Jaroslav Bílek

* 1933  †︎ 2018

  • “And another time they said: ‘Books.’ So we took the books we had, the Old Czech Tales and such, and we ran – we lived right by the road – across the road. There were fields there towards Radošovice. So we put them there just in case they came, so they wouldn’t take them from us. That’s the kind of thing we did.”

  • “I found that they had a relative in the family there, maybe a sister or what, and she had a German who had participated in the operation in Lidice. I just couldn’t fathom it, but I think in this regard, that they had pillaged [some property] in Lidice. What happened with it for the most part. And they divided it up. And this one was a German who’d taken part in Lidice. And the children lived in Strakonice.”

  • “That meant five decagrams of salami when you went to the butcher’s. Five decagrams. Fifty grams. It was all for tickets, automatically. Smokers had it the worst. They had a ration of cigarettes. I tell you, Dad was a smoker, a big smoker. They swapped everything for cigarettes. I’m only telling you the things a person hears, right?”

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    Katovice, 15.02.2018

    duration: 01:48:56
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
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We were better off than people in the city because even city people came to us

Jaroslav Bílek 1950
Jaroslav Bílek 1950
photo: archiv Jaroslava Bílka

Jaroslav Bílek was born on 30 November 1933 in Kapsova Lhota near Strakonice in former Czechoslovakia. His father worked at the local Impregna factory and his mother was a housewife. Jaroslav Bílek had three other siblings. He witnessed the period of the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia in Kapsova Lhota and Strakonice, and he remembers the regional events connected to World War II. After completing elementary school and town school (lower and upper primary education), he trained at the Czech Arms Works in Strakonice and then worked at a local company, STS. He underwent military service in Karlovy Vary. In 1967 he moved from Kapsova Lhota to Katovice, where he and his wife live to this day.