Jaroslava Blešová

* 1943  

  • “I remember having a little silver cross with a chalice on my sweater. And how the headmaster of our school, who taught us mathematics, yelled at me angrily, asking how I dared to wear something like this, such a badge, when I wanted to go study to be a teacher. He told me I was crazy. He was infuriated. I remember he tore the badge off my sweater. That's when I realized I would have to give up certain things and I stopped going to church after that. It wasn't possible.”

  • “He recalled with joy and pride how the Sokol practitioners were standing in formation on a hill here by Věžky near Srnov and president Masaryk was coming on a horse from Věžky. And my father, as the Sokol precinct commander, had the honor of shaking hands with him. He cherished this memory his whole life and liked to remember it. And I wasn't surprised at all that while my friends had pictures of the Virgin Mary above their beds, we had a giant portrait of president Masaryk welcoming the legions after their return home. So, our family was a little different in this respect. My father loved to tell this story. And I understood why father always wept when we listened to a hockey match in the radio and they played the anthem at the end. Tears ran down his cheeks when they played our anthem, even though he was a tough guy by nature. He was just a true patriot and honored our country greatly.”

  • “The old lady, my mother's mother, helped with everything; she stayed with us and did all the work my mother couldn't do. As a dressmaker and because of her disabilities she couldn't take care of the garden. So the old lady did all these works at our home. She cooked, did the laundry, cleaned. And when I was ten, I also learned a thing or two and I helped the old lady with the cleaning and with the garden a little bit. I simply learned all that was necessary. The sisters also helped a lot. When they came home for holidays, aunt Anna would clean the entire house, from top to bottom. So the sisters would help out a lot and brothers too, they helped mum with whatever was needed. They all respected her authority as the eldest sister, they consulted her and she would sew shirts and dresses for them. In that was, everyone in the family helped each other.”

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    Kroměříž, 11.07.2019

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Accepting what life brings you

Jaroslava Blešová as a child
Jaroslava Blešová as a child
photo: Archiv pamětnice

Jaroslava Blešová was born March 12, 1943 in Prostějov. Her father Břetislav Kirschner was a forced laborer in Germany at the time and later died in a bombing. Mother Helena was trapped by financial constraints. That’s why she put her daughter up for adoption right after puerperium. She was later forced to labor in Germany as well. Little Jaroslava was adopted by Čeněk and Emílie Zlámalovi from Slížany whom she remembers as kind and hard-working people. They raised her in faith and to love her motherland and became her actual parents. Mother Emilie led her to perform good at school, which made Jaroslava want to apply to a secondary pedagogical school in Kroměříž. Despite being a straight A student, the headmaster told her that she could only apply to be a nursery school teachers, because of her parents who went to church and were not Party members. Jaroslava Blešová successfully graduated and got her own class in a nursery school in Morkovice in the third year of her studies; she then worked there for the following ten years. During the screenings that followed the August 1968 Warsaw Pact Invasion of Czechoslovakia, she declared her disapproval of the invasion. Despite that she was able to keep her job, probably thanks to her superior’s benevolence. She refused two offers to join the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia. In 1970 she became headmistress of a nursery school in Slížany, where she stayed until 1994. She never met her blood mother Helena, although her mother did try to get in touch with her. When she remembers her lifelong teaching career, she says she loved her job but had to compromise a lot because of it. As a teacher, she couldn’t go to church and feels sorry that she couldn’t lead her two sons, Přemysl and Tomáš, to faith.