Václav Martínek

* 1928  

  • "We received from Czechoslovakia from my mother's parents, that is, from my grandfather and grandmother, they always sent us a book for Christmas. And amongst those I once got a book for Christmas called Emil Holan: A spark, that conquered the world. And was written for young people about electrical engineering. And I was so intrigued because there were various instructions, experiments, etc. None of that worked for me, because I couldn't get the parts anywhere at the time. But I just enjoyed it and I was very interested. And somehow, a friend and I got interested in class to study electrical engineering. My Dad, because he succeeded in music, and not to forget I still have a brother five years younger, so as soon as we started going to school at the age of six, he let us teach playing violin. It was the easiest musical instrument to achieve. So we practiced, at first we were quite annoyed I remember that. It's much harder to be able to play a song than for example piano. It takes much longer to achieve that. The first years we played out of curiosity, but then it really annoyed us to practice and we didn't want to do that anymore. But Dad pushed us and said, 'Look, with music, you can travel all over the world. The notes are the same all over the world. So you can manage anywhere as long as you know the music.'"

  • "We didn't know much about the guerrillas, because no newspapers wrote it, the Germans didn't write about them. But it was known that it was very strong in illegality, that the guerrilla units were very strong and that Tito was leading them. So we as young people of the age of fourteen or fifteen, so we were all enthusiastic about young people, because he became such a model of resistance to fascism, and secondly, he spoke out for the equality of all nations, which was also important, and for social justice, which was even more important. To keep all people gradually... not to be poor in short."

  • Full recordings
  • 1

    Praha, 15.11.2018

    (audio)
    duration: 01:36:32
    media recorded in project The Stories of Our Neigbours
Full recordings are available only for logged users.

With music into the whole world

Playing violin in 1930s
Playing violin in 1930s
photo: Archiv V. Martínka

Engineer Václav Martínek was born on July 4, 1928 in the village of Vršac in the former Yugoslavia, today’s Serbia. His father and mother were of Czech origin. He experienced the Nazi attack on the then Yugoslavia and the liberation in 1944. He graduated from high school. In 1946 he went to Czechoslovakia to continue his studies. He studied electrical engineering. Later started working at ČKD Kolben Daněk and he remained in the company until his retirement. He also worked after retirement, for example as a guide at the Old Town Hall and graduated from the University of the Third Age. He has also devoted his entire life to music.