Master Warrant Officer Jaroslav Foršt

* 1947  

  • So already the week before she arrived came the FBI. They were searching the sewers, took the rooftops and searched everything. They searched our flat to find out if there are any bugs and so, or any trap devices. So when Allbright arrived at Beograd to meet Milosevic – she was there only for one day – in the forenoon she was with him to reprove him for everything he did. And she went by walking to the embassy which was right in the city centre. This was a shock for everybody, for the security services, they didn´t expect it. She went from the residence of the president to our embassy. The Serbians were totally upsetted because they had to ensure the security. But the main thing was that Allbright came, she was in our flat. As I always say – I´m the one of the two Czechs who had Allbright at home. President Havel and us, because she really was at our place. It was marvelous, she was immediate. Let everyone from the emigrants says what he wants to – she was speaking and speaks perfectly with fluent czech. She thanked to us for enabling this to her. It was exactly the flat where she had her room and her governess, her educator, where she lived. And she just came into the corridor to the closed door and said – here was the bathroom. And I said: "Yes, it´s here." And I opened the door and she was surprised and said: "It´s renovated but the bath is placed as it was. So I´ll tell you something – when I was twelve years old I was kneeling here by the bath because I was stubborn and I was misbehaving. My daddy was very strict to me and I had to kneel here as a punishment. And I couldn´t stand up untill I asked daddy´s forgiveness. And I never asked. I was just kneeling there. Then daddy showed me the mercy and said – Look, go."

  • We came to Třeboň – and it was a old road yet, there were the bridges of Třeboň – and there were the Soviets. We went with our GAZ mobile and when they saw a military mobile they stopped it. They stopped us at the edge of the forest. The pine grove, the pines, because there is everything sandy around Třeboň. So they stopped us with machine guns, we stepped out. We wore a camouflage suits, red berets, so they paused in surprise. Obviously they didn´t know what should they do with us. And near us I saw a standing soldier with a machine gun. Then I looked down and there was just a head of a soldier sticking out of the ground. So I went there. I knew russian language from the school – willy nilly. So I came there and said: "What´s he doing here?" There was a soldier, there was digged hole in the ground and he was standing in it. Only his head was sticking out. He was punished and had to stay seven days in that hole. He had to dig it himself and stand in. He had a bowl with water in front of his head. And I said: "..and a toilet..? And a hygiene?" He had to do everything in there that hole. Done. This way they punished their soldiers. It was something unimaginable for us. If this did some of our men he would be stucked with a prosecutor immediately. It was treading on the human dignity. For them it was a natural thing. So this was the sovietian attitude.

  • We were using the telepfone, the cable connection. Today it´s gone so I can speak about it. There were special enciphering computers. It was a time when computers were starting. When I was starting I got a notebook – it was high like this, around six centimetres. There was a basic Windows in it. It was just black-and-white but it didn´t matter because it was the same principle as the enciphering machine which I used to write the messages. There was attached an additional machine which encodes my message. And this was connected to the cable telephone connection. Usually I did that in the evening. I dialed the telephone number to our headquarters in Prague. There was an automatic machine which answered to me. Then I pushed one button and my message went by telephone connection to Prague. In Prage the message was received by similar computer machine. It saved the message and the cipher clerk decipher the message next day. Because he had it on a diskette (3,5 inches), if you know. There were big diskettes so we used them. Of course the progress was fast and so we start to work with much more modern enciphering machine during that year. It was little so I had to push it like this with my fingers. But on the other hand it had a huge capacity of memory. So I was able to fill it with three or four full pages which was a lot. Or there was so called diplomatic post. It was packed in two envelopes plus it was sewed through. The diplomatic post could have two kilogrammes at the most. And that was so called captain post and there were flying ČSA airlines Prague – Beograd. So our people were sending.. this got the captain of the airplane, literally.

  • It wasn´t like come on, hurry, finished. It was prepared in the long therm. There is a Charta 77, Two thousands of words and it was adding step by step and then it was unbearable. So then was realized – commonly called – the transfer of the power. National avenue in Prague – the cops were beating it and the rumor has it it was on purpose. To cause some action which causes a reaction. The situation was lets say wild already in 1988. In that year there occured first important signs. And since 1988, since spring and summer in 1988, the situation was really wild. There was a remarkable nervousness. We could notice it that way – of course we were tasked to do an intelligence activity. And we did an intelligence activity aimed out, to abroad. Not here inside our country, it was performed to abroad. And suddenly different tasks were coming – if I say it simply – "What attitude has the Austria to our republic?" In this time! "What attitude has the West German to us? What are the responses to Czechoslovakia from them?" And irrespectvie of this, suddenly the tasks were on decrease. Suddenly we didn´t get any tasks. So we went on to perform our activities but didn´t get any tasks from our superiors. We gave our outcomes to the superiors. And suddenly it turned over – things went from us to them and from them to us there went nothing. And so we realized that there is growing a pressure. Political pressure.

  • When 21st August came we were – because we were the scouts of the land unit - woken up immediately at night, at 2 a.m. in the morning. Allied armies lifted state borders, lifted the barriers and stepped into our country. So we were too lifted for the combat, immediately, nobody knew what´s going to happen. We got the guns and ammunition. We lied dressed on the pallets and waited what´s next. Fortunately we had barracks in Jindřichův Hradec. We were in the city centre so we were hidden. It took two minutes to go to the city square. In that time we were dressed in so called "salamanders" – it was a patchy camouflage suit, yellow brown and green. And we had red berets. The Russians invaded into the garrison, they took it but they didn´t took us because they didn´t know we were there. On 22nd or 23rd August due to the requirement of politruks – let everyone thinks about it as he wants to – we took out the radio station. It was a big vehicle, a big boxlike V3S. We stretched out the antennas and started to broadcast against the occupiers. I had a colleague there, a graduate of the school of international trade, and he could speak fluently russian. He was speaking into the microphone like: "Zachvatčiki, iděte domoj!" (Go home, occupies!) and so. We were broadcasting there the news and we were broadcasting against the Russians.

  • For us, civilized Central Europeans, it is beyond our comprehension. We´re never going to understand this. Their thinking is totally different. Wilder and so. I came to the petrol station – but it was a coincidence I was there, in a part of Beograd called Zemun. And I came there, I parked at the petrol station and went to the port where two rivers, Sáva and Dunaj, meet. And I went to the port and suddenly a bang, a shot! I went down immediately, of course, because it happend few metres from me. And then I turned back and there – the petrol station attendant went out and just shot a driver who was parking there where he shouldn´t. So I watched what´s going to happen and people were gathering. Of course they confront the attendant and he said: "I told him not to park here." Can you understand this thinking? Due to my experiences from Yugoslavia they always first started to shoot and started to murder and then they started to think what they actually did. They´re thinking right in the opposite way then we´re.

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    V domě pamětníka, 22.07.2014

    duration: 03:33:00
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
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Everything I did in my life, I did at full blast.

Mr. Foršt during the obligatory military service
Mr. Foršt during the obligatory military service
photo: Archiv pamětníka

Jaroslav Foršt was born in 1947 in Chrudim. He was apprenticed as a locksmith and joined up 4th exploration battalion in Jindřichův Hradec in 1966. He went through the complete training and parachute training. During the parachute training he lost two of his colleagues by mischance. After the russian invasion he and his troop performed for four days pirate broadcasting. In 1968 Mr. Foršt accepted the offer to become a professional soldier. In 1983 he went to the secret part of military intelligence service in Brno. In 1994 he became a foreign reporter in the Balkan where he worked several years. Here he also met Madeleine Albright face to face in 1997. Till the 2002 he worked as the Balkan specialist. Mr. Foršt is one of those who saved the birthplace of Jan Kubiš, czech parachutist.