Josef Jonáš

* 1942

  • "The village was being collectivised and by coincidence and misfortune he was imprisoned for two years in Ostrov u Jáchymova. By coincidence he was a bit lucky there, he had a supervisor Mr. Prudky here from the next village from Valcha, who was a good man, and so he gave him lighter work, fixing the dormitories. He even brought him some food. So father survived in good health."

  • "I was eleven or twelve years old at the time, so I farmed with my mother and my sister Zdena. It was a difficult time. At twelve years old, riding horses... I couldn't reach them. I stood on a stool, brushed them. Together we harnessed and worked the fields we farmed and were able to make the prescribed deliveries. We had young horses on the whole and I liked them, so I fed them well. They sometimes got back at me, they started to run away from me. I couldn't hold them, so they'd pull on my belly until I cried. But we survived it all in good health."

  • "They were banging on the door, my mother run to open it. It was Sunday, early in the morning - 6:30, 7 o'clock. The three in the leather jacket came to our house and asked for my father. They chased me away. We had a hatchet, so it was just mom and dad. My eldest sister was away in Krnov and my elder sister was probably cleaning the cattle, and father was preparing something. And that he had to go with them, that he had done something. And then he said to me: 'Pepa, here are two crowns, go get me some cigarettes.' And he was already at the door, so I gave him the cigarettes, he stroked me, and I didn't see him for two years. Those were kind of the last moments I remember."

  • Full recordings
  • 1

    Křtěnov, 13.01.2022

    duration: 02:52:56
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
  • 2

    Křtěnov, 09.08.2022

    duration: 35:22
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
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Forced collectivisation in practice. My father hugged me and I didn’t see him for a year

Josef Jonáš in the army, Louny, between 1962-1964
Josef Jonáš in the army, Louny, between 1962-1964
photo: Archiv pamětníka

Josef Jonáš was born on 12 March 1942 in Křtěnov near Olešnice into a family of middle-class farmers. His parents Josef and Aloisie owned about ten hectares of farmland. In 1953, as part of the forced collectivization in the Olešnice region, there were large-scale arrests. Among those arrested was the father of the witness, and the court sentenced him to two years in the Vykmanov labour camp near Jáchymov. After a year, he was released to found the Křtěnov Unified Agricultural Cooperative (JZD), but he failed to do so. In the meantime, Josef Jonáš, his mother and sister had to take over the work on the farm and manage the deliveries. In 1959 the family joined the newly established JZD. After primary school, he attended the secondary agricultural school for two years, then joined the JZD Křtěnov. Due to the poor financial situation, he left the cooperative for another job. In 1962 he joined the army in Louny. Shortly after the war he returned to JZD Křtěnov. In 1965 he married Zdena Bělehradská. They had three children together - two sons and a daughter. In the sixties, he unsuccessfully applied for his father’s rehabilitation. Rehabilitation took place only in the 1990s. After the revolution, he and his work partners founded a private agricultural enterprise. In 2022 he lived with his wife in Křtenov.