First Sergrant Jaroslav Cimala

* 1926  

  • "And what a shame that it isn´t taped, or you can verify it with others, that the Englishmen loved to listen to czech songs, singing." (I remember you saing that the songs acompanied you thrue the whole war...)" That´s right my friend. Exactly. As our troops were marching in Southend, we were singing and the Englishmen stood there and watched us. And we had a pub there in Southend too. A few of us always went there on sunday. We sat down and just sang. The waiter came, counted us and the drinks were on the table. We said: ´No, no´ ´It´s all right´ he said. We always got free drinks for the singing. They really loved czech songs."

  • " I wasn´t in protectorate, we were already in imperium, this was captured as an imperium territory." (What I meant was how did you feel in your family when the territory taking started, what was the situation in general?)" Well, look that´s not any secret that the Germans intented to pul all their fans on their side and that´s when the damned lists (Volkslist) started to appear. I think you´ve already heard something about it, right? My dad also signed it. And that´s how I got into... Poor dad, he died then. And I had to enter the army instead of him."

  • "In the morning when there was no shooting - the shooting was only during the nights- we went outside and were trying to get even better... Fixing the radio stations etc. Once we had a Czech from Vienna. And he tunned to a german radiator in Dunkerque. And because he spoke well German he was chating for quite a time before the Germans found out ... And we could only hear - we all had our radiators turned on - we heard: ´The enemy is here! Over!´ And it was over. Well, the enemy was listening, right"

  • (And how did you managed to get out of the german army?) When the americans began to land and I was in the first front line going from the mediterranian sea to the central France, they captured us somwhere by Besancon town. (Did you go volunteerely or did you simply got captured?)Well, we were hiding in a basement and we handed a white flag to some german soldier and pushed him out: ´ Go get the americans.´ There was about eight or nine of us there. But the americans came to check the situation first. They came in a tank. I see it as it happend today.They stoped at the junction. Nobody fired at them. They went back. And then they started to fire at the building we were hiding. The house started to fall down. That´s when we sent this german soldier out with the white flag. he didn´t want to, but he had to... And that´s how I got captured."

  • "Luckily I wasn´t there for too long (in Edinburgh cage). I spent only nine days or so there. And then the officer came, he made us get into the line and said: ´Those, who´s name I call step out.´ I was lucky to be one of the called out. And he said:´You, who are out, gather up and lets go out of the cage.´ There was this...this house, the sheet-metal one, the ones used for the workers later too. That´s where we went. First of all taking shower, getting undressed and leaving all our clothes there. We got completely new english stuff, including that bag they carried there, right? And then the opening speach started. And he said:´This means that what was untill now, isn´t any longer. Everything you´ve learned, the hard training and hard life, keep it. You´ll need it. And forget all the rest! Here you have new equipment and you will serve the country now...You will be transfered to czechoslovak foreign training center.´"

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    Česká republika, 06.11.2004

    (audio)
    duration: 33:51
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
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What was once here, isn´t here any longer. Everything you´ve learned, the hard training, the hard life, keep it all. You will need that. And forget all the rest!

Cimala Jaroslav - rok 1945.jpg (historic)
First Sergrant Jaroslav Cimala
photo: archiv pamětníka

Mr. Jaroslav Cimala was born on November 2nd 1926 in Radvanice village near Ostrava town. His father was unemployed so his childhood was very tough. After the Tesin region in north-west Bohemia was connected to German imperium during the years 1938 and 1939 Cimala´s father signed the so called “Volksliste” which made him become a german citizen. That´s why Jaroslav Cimala had to join the german army troop after his father´s death in March 1944. After some training he was sent to fight to France, where he was soon captured by the Americans. He went thru several detention camps e.g. Sant Rafael in south France, in Napoli or in Algeria and at the end also in Edinburgh in Britain. He was chosen here among the others and entered the Czechoslovak foreign army. After the necessary training he was used as a radiologist by the third battalion in Dunkerque, where he remained until the end of the war. After his return to Czechoslovakia he stayed in the army until 1946. After that he worked in Ostrava iron-mill till his retirement.