Jiří Jeřábek

* 1935

  • “I remember that on 5th May they let us go home from school earlier and that I walked the street which is now called Avenue of 5th May. It was a wide street and you could feel that something was in the air. Army guards made of several soldiers each were walking the streets, and Germans were riding there in their army vehicles. I remember that before I reached my home, people were tearing down German signs from the buildings, and so on. The windows of houses were open and from radios that people had inside I could hear the call for people to come help the radio station building because the Germans were murdering Czech citizens there.”

  • “As a ten-year-old boy, I somehow managed to get separated from my parents and I got to the main street where the Russians were arriving. I don’t remember any tank army there, but I remember that all the soldiers were covered in dust. People were welcoming them. There was a kind of eerie atmosphere of being liberated from the Germans.”

  • “By coincidence I witnessed the arrival of the German army to Prague when I was four years old. I was with my parents on the first floor of the Lucerna Palace; there are offices there today. There was a café and we were standing there, I was standing on a chair and I absolutely couldn’t understand why on earth the people were crying… I didn’t understand why they were crying and why the women held handkerchiefs. The reason why I remembered it was through a special connection in my memory, because I had a small toy tank when I was a boy, and it was in the Czechoslovak army camouflage colours which they used for their tanks and vehicles: green, brown and yellow.”

  • Full recordings
  • 1

    Domov seniorů- Chodov, 22.10.2013

    duration: 01:28:30
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
  • 2

    domov seniorů Chodov, 12.05.2015

    media recorded in project The Stories of Our Neigbours
Full recordings are available only for logged users.

I simply cannot forget the day of the liberation

Foto 3.jpeg (historic)
Jiří Jeřábek

  Jiří Jeřábek was born September 22, 1935 in Prague. As a young boy he witnessed the Prague Uprising and he still vividly remembers the events of May 1945. His family lived in the Prague-Pankrác neighbourhood at that time. Barricades were built there and part of the Red Army soldiers set up their camp nearby after the war. Jiří studied secondary technical school of chemical engineering and he began working in the company Barvy a laky (Paints and Varnishes). While working there he also became a member of the Communist Party. During the Prague Spring in 1968 he participated in the reform youth committee and he took part in transformation of the Czechoslovak Youth Union (ČSM) to the newly established Socialist Youth Union (SSM). Jiří was expelled from the Party after the occupation of Czechoslovakia in August 1968, but thanks to his friend he managed to find a good job in the trade company Imex. At present he lives in a retirement home in the Chodov neighbourhood in Prague.