Vlasta Kočí, roz. Procházková

* 1928  

  • "After the march, the next day, we found out that the Germans had taken the gamekeeper's lodge, 'Na Vostrých', that they found some paratroopers there, that they shot one of them and that two escaped and Mr. Vitouš with them. There was a lot going on here. The trial took place here in Jaroměřice, so it was horrible, really horrible. And I know that it had a huge effect on my parents, they were devastated."

  • "But we were just glad that the awful fear had left us! Oh, the fear we all had, that someone would blurt it out, that they'd kill us all, whole families or even Jaroměřice. They could've burnt down Jaroměřice. We all realised that, that's what the great risk was. And that fear suddenly dropped away. Because we knew what they did with Ležáky, that's what they offered rewards for. They were wanted and it would've been big if they'd have found them. That dropped away and it was such a relief... Daddy told me: 'Look, if it happens, if someone blabs, they'll be questioning us like crazy, they'll beat us up, beat us to pulp, and then they'll kill us anyway, they'll beat us to death and shoot us. So you mustn't, not ever, betray that nation of yours, never admit, never give in, whatever they do to you. They'll say we owned up, but it won't be true. Never say anything. Just keep to what you told them first."

  • "Another time, I was walking along with some grenades in my basket, covered with some grass, and there were these soldiers - young boys, maybe eighteen years old - and as you can imagine, seeing a young girl, they started whooping and laughing. One of them went towards me to take my basket, like he would help me. What was I supposed to do all of a sudden? So I stepped away and started laughing..."

  • "Our patriotism was enourmous, the love for our nation, our Republic. Of course, partly because of how we were brought up, how daddy brought us up. He really believed in our Republic, which was so young. We were willing to die for the Republic. That is how it honestly was."

  • "He came here [to us] on the 30th of September, and this happened on the 15th of June. First of all he visited some collegues of his, some of them sent him away, some of them helped a bit, but didn't want him to stay long. Everyone was afraid. He ended up at the Zahrádka's, tucked away in the hay in a barn. Daddy had a friend here, a gendarme, the chief gendarme in fact [his name was Švejda], and he was installing bee hives aswell. It was all done through the bees. He [Daddy] used to talk with him quite often, and if they're searching, he always asked [if they're still searching for the paratroopers], and where they could be... He must have known more at that station."

  • "Daddy told me that once when he visited the Vitouš's beehives, for daddy was a great beekeeper and actually he was the one who got Mr. Vitouš into beekeeping and the even built those beehives together, he saw some baggage there, and he said he suspected something was going to happen. I know he left some lard there that day. I don't know if he ever talked about it with Mr. Vitouš, I still don't know that, and we never asked. When the War ended, life changed completely. [František Vitouš and Stanislav Procházka] were great friends, we used to go there for tree stumps and ross and fagots. They were friends and daddy kept a lot of bees, like I said, and he kept them up at 'Na Vostrý' [the gamekeeper's lodge]."

  • "It's been so many years, and I'm so old now, but I can still clearly remember the horror I felt on the night before the 16th of June 1944, when the German army marched past our house. How that whole big platoon marched along, or whatever it was, however many soldiers there were, but it was a long long column, six men wide I think. Such awful noises, in the dark, those ironshod boots of theirs striking against stone... And all the time these orders barked in German, they were so terrible, it was revolting. There were several officers there. Apparently they were lost or something, that's why they were passing by us. We were staring through the window blinds, the blinds were made out of blankets, so we were pressed against the peekholes, looking into the dark. The sound of those ironshod boots was really horrifying."

  • "I rode there some three times before he came to us. It was always some message for him. Either my daddy sent him a message, or I was supposed to tell him that the gendarmes said this or that, or, and this was the main thing and what I always told him, that is, what we had found out [about his family], where Mrs. Vitouš is and what happened to the girls. There was this Mr. Vala in Svatobořice, and he passed on our letters to Věrka, that is Mrs. Doleželová. The first thing I wrote to them, was that daddy is alive and mummy is alive. They found that out from me. The girls [the daughters of František Vitouš, Věra and Božena] once wrote back, Věrka sent this scrap of paper to her daddy. Well, that was a disaster, because the letter began 'Dear Daddy'. So when I rode to Myslibořice to see Mr. Vitouš, my Daddy himself told me: 'Look, you have to put this scrap of paper into your sock, in your shoe, there's no other way you can take that.' I had a book with me, as if I was visiting my auntie. A true enough, just by the forest on the road to Myslibořice, two soldiers stopped me. One of them actually held my bike, I had to give the other one my handbag and he tipped everything out on to the ground, on to the road. I was wearing a short little paletot coat and I even had to turn my pockets inside out, all the way out. They didn't search the socks. But I can tell you I was pretty scared."

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    Jaroměřice nad Rokytnou, 28.12.2006

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    duration: 44:52
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“Our patriotism was enourmous, the love for our nation, our Republic. We were willing to die for the Republic. That is how it honestly was.”

vlasta
vlasta
photo: archiv pamětnice

Vlasta Kočí was born on the 13th of April 1928 in Jaroměřice over Rokytná. Her father, Stanislav Procházka, was a blacksmith. Her mother’s name was Marie. She was the youngest of three sisters. During the Second World War, her father was active in the resistance, a member of the group Lenka-south. Vlast Kočí functioned as a go-between, she passed on various messages and helped cache weapons. Her father hid the renegade gamekeeper František Vitouš, who was in turn wanted for hiding three paratroopers. Vitouš hid with various people, but the longest stay, from September 1944, was at Stanislav Procházka’s.