MUDr. Pavel Kořínek

* 1943

  • "I remember one visit. I don't know if the name Boža Modrý reminds you of anything. He was the goalkeeper of our hockey team at the time when they won the world championship titles. The communists dispersed them then - the whole team. Several people from that team were locked up. I no longer know what they were accused of. But among them was the goalkeeper of this hockey team, Boža Modrý. And I remember that once or twice we even visited him at the same time as Mr Modrý's family. He had a wife and children. So we had the visit together. It was an oblong room, and there was a cage between us, so the prisoners were in a cage and between us there was a bar. Not a simple one, a kind of a wire net. I suspect two nets, so you couldn't even fit your hand through or something like that. That's where it took place at Pankrác prison. That's what I remember too. We used to go there twice a year. Maybe later we could come even three times a year, for half an hour or twenty minutes, I don't remember that in detail."

  • "I learned some things only after I became an adult. The fact is that initially, things looked very bad with my father. God knows what happened in Žleby. I wouldn't like to judge, but I think it was the situation of the 1950s in Žleby, where they settled conflicts between people in a certain way. Those brothers were accused as accomplices. I think, after learning from my father about how the communist public security investigated were no different from the methods of the Gestapo. I would say: who knows if they weren’t the same people who served the Gestapo in World War II because their methods were exactly the same. To beat someone into confessing to something they never did, I guess not everyone could stand that kind of treatment in custody. Who knows how it was? The fact is that the brothers were executed, both Tomáš and Vladimír. Accused of the murder of some communist functionary. My grandfather, that was the horror- in retrospect, I realize that originally the State Security officers and this whole pack had somehow contrived a situation saying that it was an organized group. Well, and since dad was college educated, smart, had connections and so on, they automatically made him the leader of what they called an anti-state collaborationist rogue group in the service of the Vatican and the American imperialists, who wanted to reverse the gains of the communist revolution of 1948 and restore disorder here. So Dad was truly facing the death penalty then. That was a very dangerous, very unenviable situation."

  • "I remember it a bit because I wanted to go out but I couldn't go out anymore. The nanny Anička was walking towards me, and she was coming back, telling me we can't go out and have to go back. Some men accompanied her. And from that moment, I didn't see my dad again. Dad didn't come back from the hospital, and we weren't allowed to leave the apartment for a week, maybe ten days. It was several days when no one was allowed to go out. Us children, nanny Anička and mom. We weren't allowed to leave the apartment. We were, as I would call it today, under house arrest. We knew he wasn't with us, but we had no idea he had been arrested. As kids, we didn't even think that such a thing could happen. Later, we would still miss dad, and mom would tell us he was in the hospital somewhere and had the Spanish flu. The Spanish flu used to be a very severe disease back then. It killed a lot of people. The awareness was there, so that was kind of an alibi. Mom's argument about why dad isn't with us. Then we understood it over time, but that's how we perceived it at the time."

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    ED Liberec, 19.03.2022

    duration: 02:14:04
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The State Security (STB) was accusing the father of treason. Pray, said the mother to the children.

Pavel Kořínek with his sister Hana and father Otto Kořínek in Ústí nad Orlicí in 1948. Three years later, the father ended up as a political prisoner in a communist prison.
Pavel Kořínek with his sister Hana and father Otto Kořínek in Ústí nad Orlicí in 1948. Three years later, the father ended up as a political prisoner in a communist prison.
photo: Witness archive

Pavel Kořínek was born on November 10, 1943, in Prague. His mother, Emílie Lakomá, came from a wealthy family of a savings bank director in Litovel, where she and her family moved immediately after the birth of her son. His father, Otto Kořínek, was the head doctor and director of the hospital in Ústí nad Orlicí, where he was forcibly transferred from the clinic in Vinohrady during the Second World War and thus had to commute to visit his family in Litovel. After 1948, the communists nationalized the assets of the Litovel family and evicted the grandparents. The Koříneks moved permanently to Ústí nad Orlicí, where father Otto Kořínek was arrested during one of the many political trials of the 1950s and sentenced to three and a half years in prison. The indictment accused him of aiding the emigration of a factory worker Bohuslav Jandera and of participating in anti-communist acts of resistance in Žleby, for which his brothers Vladimír and Tomáš were arrested a year earlier. As part of the ‘Terrorist Action’, both of his brothers were executed. Otto Kořínek got away with a sentence of three and a half years in prison and forfeiture of property, titles and civil rights. The state prevented Pavel Kořínek from studying, so he had to learn to be a television mechanic. He did not get into the longed-for medical school until the loosening in 1964. During the occupation of Czechoslovakia in 1968, he was in practice in Austria, from where he returned despite the closed borders. Since he refused to become a member of the Communist Party, he could not work as a doctor in Prague. Still, he moved to Frýdlant, where he participated in developing a renowned hospital as the head of the anesthesiology and resuscitation department. After the revolution in 1989, he and other doctors privatized the hospital. At the same time, he also became a member of the city council, where he worked for many years. At the time of the interview in 2022, he worked as an emeritus head of the Frýdlant Hospital.