Jaroslav Komárek

* 1925  

  • “There are periods in human life that one does not like to speak about. I was very disappointed at certain moments, nor because I did something but because I said what I had on my mind. I was degraded from lieutenant to lieutenant colonel. Well, I was not really degraded, the rank was not just awarded to me shortly before it should have been. This was one side of things. The other, well I can say it now, was that I was recently approached by two current intelligence officers, because they browsed through the materials from my past and wanted to check some details from that time. I say frankly, the intelligence service works on, it works in different conditions and every experience is welcome. There are differences, but it is necessary to explain, what the circumstances were when it was recorded. I do not like to speak about it and I would prefer not to go into details. I don’t think it is right. I just say I did nothing wrong, I have a certificate here that I was clean. I never hurt anybody, never did any harm.”

  • “No one could ever complain against me and no one did. When there were checks, when the things turned round as they say, I passed. That is why I asked the Ministry directly to issue a certificate for me that I was not indeed registered in any files, that I was clean. I needed it, because I told myself, you never know. Always when there are changes in the state, when the regime changes, it twists, so I wanted to be certain and I asked for it.“

  • “The end of the war was amazing. I can still remember as it happened only today. There was no longer work, I hadn’t been in my job for about a week. I was just sitting in the goat shed a made a trough, and then I suddenly heard from my neighbour’s, the blacksmith Vavřina’s, radio that there was an uprising in Prague. I sat on my bike and cycled in the city in order to be in the centre of things. Meanwhile someone arrived at my home in a car and I was appointed a connection between Hořice and Jiřice, for some organisation or other. But I didn’t do the job, since I wasn’t home at that time. I saw what was happening in Hradec, I saw what was happening in Hradec, I saw the Germans discarding their things and leaving from Hradec to Plotiště. They were mainly on the airport. They threw away mainly heavy things, sawing machines and stuff like that, to be able to jump in and depart.”

  • “It is difficult to understand if you did not live it through. When you live in an environment where you are nothing, it is as if you did not live. You are nothing, others ignore you. It was not just me but many maids, field labourers and others who were given a farm in the border area and suddenly they could liberate from work, many years of work, they could liberate not just themselves but all of their families, which had toiled for years with a farmer and never saved enough to become independent. Suddenly there was an opportunity for these people to make a free decision. That is why so many people, simple people like me, followed the hope for the better. That is why many people joined the party in this way. I was quite active, worked hard to survive. I did nothing special, no, I just worked hard and I was always average or more than average. I always did my work properly, never cheated. “When did you join the Party?” — “Immediately in 1945, on June 5, 1945.”

  • “It was necessary to survive and live, this is the main principle of every human being. This is the main thing. What good is it to play a hero and be in prison… what good?” — “People who left the army were not arrested, they just went to do a worse job.” — “It’s not about that but why would I leave the army before I was entitled to pension? To start anew after many years?” — “So you had no moral problem with it?” — “I didn’t have. And I will never regret it. This is life, you will learn when you are older. It does not have to be the way it is now, you never know what happens the next day. You live to live, to live for you family, morals never got anyone far, just to the scaffold.”

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    Praha, 27.03.2018

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    media recorded in project Stories of the 20th Century TV
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    Praha, 27.03.2018

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    media recorded in project Stories of the 20th Century TV
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    Praha, 28.03.2018

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My principle was to survive and to live

Jaroslav Komárek, 1945
Jaroslav Komárek, 1945
photo: archiv pamětníka

Jaroslav Komárek was born on February 16, 1952, in Třesovice near Hradec Králové as the older of two brothers. He came from a poor family, his father was a labourer, his mother served on a farm. In 1939 he apprenticed as a locksmith. In June 1945 he joined the Communist Party. In the autumn of the same year he went for the military service, during which he served  as a patrolman and an accountant in the prisoners’s camps for German soldiers in Náchod, Josefov and Jičín. On his return from the military, in 1947, he worked in Škoda Plotiště. In 1950 he joined the army again and as a professional soldier worked in the intelligence of the Czechoslovak Army. In 1954-55 he stayed in Korea as a member of the supervisory committee for repatriation of prisoners. On his return home, he continued to work in the intelligence until 1964. He stayed in the army until his retirement in 1980. As a pensioner he was employed as an economist of Julius Fučík’s theme park in Prague and in 1981-1986, in his position of an accountant, he made several trips to countries of the former  USSR. Jaroslav Komárek is a widower and has lived, for several years already, in the home for war veterans in Prague-Střešovice.