“When I went for the jump, I told myself, I can’t… the maid told me so, they were trained already. ‘You can’t anything, if you get injured or shot dead…’ Well, you could be shot and not be dead, couldn’t you? – ‘They mustn’t tell it’s you. There must be nothing personal.’ I replied, ‘I have nothing personal on me. Well, except for a hankie.’ – ‘You can’t have a hankie, you have to cut the monogram.’ And I told myself, ‘Well, I cut the monogram and will get hard time at home.’ So I left my hankie at home, resolved that I would wipe my nose by my sleeve. They wouldn’t get even the monogram. So I know it was thought into details.“
“I rather remember some ironical questions and answers, since my predecessors had already commented on the questions they asked. Someone was said to answer to the question who Mao was by saying that this was the General Ping-Pong and things like that. So the boys knew already, they were representatives of the right-wing regime, National Socialists, People’s Party or even some Social Democrats. They could afford jokes like that, they knew they wouldn’t pass anyway.“
“The winter there was quite harsh, it was a strong winter, deep frosts. My experience from there is really negative since my ears and feet were frostbitten, into such an extent that even the doctor permitted to stay in the barracks and I didn’t have to work in the frost. But then I had to go working in the frost again, so I covered my eyes with the tarpaulin and put my cap on top. And when they were releasing us, as they did later, not for Christmas but for the New Year’s Eve, they ordered me to take it down, so I wouldn’t put them to shame with my head bandaged like this. These were the rather tragi-comical stories.”
Comrades, the people will not give you weapons, you would turn them against them
Ivan Kaspar was born on September 25, 1926, in Holešovice, Prague. In his youth he was a keen football fan and a member of the school football team. After his primary school he went on to study at the grammar school in Dejvice. He was sent to forced labour in industry, after bombing of the plant and its moving he went to Českomoravská vrchovina, where he joined a resistance group related to the underground organisation The Board of Three, he also assisted to the paratroopers sent in by the exile government in London. In 1945 he joined the Law Faculty, Charles University, from which he was expelled following the checks in 1948 due to political reasons. He had to make his living as a digger and served his military service with the Assistant Technical Battalions. He employed as a teacher, a member of staff in research institutions, he studied the Faculty of Education as a part-time student. As a psychologist of labour at the Physiological Institute of Czechoslovakian Academy of Sciences he focused on the topic of workload in hot operations, namely mills and foundries. In November 1989 he was one of the co-founders of the Civic Forum in Prague-Troja, where he was elected an MP in 1992 as a candidate of the ODS.