“I was in the third year of university, I had passed all my exams up to the first state examination. And then the Germans closed up the school, and I went home. The army was there, and that was that. My most faithful friend was locked up in prison for a year, a German prison. I was lucky, and mainly, they targeted the students with functions. It was much rougher in Prague, well, and in Brno they locked up, I don’t know, perhaps a few dozen or a hundred or so functionaries, including my best friend.”
“The patent was connected to the refinement of oil into petrol. I devoted all of the rest of my studies to be prepared to lecture to normal students. I wanted to lecture about machine parts, mainly. [Q: Then they fired you from the school.] Yes, they did. For what reason? Well, the CPP, because I was of provincial descent, I wasn’t aggressive enough, or... I was a member from right after the war until 1973. It wasn’t a joyous decision because I did everything to ensure I’d be a good teacher, a good docent. I succeeded in that, and it was all for nothing. Well, I did get that feeling of futility, because I had done everything to teach the students well. Life took a slightly different turn than I had imagined, but thank God, I’m content with how it was, and I hope the Lord God gives me a good end to it.”
Life took a slightly different turn than I had imagined
Jaromír Bilík was born on 12 January 1918 in Brno. After completing grammar school he enrolled at the Brno University of Technology. When the Nazis ordered the closure of all Czech universities, he interrupted his studies and completed a secondary technical school during the war. After the war he finished his studies and earned the degree of Ing. He was active in the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia (CPP) and found a job at the First Brno and Královo Pole Machine Works. He married in 1946, and he and his wife had five children. In 1951 he secured a patent for a method and device for the constant backstream discharge of solid particles. Five years later he started as an assistant professor at the Military Academy in Brno. In 1964 he was awarded the academic title of Candidate of Technical Sciences in the field of machine parts and mechanisms. Although he was a member of the CPP, he was not active, did not attend meetings, and stopped paying his membership fees. During the wave of normalisation in the early 1970s he was declared unreliable because of his bourgeois origin. In 1973 he was fired and struck out of the CPP. He was barred from following his career goal of a university lecturer. He worked at a research institute until his retirement. Jaromír Bilík died on 1st June 2020.