Jan Decker

* 1928  †︎ 2020

  • “We were at school, where we were building barricades in the Kubelíkova Street. And we were also assigned to the Secondary School Guards, which was commanded by the first lieutenant Sehák. We guarded SS men who had been injured during the fighting and who stayed on the 6th floor while they were recovering.”

  • “I was arrested together with the group Pravda vítězí (“Truth Prevails”), where we – the youth of the People’s Party – allegedly joined the anti-communist resistance. My task was to engage the university students from the law faculty in this group. I basically succeeded in it, I won over about ten of my fellow students, who were mostly members of the People’s Party and the Club of People’s Party Academics. At the same time I was also a member of the Všehrd organization, and I worked closely with Emil Ransdorf and Honza Renner.”

  • “In February I took part in the student march to the Prague Castle. It was more or less a spontaneous event, because a message was sent to the faculties calling us to gather in the technical university at Charles Square. The march to the Castle started from there. They set out in the afternoon – around one or two o’clock. We originally gathered in front of the technical university in the park in the town square, and then we moved inside the building and we assembled in the main auditorium and in the yard. We were no longer able to leave from the Charles Square entrance and we thus left the building on the opposite side. The custodians opened the gate for us and we walked out of the building on the other side and we continued to the embankment and along the river to the National Theatre and then we crossed the Bridge of the Legions and walked to Újezd. I got all the way to Hellichova Street, where the Tyrš House is now. At that place, the street became barricaded with garbage trucks and the crowd thus got divided. The first part continued on to Nerudova Street, where they were definitely stopped by the Standby Regiment (of the National Security Corps – auth.’s note) before the turn-off to the Castle. Those of us who stayed in the back part of the crowd managed to reach Pohořelec via the Petřín Hill and the Ledebour Gardens. We attempted to get to the Hradčany Square from Pohořelec, but we did not manage to get there, because we were chased away by the policemen.”

  • Full recordings
  • 1

    Praha, 11.02.2014

    duration: 01:43:21
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
  • 2

    Praha, 22.11.2016

    media recorded in project The Stories of Our Neigbours
Full recordings are available only for logged users.

An expelled student of law persuaded the State Court

Jan Decker
Jan Decker
photo: Eva Palivodová

JUDr. Jan Decker was born January 2, 1928 in České Budějovice. His father worked as an official for the Czechoslovak Railways. In 1935 the family moved to Prague, where Jan graduated from the grammar school on Kubelíkova Street. In spring 1945 the Labour Office sent him to conscripted labour duty in Napajedla, where he and his schoolmates worked on digging anti-tank trenches. In April 1945 he ran away from the camp, and took part in the Prague Uprising. There he served as a member of the Secondary School Guards, which guarded injured members of the SS. In 1947 he began studying law at Charles University. On campus, he was involved in many sports activities. In February 1948 he joined the anti-state group Pravda vítězí, (“Truth Prevails”), which was led by general Karel Kutlvašr. Decker was expelled from school in early December 1948, and on December 26th, he was arrested by the State Police. He was initially charged with high treason, but eventually sentenced to half a year imprisonment for failure to report criminal activity. He served the sentence in detention while awaiting the trial. In 1950-1952 he served in the Auxiliary Technical Battalions in Mimoň and in Prague. He then signed a commitment to work in the Konstruktiva Praha company for ten years in order to evade more military duty. He worked there as a construction worker and concrete finisher, and from 1962 as a planner. In 1970 he transferred to the Construction Company of the Capital City of Prague, where he kept working until his retirement.