Jaroslav Jiskra

* 1952

  • “I can tell you that it is true that as a boy, when I went into the woods, I picked chanterelles. They weren't there at all, they just weren't there for twenty years. Sulfur in the air and oxides as the Ore Mountains were calcified. Today, everything is desulfurized, everything is relatively ecological, so the situation has changed a lot. Back then, it was – we called it funeral fee, for what was happening here. It was terrible, in the eighties. It was at its peak, because 22 million tons of coal were mined annually, and some went out to Pilsen and Budějovice to heating plants, and some was burned here in our factories. When the old power plant in Dolní Rychnov was still running, the winds from the south-west prevail here, so the ash - you couldn't even play hockey in an open stadium, because you had blunt skates after a period, it was crazy how it rubbed. But a lot was done, a lot.“

  • "I have such a story. Dad didn't have a passport, they took it away from him. I was invited to the district passport and visa office to bring my passport for inspection. They said the binding was loose. It didn't. They said they would call me when the new one will be ready. I received a letter: 'Dear comrade, it is not in the national interest for you to be the owner of a Czechoslovak state passport with a permanent exit clause to all socialist countries in the world, therefore we are taking it away from you.' I appealed several times, after three years they finally returned it to me but dad had problems with it for a long time. He couldn't even go next door to the GDR. It was just such a time."

  • "I have the impression that my father was a member of the Communist Party, otherwise he would not have been the director of Vřesová. However, 1968 messed it up. In 1971, the vetting commissions came, dad went to work in production, first as a head of the overburden, then he was removed from that too and he worked in the preparation of production, a menial position for him, because dad was an extremely capable guy. I respected him, and grandfather, really. They were miners in body and soul."

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    Karlovy Vary, 19.07.2023

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The Communists forbade him to continue the family tradition. But he did not give up mining

Jaroslav Jiskra, 1968
Jaroslav Jiskra, 1968
photo: archive of the witness

Jaroslav Jiskra was born on December 16, 1952. His father and grandfather worked as mining engineers, after the Second World War they came from Kladno to Sokolov for work. His father Jaroslav Jiskra Sr. founded his family there. He worked in management positions in various mines. During the background checks in 1971, the Communists demoted him to a lower position. The witness could not continue in his family’s footsteps and go to university, so he graduated at least from a land surveying technical school after graduating from secondary grammar school. He worked in the Sokolov mines as a mine surveyor from 1975, eventually working his way up to chief dispatcher. In 1987, he could start studying mining engineering. After the Velvet Revolution, he worked in the general directorate of Sokolovská uhelná. He also continued his academic career, earned a doctorate, lectured and published professional texts. He also promoted the mining traditions and history of the Sokolov region as an author of historical and fiction books. In 2023 he lived in Sokolov.