Jindřich Káňa

* 1923

  • "We are pioneers, the first to go after the great goal of serving everyone. We are pioneers, ours is the world, we are the warriors of the coming years. We are taking a firm step forward, there are no obstacles for us. We are strong, proud... how is it going? Our song leads us forward, everyone loves our youth so much. Perhaps no one can work and love their homeland like we do. That's how it was. We are pioneers, first we go, for the great goal, to serve everyone. We are pioneers, ours is the world, we are warriors of the coming years. We are taking a firm step forward, there are no obstacles for us. With strong vigor, hungry, we are strong, unbroken. Victory of work belongs to us, victory of work, youth. We are taking a firm step forward, forward, our youth!”

  • "My brother had a bottle of plum brandy ready to welcome the soldiers. He had a shot with him and tried to give a shot of the brandy to each soldier he met. And one of the soldiers took his whole bottle and drank a whole plum brandy at once."

  • "There were some boys who were in the dormitory with me and they were among the Partisans, and there were many of them. And after the liberation, they walked with a submachine gun on their backs and they went for a lunch to a cultural house with the gun, for example.”

  • "We were attending school also on Saturday, because there was no work on Saturday at that time, so we were attending school on Saturday, on Sunday morning and we were going to school all the time. And then, on March 15, 1939, after the fifteenth, we came to school, and some of the teachers who taught us yesterday were no longer there. Because they were preventively captured by the Gestapo so that they could not harm anyone or anything, because they had a different opinion than Hitler professed."

  • Full recordings
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    Rožnov pod Radhoštěm, 20.08.2020

    duration: 01:33:36
    media recorded in project Stories of the region - Central Moravia
Full recordings are available only for logged users.

To this day, I am a proud graduate of the Baťa’s school of work

Graduate of Baťa's school of work
Graduate of Baťa's school of work
photo: archive of the witness

Jindřich Káňa was born on February 1, 1923 in Petřvald, Silesia. His family was affected by the global economic crisis in the early 1930s. Jindřich’s father Emil, who made a living as a miner, had less work than before and the family lived mainly from what they raised on a modest farm. Jindřich and his brothers František and Jan joined the Baťa’s school of work in Zlín during the 1930s, where children from poor families were mostly admitted. Paramilitary education and the boarding regime were deeply ingrained in everyone, because the credo of the Baťa’s school of work was to educate young men and women to be reliable, honest and highly hard-working citizens. Henry recalls the internment of some teachers at the beginning of the war and the execution during the Heydrichiad. He experienced the bombing of Zlín by American allies and also mentions the subsequent liberation by the Soviet and Romanian armies. In the years 1945–1947 he completed the basic military service and the non-commissioned officer school in Ostrava. After February 1948, Jindřich Káňa joined the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia, of which he remains a member till this day. He spent most of his life working as a manager (first of the accounting department and later of the planning department) at MEZ Frenštát. After the invasion of Warsaw Pact troops, he worked as the chairman of the party’s city organization and he dealt with commanding officers of the occupiers. He and his wife Jelena had two children, Jindřich and Jelena. In 2020 he lived in Frenštát.