“My dad was approached by two medicine students who were members of a student committee which decided that Opletal’s funeral will be public. The committee decided that Jan deserved it. They also added that they pledged with their lives that there will be no demonstrations. The police then came to our place and my dad had to write down exactly what we was going to say at the funeral. My dad never mentioned that he’d give the text to the Germans, just to our police. So Albertov turned into a funeral. My dad wasn’t used to speaking according to a written text on funerals so he added a couple of his own thoughts. He thanked his parents for the great upbringing and education they gave their son. Then he said: ‘so what, there’s nothing bad about that. The boy was a good student and he could have been a great doctor.”
“It began on October 28, 1939. I was a student and we all felt that we had to publicly show our disagreement. It was very strongly felt among us. So we put on our tricolors and a few of us went to the National Theater to see the play Libuše. I got the ticket at school and I have to tell you that it was a pretty strong experience. I don’t even remember how I got home afterwards. We were sitting at the balcony and listening to the singing of Marie Podvalová. It was a dramatic mezzosoprano, amazingly strong. She sang that Libuše so emotionally, that it sent shivers down my spine. It was incredibly strong, the atmosphere of rebellion and resistance against the oppressors. The standing ovation took forever. Even after the curtain came down and the organizers repeatedly called upon us to go home, people stayed in the audience and applauded ferociously. We chanted our national anthem. Then they turned off the light and only the emergency lights stayed on. We got scared that they might arrest us so we went home. I walked home, I wouldn’t use the tram because I needed some time to process the strong emotions I had felt on that evening. I kept saying to myself: ‘what a beautiful moment that was.”
“I remember that my pocket money was five crowns a week. I donated that money to the defense of the state thinking that my five crowns will do a great deal to help defend the country. Well, and later, when the soldiers had to abandon the fortifications and hand over their arms, it was a sort of treason for me. I was thirteen years old back then and I truly perceived it as a national treason. I still feel that way. You forgive things but I still can’t forget it. It’s the same thing with the communists – I’ve already forgiven them but I can’t forget.”
“My dad taught me that there’s something good in even the last man but you have to dig for it. That was his motto. My father truly was a humble and unpretentious man. He never looked down on anybody. I really loved him.”
There’s some good in even the last man but you have to dig for it
Věra Bořkovcová, née Krejcárková, was born on February 27, 1926. Her father, Jaroslav Krejcárek (born in 1887), chose to join the Premonstratensians of the Strahov Monastery after he graduated from a grammar school on Truhlářská Street. Upon joining the order, he enrolled at the Faculty of Theology in Prague. Cardinal Lev Skrbenský ordained him a priest on July 14, 1912, in the St. Vitus Cathedral in Prague. After the end of World War I, he became interested in the restored Union of the Catholic Churches progam, which demanded certain religious reforms. Therefore, he started to contemplate leaving the Roman-catholic Church. In March 1920, he converted to the newly established Czechoslovak Hussite Church. In 1923-1952, he served as a pastor of this church in the villages Nové Benátky, Mnichovice and Prague II - Nové Město. On November 15, 1939, he served the funeral mass for Jan Opletal. During the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia, he was actively involved in the resistance movement and cooperated with some of the landed allied paratrooper groups. This included the Anthropoid unit whose members found a hideout in the vaults of the Saints Cyril and Methodius Church. On February 14, 1945, he survived the allied air raid on Prague in the Church of Václav na Zderaze, which was hit by a bomb. He was repeatedly awarded for his many merits in the second resistance. Pastor Jaroslav Krejcárek deceased on March 16, 1953. The memories of Mrs. Bořkovcová are devoted mainly to his life and work.