Kamila Karníková

* 1932  

  • “It happened countless times that my father got lost. The letter which had always been allowed only on a permit, returned back. They picked the time around Christmas for this in particular. Just like when they evicted my mother and me from the apartment in Táborská street to a basement apartment in Lenin street. Some guy suspended our eviction decree and only had it delivered to us two days before Christmas when a small truck with a tilt arrived and we loaded all that we could fit in it. The rest was stolen by our neighbors after we had left. When we arrived in Lenin street, we discovered that both electricity and gas had been sealed but fortunately my classmate had a cart which we used to at least bring some coal from our previous house so that we could have some heat; during Christmas some good people enabled us to heat up and light.”

  • “The hearing took place during the public show trial in the Elektra cinema, where the members of his group saw each other for the first time. Yet they had to testify what they had been ordered during the interrogations. In the other people’s cases it was about the facts of the case, in my father’s case it was fobbed off ideas that he never admitted to. Because he had not known the other members of the group, nor the connection to the Prague underground movement of Dr. Horáková who he had also never met. As the head of the Šimonek’s Support Fund he only took care of the Škoda workers’ children and their relatives; the others things were fobbed off on him and he could never come to terms with that because he saw no bravery in that – because he had actually never committed these acts.”

  • “We couldn’t use sufficient number of bandages, we couldn’t use any anesthetics. The strongest narcotic that we used when operating festering hand calluses was kelen, a freezing spray. And we didn’t handle the infectious diseases that had broken out there, the person was simply sent to the hospital in Ostrava or home, without disinfection, let the parents handle it.”

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    Plzeň, 16.06.2018

    duration: 47:36
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
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We had always wished for only one thing – for our father to return. And we achieved that

Kamila Karnikova
Kamila Karnikova
photo: Archiv pamětnice

Kamila Kárníková, née Maříková, was born July 21, 1932 in Nýřany. Her mother Kamila Maříková was a teacher, father JUDr. František Mařík was employed in the Šimonek’s Support Fund of the Škoda Works. In 1938 the family moved from Sudetenland to Pilsen where Kamila started grammar school. Together with her classmates she used to meet archbishop Josef Beran. She joined the Red Cross Youth after the war and later completed a nursing training there. She got the title of an auxiliary nurse and started working at the University Hospital in Pilsen. In 1950 her father, a national socialist, was arrested and accused of high treason and sabotage. For alleged participation in activities of Milada Horáková, he was sentenced to twenty years in prison and loss of property. The family was forced to move into a basement apartment. The members of the family fell into disgrace also because Kamila’s mother was prior of the third Order of St. Dominic. Because of her convicted father, Kamila was given a new place at the Department of Urology. As the medical personnel was being sent to war-torn Korea at that time, she started studying Korean at a school of oriental languages. She studied Sanskrit and Hindi. Later she started interpreting but was prevented from publishing. She was employed as a laboratory technician at the State Veterinary Institute after her wedding, which is where she had worked until her son Jan was born in 1965. Her father František Mařík lived to see his release from prison in 1965. At the time, Kamila Kárníková was working as a Pioneer leader and was a housewife at the same time.