Josef Hora

* 1931  

  • “We had an excellent teacher of social science, Mrs. professor Léblová. She took the whole class marching through the Bethlehem Street to the Castle at the Czernin Palace, where the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was seated. And there we saw Jan Masaryk lying in his coffin. Hhe had purple bruises, and there were violet flowers to hide it, but we saw it anyway. So we went to bow. He was a great character, the son of the president Masaryk with great reputation in the world. He was also a clever diplomat. Unfortunately it turned out that way. The 1950s were... already at school, when we started attending school, so we used to say ´Mr. Hora' and 'Mr. Novák' in 1947, and then in 1948 it was ´comrade professor' we could not say just ´professor´. "Luckily, I worked in a technical field and never had much problems.”

  • “At the time when I finished school, I was in the first year at the draft, but they did not accept me, because there were many older boys, who were preferred and we had to wait. I began serving in the army in 1952, meaning I was twenty-one years old. I spent two years in Pilsen – Slovany, and then we moved a bit away from Pilsen... I have to say that I was there during rather hard and difficult times. On November 1, 1952, I got drafter and in February 1953 Stalin died and shortly after him did Gottwald. We had to be normally all dressed laying in our simple beds, apparently the Germans were threatening us, which was, of course, a huge nonsense. If they attacked us, we had to be up and ready to fight.”

  • “When you talk about it, there were five forced priests, who had been working in the Slapy dam, all of them I knew; because you know what times those were… they wanted to destroy the church. So, the five priests and Mr. Břicháček... so the six of them were doing the usual manual work, and you did not have to notice them at all, they got a job - you build the house, so they did and finished. Otherwise there was no one else due to punishment. I still remembered that when the dam works were initiated, they put the heavy technique there – diggers and bulldozers. There was a lady, who had an old cottage, and she went with the scythe towards the bulldozer drivers so that they would not destroy her house. Of course, they did it in the end. And they said it originated in the times of Charles IV, the cottage on the right bank of the Vltava river.”

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    Milín, 15.12.2017

    duration: 01:00:53
    media recorded in project The Stories of Our Neigbours
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Knowledge and skills are the most important and no one can take it away from you

2 – kopie.jpg (historic)
Josef Hora
photo: archiv pamětníka, natáčení PNS 2017

  Josef Hora was born on April 23, 1931 in Malé Lážovice near Beroun. Together with two older sisters and parents he grew up in the middle of nowhere. His father served in the Czechoslovak legions in Russia, and after returning home in 1920, he returned to his beloved farming. Prior to the World War I. his mother served at the noblemen´s estate, and after marriage she took good care of children and household. In 1936, the family moved to mother´s parents’ farm in Lážovice. Joseph attended the secondary school in Osov. During an annual excursion to the Asian collection of Václav Stejskal he met the engineer, Theodor Hácha, the brother of the president Emil Hácha. The engineer has promised a bright boy that if he learned well, he would help him to get to high school. After secondary school he was trained a toolmaker. Along with another friend, after appeals of Theodor Hácha they got to the Secondary Industrial School of Mechanical Engineering at Betlémská Street in Prague. The study at this school was at high demand and not only the knowledge and skills were to decide, but also for merit during the war. He graduated in 1951 and began working in the peaceful construction of the Prague branch of Zbrojovka Brno. Between 1952 - 1954 he served basic military service in Plzeň and Holýšov. In 1955 he got married. The daughter Růžena was born soon to the husbands, and as they could not get an apartment, he listened to a friend’s advice and went to work on the construction of the Orlická dam. After completing the work he briefly worked on the construction of the water tank Nechranice. However, he had to travel a far distance so found a place in the Příbram uranium industry development base, where he worked for another 33 years.