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Josef Šimek (1930) - Biography

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So now they are going to shoot us

Josef Šimek was born on 17 June, 1930 in Vranová Lhota. His seven-member family lived there in the middle of the fields in a wagon provided by the village, which they plastered with clay and made cozy. Following secondary school in Vranová Lhota the witness started machine locksmith studies in August 1944 in Prostějov trading company Hanisch & Co, which, amongst other things, produced the routing claps of the Messerschmittu Bf 109 for the German war industry. Already three days in his job he witnessed an aircraft battle. In February 1945 he was sent home to Vranová Lhota due to the arriving front. A day before the end of war German soldiers arrested him together with his father. All men over thirteen years old were gathered in the centre of the village. They were meant to be shot for the death of a single German soldier and the whole village to be burnt. Luckily they let most of the men go. But three local citizens died by German bullets. Following the war the family moved to Velká Kraš, where they ran a bakery. Josef Šimek studied gymnasium in Jeseník and graduated with a yearly course for pedagogues in Olomouc. He taught at elementary schools in Jeseník, Široký Brod, Petrovice and in Vápenná, where he was a director in 1970 - 1990. Since 1993 he has been living with his wife Olga in Uničov.

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