Major in retiment, Doc., MUDr. Rajko Doleček

* 1925  †︎ 2017

  • "Belgrade was an occupied city, so not all high schools were in operation. Some worked limited days and limited hours. A part of us studied foreign languages. We had French since the first grade of high school, German since the third and Latin since the fifth. During WW II. I had really learnt well Russian and English. It then came handy before the end of the war as various anti-German groups were getting organized. When still under occupation, the commanders had secretly been asking me about my skills. When I told them I knew French, German, Russian and English, they said they won't send me to the frontline. After the Red Army liberation of 1944 I became the secretary of the army's commander-in-chief for Belgrade. I performed various tasks for my commander: supplying, obtaining airplane engines for the Yugoslav army, travelling. That proved very useful. Even though I can tell you that to travel by train at wartime was no fun at all."

  • "My mum was at some point in danger due to her family in Bosnia - at that time occupied by the Independent State of Croatia - sustaining heavy losses. My mum said she'd go to Bosnia. It was in 1942. We tried to persuade her otherwise but we understood her decision. We liked her family, they were our closest. My mum set foot to the Bosnian mountains where guerrilla war was just about starting. She had a special aide whom we all despised. It was the German passport of the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia. The illiterate Ustaše, as soon as they spotted the swastika, shit their pants. They hadn't realized that Bohemia and Moravia were practically occupied. This passport helped mum overcome bad situations. In two weeks, she returned skinny, tormented with all the horrors she'd seen." - "What did she tell you?" - "She talked about... rapes, killings, burned down buildings, looting. Among our closest family, some 35-40 people were murdered."

  • “At the time of the Munich Agreement in late September 1938, I was 13 years old. We talked about it a lot at home. My dad and mum read French papers, which at that time wrote on Czechoslovakia. In Belgrade, mass demonstrations were held in support of Czechoslovakia. We were thirteen-, fourteen-, and fifteen-year-old high school students and we also protested. The key slogans in Belgrade were: ‘We shall defend Czechia”, and “Long live president Beneš”. In late September 1938, a driver took us to the embassy. I was wondering what was going on. We saw hundreds, perhaps thousands of people. My dad told me these were Serbs who were volunteering for the Czechoslovak army. In the Serbian part of then-Yugoslavia. There were no volunteers in the Croatian part or in the Slovenian one. In Bosnia and Herzegovina, a part of the Muslim population was also pro-Czechoslovakia. And so was naturally Montenegro. There were altogether some 50 thousand volunteers applying to join the Czechoslovak army.”

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    Praha, 18.08.2017

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    Praha, 18.08.2017

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I was passing my final exam during air strikes on Belgrade

retro.jpg (historic)
Major in retiment, Doc., MUDr. Rajko Doleček
photo: Post Bellum

Rajko Doleček was born on 1 June 1925 in Prague into the family of Josef and Milica Doleček. His mother was a Bosnian Serb while his father was Czech. A year after Rajko was born, the family moved to Belgrade where the ČKD company seconded his father as a business representative. Once in Belgrade, Rajko attended a Czech school while in 1938 he transferred to a Serbian grammar school, which he finished in August 1944 - two months before the liberation of Belgrade. As a nine-year-old, he witnessed the funeral of king Alexander I. After the signature of the Munich Agreement in 1938, he took part in Belgrade-held demonstrations voicing support for Czechoslovakia and witnessed Serbian volunteers applying to join the Czechoslovak army. Following Hitler’s occupation of Czechoslovakia of March 1939, Rajko’s father took part in organizing aid for Czechoslovak military officers fleeing their homeland. During Germany’s aerial assault on Belgrade in the spring of 1941, the Doleček’s were at home in the downtown and were very lucky that their house was not hit. Throughout the war, tens of his mother’s relatives were killed in Bosnia. After high school graduation and thanks to his language competence, Rajko worked as a secretary for the local commander-in-chief of the Soviet liberation army. He then spent several months working for the UNRRA organization, interpreting in post-war Italy. In Belgrade, he began attending a medical school and in 1946 decided to continue his studies at the Charles University in Prague. In 1949, also his parents returned permanently to Czechoslovakia. Later in life, Rajko Doleček became a renowned medical doctor and scientist, specializing in endocrinology.