Josef Doškář

* 1943  

  • "Well, the flags were being burned in the square here in Bor. When the tank columns arrived, we were burning Soviet flags there and throwing them under the wheels of the tanks. And it was very dangerous. I didn't like it very much, I'll admit. Because it was really no fun. It was an edgy matter to do; in fact, it was a matter of life and death. It really was. Then, by coincidence, I stood on the stairs like the post office, and there came the columns and the boys, the Russians, or the Soviets, I'll say, because maybe they weren't all Russians there, they were all mounted there, there were a lot of Asians there, you could see that, so he had the submachine gun, and when we were standing on the stairs by the post office, he did it with that submachine gun like that, but he did not fire out. And now you could see them all go home."

  • It was very interesting that I was in Prague on November 17th. And my wife Dasha and I both were there. We went… We went to the theatre a lot. So we went to the opera, which was next door to the theatre… between the railway station and the museum. As we went there by bus from Bor. We got there and my wife was telling me: "Look, something is happening today, something is happening there." And so we went to Václav´s indeed. And people were starting to gather there. And I said "Look, let's not go to the theatre. Let's be a part of it!” But my wife, who has always been against this regime, told me: “No, we're going to buy a coat.” So we were buying a coat, unfortunately. Even when we went to that theatre, it was about seven o´clock, when we went there. We went past Wenceslas square. I said: "Come on, let's go, I'm not in it." So I could have been there, and I still regret not being present there.

  • Full recordings
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    Nový Bor, 27.11.2019

    (audio)
    duration: 01:26:19
    media recorded in project The Stories of Our Neigbours
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To this day, I’m sorry I wasn’t there

With his mother and sister as a child
With his mother and sister as a child
photo: archiv pamětníka

Josef Doškář was born on June 19, 1943 in Dolní Bousov. His father, Josef Doškář, defended the new Czechoslovak Republic as a soldier against external attacks in 1919, and until 1939 he worked in Slovakia as a gendarme. During the war, he joined the anti-Nazi resistance, was arrested by the Gestapo in 1944 and ended up in the Small Fortress in Terezín. He died as a result of his imprisonment a few days after his liberation in May 1945. Josef Doškář graduated from the Secondary Industrial School of Glassmaking, then worked with glass all his life. In August 1968, he protested against the invasion of Warsaw Pact troops. During the ensuing normalization, he was labelled a counter-revolutionary, although he defended his position in the glassworks but could not study university remotely. He recalls what was happening in Prague in November 1989, and still regrets that he did not take part in the protests at that time. Josef Doškář lived in Nový Bor at the time of recording the interview (2019).