Miroslav Klimeš

* 1921

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I was assigned to forced labour at Krupp, where we called ourselves the Czech Court Bureau

klimeš dobova orez.jpg (historic)
Miroslav Klimeš
photo: z archivu pamětníka, druhá z natáčení

Miroslav Klimeš, Scout name Bagheera, was born on 19 March 1921 into the family of the stationmaster in Opava. He had two significantly older brothers who had fought in the Austro-Hungarian army in World War I. He joined the Sokol sports movement in 1930, but he was later enamoured by Scouting and became a member of the 1st Scout Troop Opava. The witness’s unique Scout diary has survived from those times and serves as an excellent archival source. He made it up to deputy leader of the 1st Scout Troop Opava. During the tense times of 1938, his family left Opava and lived briefly in Olomouc. Miroslav Klimeš graduated from grammar school in Valašské Meziříčí in 1940. In the years 1940-1941 he attended a one-year supplementary course at a business academy in Olomouc and was then briefly employed at the Hospital Insurance Company of Private Employees. In 1942 he was assigned to forced labour, his summons sent him to the well-known company of Krupp Berta Werk Markstadt bei Breslau, where he worked in an office in a department called Bürofürsozialversicherung. Before his placement at Krupp, he also spent a short time in Essen, where he did manual labour - digging ditches and building accommodation. In January 1945 he did not want to have to move to a different assignment in Hirschberg, Silesia (now Jelenia Góra, Poland), and so he, his future Russian wife, and her family escaped back to Bohemia. He hid from the Protectorate authorities for several months. Miroslav Klimeš experienced the fighting and bombing preceding the liberation in the lonely settlement of Žimrovice near Opava. After the war he returned to his job at the Hospital Insurance Company of Private Employees and soon became district director of Hospital Insurance for Higher-Level Employees. After the war he married Rita, a Russian woman who he had brought with him from his forced labour in Poland; they had two children together. When the insurance companies were nationalised, Miroslav Klimeš worked at the travel agency Čedok, where he remained until his retirement. During Scout trips in the 1980s he met his second wife Milada Klimešová (née Hermanová), who was an important figure in the Opava Scouting scene.