The assassination of Heydrich was an enormous act of resistance, although I have paid dearly for it
Jiří Karabel was born February 16, 1938 in Votice. He grew up in the house which belonged to his mother’s family. His father alternately worked in a pub and in a cabinet-maker’s shop. Jiří’s father was actively involved in the resistance group Jindra during World War Two, which operated in the Benešov region and whose members were mostly members of the Sokol organization. A wave of arrests started after the assassination of Heydrich. At that time the family provided a place to spend the night to Břetislav Lyčka, another member of the resistance movement, and Jiří’s father then accompanied Lyčka to another contact address to cabinet-maker Ludvík Vaněk in Ouběnice. Jiří’s father was arrested as the first of them, and Jiří’s mother and Jiří himself were then arrested in August 1942. Jiří Karabel subsequently stayed in Jenerálka and in Svatobořice with other so-called Svatobořice children who were interned there by the Nazis. His parents were murdered in the concentration camp Mauthausen. Jiří and the other children were then liberated at the end of the war in a camp in Planá nad Lužnicí. Afterwards he stayed briefly with his cousins and then he had two possible options - either to stay with his grandmother in Votice or to live with his uncle in Prague. Jiří eventually remained in Votice and he studied a secondary technical school of mechanical engineering in Tábor. Shortly after completing his studies he moved to Karlovy Vary where he has been living with his wife ever since. Together they raised two children. Jiří worked in the Civil Engineering Company and also as a constructor in uranium mines. In spite of his difficult fate as an orphan he says that he is actually reaping the rewards now when he is able to happily enjoy his retirement.