Jaroslav Domanskij

* 1955  

  • "A psychiatrist came to my house in about two weeks later. It was very strange. The bell rang, I opened and I saw a man. I asked him who he was and who sent him. He said he was a psychiatrist and that he could not tell me who ordered him to visit me. At that time, it never occurred to me to link it to the interrogation on the bridge. However, this turned out to be the case. He asked me interesting questions, like if I had enemies. Then I told my dad about what happened. He called the psychiatrist and found out that he had been sent to me by the border guards, because their task was to check whether I was mentally healthy or not. I wasn't scared. At that time, I did not yet know how much the regime abused psychiatry."

  • "I was crossing a bridge called the Friendship Bridge. I totally knew I shouldn't go there. Below that bridge was the Sajmen Canal, which connects the Finnish hinterland with the Gulf of Finland. At that time, I did not know and did not understand many things. There were no prohibition signs, I was young, so I went there. Now I know what it was about. Even though the bridge was high enough, if I jumped off it into a ship that did not belong to Finland, but to Norway or West Germany, for example, no one would get me off it because I would be in a neutral territory. If it was a Finnish ship, they would get me, because Finland was returning refugees from Russia. If you wanted to escape, you had to get to Sweden or Norway as soon as possible. I didn't think about it then, I was just trying to see what would happen if I walked over that bridge. When I was right in the middle, a small jeep arrived. The border guards who belonged to the KGB took me to their hut. There they began to ask me interesting questions on various topics. That's when I learnt what cross-examination was."

  • "I knew the adult world was hiding something. I felt it quite strongly. As a child, I thought, for example, that the Great Patriotic War was not at all. I thought they made it up for us to raise us in the right way. Only then from one experience was I convinced that there really was a war."

  • Full recordings
  • 1

    v Ostravě, 27.05.2019

    (audio)
    duration: 02:55:37
    media recorded in project Příběhy regionu - STM REG ED
  • 2

    v Ostravě, 03.06.2019

    (audio)
    duration: 02:15:38
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
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Since childhood, I have felt that the Soviet regime was deceiving us

Jaroslav Domanskij in 2019
Jaroslav Domanskij in 2019
photo: E.D.

Jaroslav Domansky was born on October 30, 1955 in Vladivostok in the then Soviet Union (USSR). His father worked for the army as a torpedo specialist. In 1956 they moved to St. Petersburg (formerly Leningrad). He graduated from the music school at the St. Petersburg Conservatory and then from its piano faculty. He was a Répétiteurat of female gymnast in a sport school and later of ballets at the Mussorgsky Theater in St. Petersburg. He also worked as a singer and choirmaster of the choirs of the Orthodox Church. He tells about the situation in the Soviet Union during the reigns of Leonid Brezhnev and Mikhail Gorbachev. He experienced perestroika and the collapse of the USSR. In 1998 he moved to Ostrava in the Czech Republic. He worked as a Répétiteurat at the Janáček Conservatory in Ostrava and at the Moravian-Silesian National Theater.