“The city of Brest was Germany’s biggest submarine base. There were about thirty submarines. I was serving on a small vessel that had only about 35 men as its crew. It was a French ship that had been converted to a military vessel. We were escorting merchant vessels along the coastline from the Bay of Biscay all the way to Brest. We were the escort of merchant ships because the Germans wouldn’t win the war but because they had a secret connection with Spain that supplied Germany with goods they made business with Franco. So it was just commercial ships. We were acting as a sort of escort.”
“The Poles came here. Under the Polish regime, my parents wanted a Czech school. Rychvald is rather Czech because the Czechoslovak church is seated here. The local population is very patriotic. I was there when my parents demanded a Czech school. It was at the church and they came with the cavalry and dispersed the gathering with the horses. They had a truncheon and asked: ‘which halve does Sir want? The black one or the white one?’ The white one meant the hand piece and the black one meant the end of the truncheon. So they scattered the gathering and some people got beaten up pretty badly by the Poles. I remember this as a boy. Those Poles were assaulting Czechs. Then they were inquiring who is a member of the Sokol and those who were had to move somewhere else.”
“When the Allies sunk our ship at the city of Quimper, me and two Poles from Katowice deserted from the Germans and joined the French patriots. They were French partisans. Our leader told us not to break up. We wanted to go to the toilet. So we went sideways. We were in a sort of valley and we saw the partisans. We were waving a huge white scarf that we had with us to show them that we wanted to join them. We then stayed hidden there and they captured the other Germans. They then took them somewhere aside or something, I don’t know. We stayed with them for about two weeks after which the Americans came to Quimper. They knew already that the city had been freed of all the Germans. I was lucky because one of their officers was a Czech American. I told him that I was a Czechoslovak from the Protectorate and that I wanted to join the Czechoslovak exterritorial army in England.”
“In 1948 there was a wave of student screenings and I got into a lot of trouble. The director of the technical college where I was studying, Mr. Holub, got a letter saying that I had nothing to do at the school and that I must leave. So I had to go to the Ministry of National Defense. I was received by General Svoboda himself. He was a very nice man and he was annoyed that I was getting so much trouble at the school. So he gave me a testimonial and that enabled me to finish college and to graduate. Other people behaved to us in this way as well, even though we were fighting and giving our lives for the renewal of the Republic. It will not forget this arrogance till the end of my life.”
“I was involuntarily in the Wehrmacht and then I fought for my country at Dunkirk.”
Ing. Miroslav Fišer was born in 1925 in Rychvald that successively belonged to three states in the period 1938-1939. When the city was ruled by the Germans, Miroslav Fišer had to enroll in the Wehrmacht in 1943. After two months of training by the North Sea, he was assigned to the German Navy (Kriegsmarine). He became a member of a crew of a smaller vessel that escorted the merchant ships on their route between Spain and France. His ship was sunk by the Allies near the city of Quimper and Miroslav Fišer joined the French partisans. Shortly afterwards, he enlisted in the independent Czechoslovak brigade in Great Britain and after a short training, he joined the besiegers of Dunkirk. After the war, he was demobilized and studied at a technical college in Karviná. After the screenings of 1948 he was almost dismissed from school but he managed to get a testimonial from Ludvík Svoboda. Eventually, he was even allowed to complete his university studies and earned a degree in engineering. He lived in Rychvald, died on May, 12th, 2014.