Private First Class (ret.) Jiří Mišura

* 1927  †︎ 2004

  • "It was sometime in the evening. They said we should dig ourselves in. So we took our spades and started to dig a trench. And suddenly I felt something scratch me. It started to burn. It was dark, I couldn't see. But I saw it in the morning - my sleeve was completely torn and I was scratched here on the arm. I was only scratched by the shrapnel, but it tore up my whole sleeve." (Q: "Did you hear an explosion beforehand?") "I didn't hear anything at all." (Q: "So it just came flying along from nowhere?") "I don't know. It must have come from somewhere."

  • "Then they signed us onto the train and we were off to Kamianets Podilskiy. Our whole army was camped there, Svoboda's army." (Q: "Did you go far?") "We did! We journeyed two days to get there, because the trains weren't allowed to stop in the stations overnight. They always had to move out into the fields somewhere, so the planes couldn't bomb them. And now we were out of coal, so we had to stop by a forest and get some wood in, just to be able to reach Kamianets Podilskiy."

  • "I was a witness to what happened in Lupanín, where the Ukrainians - they were the police under the Germans, mostly - invited the Jews. The commander of the German police invited one Jew, took out a bullet and said: 'We'll give him a fright!' They lived not far from us. I was friends with their boys, so I saw it happen. They took out the bullet and taped it with paper instead, and the Jew, Rachmil, as he was turned with his back to them, they took a rifle and shot at him. His coat caught fire from the gunpowder, made a hole this big. He legged it like..."

  • "We weren't in Slovakia yet. It was on Polish territory. Krosno, or what was it called, I can't remember. Dukla was surrounded - not seized, just surrounded. They said that the Germans were firing at it. It was some sort of Russian hospital. Shells were falling all around it, by the windows and so on. They surrounded them there, they let it be just like that and drove on." (Q: "Did you get to Krosno straight from Romania, Bessarabia?") "We reached Poland, Krosno, from Bessarabia. Then they pulled us back from the Polish sector to Dukla Pass. That was already Slovakia. They pulled us back and we had to push through Dukla Pass." (Q: "So you didn't fight at Krosno? You were just camped there?") "No, we were already fighting. We were at the battlefront. We had our sector and we went on recon like normal. We did recon with our weapons. There were orders on how we should do it."

  • "Then there was this one time we set out early in the morning. There was this little stream there, and behind the stream - Germans. They had their rifles lying over the trenches, and they were snoring away. So we rushed them, lobbed our grenades into their trenches, and before the Germans recovered their senses, we were already legging it down the stream."

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    Velemín, 18.06.2003

    (audio)
    duration: 01:20:15
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
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“Mortars - those were the worst of weapons. We didn’t like them.”

Jiří Mišura
Jiří Mišura
photo: Soukromý archiv pamětníka

Jiří Mišura was born on the 11th of January 1927 in the Czech village of Mirotín in Volhynia. He learnt to be a tailor. Until the Soviets came, he led quite a peaceful life under the German occupants. In April 1944 he joined the Red Army and underwent training in Zdolbunov. In May of the same year he signed up to the Czechoslovak military unit, where he stayed to the end of the war. He served first as a signaller, but due to hearing problems he was transferred to mechanized reconnaissance. He fought on Polish and Slovak territory, took part in the liberation of Czechoslovakia, and was wounded twice. After the war, in 1946, he was demobilized and given an offer by the state to take over a farm left empty after its German inhabitants were expelled. He accepted. He settled down in Velemín in the Litoměřice district, where he lives to this day. In 1948 he married the Volhynian Czech Emílie Slepičková, who he had already known from pre-war times. He farmed his own land up until 1952, when he was indirectly forced to join a united agricultural co-op (JZD). He worked there until his retirement.