Mgr. Jaromír Dus

* 1938

  • ”They always tried hard to have someone in each prison cell who would inform on the others. We were given some little postal cards, there were boxes on the walls where we were supposed to throw in the cards with denouncements. When nobody denounced anyone in a prison cell, prisoners from the cell had to be punished: after work, we had to move out all the beds – and this was no easy matter to maneuvre and turn with beds out of those Bory prison cells - to clean the floor with water-soluble wax and move the beds back. In the process almost everything got lost. We had neither newspapers nor TV, nothing whatsoever, books – well, the library was in a constant reorganisation phase. After I was gone, I heard that it got a bit better but how much, I have no idea.“

  • “I never believed that I would outlive the Communists. If I had had only the slightest idea, I´d have not tried to convince my colleagues – programmers — that even ministers were able to learn the Cobol, Assembler and Fortran systems and work as programmers. I might have learned languages and prepared myself for what I would be doing after the political change – but, well, I didn´t have enough faith in it. Shortly, I thought I would die in this system. I am eternally grateful to have lived long enough to see it.”

  • „This time Major Fráňa said I was a bit pale and asked if I was all right. I said yes, I was and that there was nothing wrong with me. So can we continue interrogating? Yes, we can. So, again the questions about Mr Brandt or Sharp or whoever else, and he again interrupted the interrogation: No, you´re a bit pale. I´ll send you to hospital. – OK, to hospital. Later I learned that this was the day when my lawyer Dr.Runt was coming to see me for the first time. So, when he came he was told that I didn´t feel well during the interrogation and the interrogator had to send me to hospital and what would happen next, nobody knew. This was the last message my family received from me. Also, they harrassed my wife as well – at that time she was already working at the Bulovka Hospital – it was Friday evening and it was her night shift – Fráňa phoned her that he needed her for interrogation. She reacted – I can´t find anyone to replace me right now, I´m at work. – Well, if you don´t want to help your husband, it´s your problem. So, she did her best, managed to find a colleague willing to do the night shift, travelled to the Ruzyně Prison and the first question he had was what the date of my birth was (of course, they had had this information many times over). The second question was how and where I met Mr Pachman. She said - As far as I know my husband doesn´t know any Mr Pachman. He doesn´t play chess at all, only his father was a bit of a chess player. To sum it up: being in prison was worse for family members than for me or anybody else.“

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    Praze, Libeň, 22.06.2018

    duration: 01:32:08
    media recorded in project Memory of the Nation: stories from Praha 2
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To put myself at the disposal of the “higher authority”

Jaromír Dus, portrait, Prague 1957
Jaromír Dus, portrait, Prague 1957
photo: archiv pamětníka

Jaromír Dus whose family from his father´s side professed the Protestant faith even prior to the Tolerance Patent of 1781, was born in Brno on 28th August 1938. According to the tradition, as the oldest of 4 children, he went on to study theology. Briefly, he served in Prague, Vršovice before the Communist authorities cancelled their approval for him to work as a minister. This lasted for 17 years. All this time he was employed in different jobs as a manual worker. In 1971 he was sentenced to 15 months of imprisonment for “subversion of the republic”. He was again granted approval to work as a minister in 1989 and served in Prague, Vinohrady. The final stage of his professional life was in the Ministry of Defence, where he helped establish military chaplaincy in the Czech Army. Today he lives in Prague Libeň. He is still active within the Evangelical church and has two grown-up children.