so he got three fives [Fs - trans.] in his half-year report. His father was a Party functionary in Žďár nad Sázavou, and he came to the school to see about the matter. He had the list of students checked, and he found that I was there as well, so he ordered the school management to expel me immediately.”

  • “A committee arrived and they ordered us what we were and were not allowed to take with us. We had to leave the refrigerator and washing machine there, and even the AEG electric stove which my mom had been given as her wedding present. We later tried to claim these things back. Everything had to stay there. We were only allowed to take two beds, duvets, and some things and the transported us to Růžkovy Lhotice where they unloaded our things from the truck. There was a farm, and as I learnt later, the composer Bedřich Smetana used to live there for some time. There were some paintings inside the rooms and the rooms were damp. They had not been lived in and they were damp. We thus spent the night there, because they unloaded our beds and duvets from the truck there. We had good friends in Leština, Mr. and Mrs. Čepek, and they informed our relatives who then sent the car with my uncle there the following day. They went to see the farmer who was to give us accommodation and employment, and he replied that he was not interested in us and that he was not keen on caring for anybody else. I think that my uncle even had him sign some paper to confirm this. They loaded the few things that we had there and they brought us to Vysočina.”

  • “I began studying the school in the small town of Golčův Jeníkov and I remember that during one lesson the civics teacher Mr. Rada asked the children to tell everybody what they parents did. He called my name and said: ‘Well, Šmirous, tell us what your father does that he is behind the bars. Tell us what an enemy of state he is.’ I broke into tears, of course. He ordered me to leave the classroom and that was it.”

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They needed to install an atmosphere of fear

Photo for the graduation tableau of Prokop Šmiraus in 1958 shortly before his expulsion from school
Photo for the graduation tableau of Prokop Šmiraus in 1958 shortly before his expulsion from school
zdroj: archiv pamětníka

Prokop Šmirous was born August 29, 1939 in the village Leština u Světlé, where his parents owned a farm with 31 hectares of arable land and four hectares of pastures and meadows. Just like the other large farmers, Prokop‘s father refused to join the Unified Agricultural Cooperative during the first wave of the collectivization process. In June 1950 he was therefore arrested by the StB and on May 19, 1951 he was sentenced in a show trial ‘Kritzner and Co.‘ to twelve years of imprisonment. The authorities subsequently confiscated the family‘s property and several months later they made Prokop‘s mother and her three children get on a truck and they transported them to another region. Prokop‘s father returned from prison only ten years later with damaged health. Prokop was thus forced to spend his adolescent years and the most complicated period of his life without his father. Prokop did not give in and in spite of his negative political and class profile and after many difficulties he managed to graduate from the University of Agriculture in Brno and in 1983 he was awarded the CSc. (candidate of sciences) degree.