Antonín Doležal

* 1929  

  • “Then came the occupation. The Germans drove up and down Crown Avenue, they had such terrible cars, it was called the tin circus. Dad was in the bathroom, burning all of the documents. Some two days later I was in Čáslavská Street, and one gentleman was just crossing the road. Suddenly, he made a run for it, a car drove up, two people jumped out and started shooting. They shot him in the leg, I just happened to be there. And the man who was there, who they’d caught, was German. So I told Dad about it, who didn’t say anything of course. Then after the war, he said that he [the German in Čáslavská Street - ed.] had been waiting for someone. So that was as close a shave as it gets.”

  • “Opinion influence? The greatest authority for us was our father, for sure, he was a fighter. When the war broke out in Spain, Dad started working for Red Aid and later organised border crossings for social democrats who were escaping from Germany through here to Hungary and onwards. Dad took part in that. And let’s say that back then Dad had already started leaning more to the left. And there was one incident when the Alexandr Ensemble was here and my parents went to see them perform at Lucerna. And no one was allowed to get in touch or speak with the musicians, it wasn’t allowed. But Dad was surprised to see that the there were members, legionaries of Medek’s independent unit from the right-wing part of the legions there, in the auditorium, who clapped and were enthusiastic supporters of an alliance with Russia at the time. You see, when you look at it the way it’s seen from a present-day perspective, it’s all shifted, but seen as it was back then, it was different.”

  • “A legionary lived next door, a retired friend of Dad’s, and the whole time, from dusk till dawn, he listened to the radio, all kinds of stations, and scrounged for news all through the war. That was his life. He spoke Russian, no other [foreign] languages. And he ran, saying he’d heard: ‘Churchill, India, twenty millions’, and he said: ‘Mrs Doležalová, this is it! Churchill is in India, and they’re preparing a twenty-million-strong army of Indian soldiers, who’ll come to the aid of the Russians – I guess we’ll be liberated by the Indians.’”

  • Full recordings
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    Praha, Dejvice, 18.07.2018

    (audio)
    duration: 02:47:08
    media recorded in project Memory of the Nation: stories from Praha 2
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Where there’s honey, there’s bile; neither things nor heroes are one-sided

Antonin Dolezal - younger
Antonin Dolezal - younger
photo: archiv pamětníka

Antonín Doležal was born on 20 January 1929 in Prague. During his studies at the Faculty of Medicine of Charles University from 1948 he functioned as a demonstrator, a research assistant at the Physiology Institute, a volunteer at the Pathology and Anatomy Institute, and the head of the Physiology Laboratory of the Mother and Child Institute in Prague-Podolí. He graduated in 1953 and was then employed as an assistant doctor at the Kladno hospital. He did a research degree in 1955-1958 and worked as an assistant professor in 1958-1975. He received a docent degree in 1975, the title of DrSc. in 1978, and became a Professor in 1983. His main focus was obstetrics; he was employed at and then headed the maternity ward in Prague 2 (Apolinář) for six decades. He is the author of numerous expert publications and also one novel, Pařížský porodník (The Paris Obstetrician). He lectured at his alma mater until 2014. He has received many awards, including the Hrdlička Medal, the Silver Medal of the Faculty of Natural Sciences, Pro meritis of the Czech Medical Society of J. E. Purkyně, the Silver Medal of Charles University, the Trapl Medal, the Medal of the Ministry of Health of the People’s Republic of China, etc. He is currently interested in hypnosis and works at the Faculty of Physical Education and Sport in Prague 6 and as an expert witness in the field of obstetrics. He and his wife live in Prague-Braník.