Josef Dostál

* 1947

  • „It is said that it came out of them, as relatives, that Evžen was in Prague at the time when Palach burned himself. I don't know what he was doing there, whether he was there in the office at the headquarters of the engineering industry or at the Central Committee of the Communist Party, but he was just there.“

  • „It was in a kind of cautious spirit, because a lot of guys were joking that there were even militiamen in uniform. Because the directorship didn't know how to do the funeral. Obviously, I think he [Evžen Plocek] was an important worker, he was a partisan. And they didn't know what to do with it. So they called in a relative, they did it there, because of all the pressure of Evžen being so well known. Probably no one from the company's management didn’t dare not to do so. That they had to do some ordeal. He trained there, was there for a long time and was known.“

  • „If someone filmed or recorded it, even that's possible, but the person was troubled and had tears in his eyes, so he didn't look much. I know that Evžen's parents, the grandfather, folded his arms: 'Evžen, what did you do to us?!' Such a gesture is very tragic.“

  • “As my father-in-law met him somewhere and later he told us that Evžen wasn´t himself on that day. They met on the street and said hello as they were brother-in-laws in fact. And every time, Evžen would say: 'What are you up to? Where are you heading?' But this time he would just walk pass like he was druged. 'Hello.' 'Hello,' and of he went so he wouldn´t stop him, so he would ask no questions.”

  • “I was told I could work at Motorpal, a mechanical engineering plant. It all went behind the scene, of course, as my relatives most probably spoke to Mr Plocek, as I realised later. And he said, and I remember that quite well as my wife told me: 'I won´t be pulling no strings because of him. If he wants to learn something he has to start working at tool manufacturing department. As tool manufacturing department is the heart of the factory.”

  • “So I was brought in as a groom who went to meet his future wife´s relatives. And we also visited the Plocek´s family and I was introduced to Mr Plocek for the first time and also to his wife. And I must say that I was surprised by the warm welcome they gave me, as I knew, of course, that he was this high ranking official at the Motorpal Enterprise in Jihlava. As I said, I was looking up to him , as I had been telling myself that I would like such a thing, as it had been quite a big enterprise, and me, I had been working for the city, fixing refridgerators. So I got to know him. They lived in a flat in Leoš Janáček Street not far from here. And I was nervous, I admit, but he made me feel alright by his attitude that... Of course I knew he was this big man in Motorpal, but he was such a charming man with this great charisma, he would come to you and say: 'So nice to see you, just come in.' I had been expecting that he would be testing and examining me, but that wasn´t the case.”

  • “So there was this funeral, you had heard about that from Mr Fürst, that´s a very nice interview I would say. I was standing by the grave as one of the relatives. His brother was there with his wife and his whole family. And there was also Jirka, Evžen´s son, who was fourteen years old, he had been standing there. An interesting thing was, and I´am still thinking about that, that he didn´t cry. He would just toughen up and didn´t shed a tear. The young one, Jirka.”

  • “I remember that... As we would go to have dinner with parents almost every day as a young couple, my mother-in- law would say: 'I spoke with Zdeňka, Zdeňka went to hospital. Evžen is there, he´s burned all over his body.' So we knew that he was under guard, supposedly, and they turned back everyone except his wife. She was the only one they would let near him. And she cried, of course. She came back, it was quite hard, and she said that she didn´t understand why he did this. All of us, the whole family, we had been just looking at each other, saying: 'Why did he do this? Why? We just don´t understand.'”

  • Full recordings
  • 1

    Jihlava, 06.02.2020

    duration: 01:09:01
  • 2

    Jihlava, 14.02.2020

    duration: 01:14:40
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
  • 3

    Jihlava, 26.07.2021

    duration: 01:52:40
    media recorded in project Příběhy regionu - HRK REG ED
Full recordings are available only for logged users.

A family mirror shattered into a thousand pieces

Josef Dostál, a portrait
Josef Dostál, a portrait
photo: Soukromý archiv Josefa Dostála

Josef Dostál was born on April 15th 1947 in Třebíč; he had completed both his elementary and secondary schooling in Jihlava. At the age of nineteen, he met Karla Mizlerová, Evžen Plocek´s niece, who he had married on October 14th 1967. After that, as a member of the family, he had the opportunity to meet Evžen Plocek in person. Since that, families would meet often and visit each other frequently. After finishing the secondary technical school, Josef Dostál started to work at the District Industrial Enterprise in Jihlava and since October 1st 1968 he had been working at the Motorpal Enterprise in Jihlava as a material dispatcher. Being a relative, he attended Evžen Plocek funeral on April 12th 1969, after Plocek´s self-immolation in Jihlava´s Peace Square (Náměstí Míru, today Masaryk Square) on April 4th 1969. Since 1971, he had been working at the railroad as a steam train fireman, later he was an electric engine driver. At work, he had been offered to join the Communist Party to which he agreed after some time. Since 1992, he had been working as a sales representative for a German company selling plastic windows. In past, he gave interviews for books and documentaries on the passing of Evžen Plocek. Nowadays, he has been living in jihlava.