Jaroslav Mojžíš

* 1934  

  • “I remember when the first German units came. Those were just horses and carts, nothing with an engine. We started learning German in the second year of school. And one year, I don’t remember which, carpenters entered our class and built shelves there for us to breed silkworms for the parachutes of the Wehrmacht. Because there was an alley near our house where mulberry trees grew. We brought the berries to the worms. When they cocooned, they took them away and made silk out of them.”

  • “Then the forced collectivisation began. We didn’t like that and we saw the violence inherent in it. So we agreed we’d start a resistance group and we’d fight against them. We didn’t know in what way yet. So we reckoned we’d publish leaflets. But that was a complex matter back then. Nothing was available, there was no way of copying things. The only way we could do it was to get some kind of membrane, engrave the letters by hand, and get some paint. It was all extraordinarily complicated, but we set out to do it even so, to try something. But before we did anything, they cut us short.”

  • “The interrogations were frequent and especially in the night. They’d wake me up. You had to sleep in constant lighting. They always told me to put these glasses on for the interrogation. They were made of felt. You put it on your eyes and they adjusted it so you couldn’t see anything. They brought me to the interrogation room. An unpleasant thing was when they stood you somewhere and watched you. So I’d lean forward slightly and find that I was standing by a wall. The interrogations were constant questions: Who said what? What did he do? What did he want to do? You tried not to say anything. Occasionally, they’d show you the protocol, which stated that he said so and so, even though it was nothing important, but they kept trying to get as much as possible out of you.”

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    Brno, 02.11.2017

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I always said that the Communists should push off, not me

Jaroslav Mojžíš na vojně, rok 1960-62
Jaroslav Mojžíš na vojně, rok 1960-62
photo: archiv pamětníka

Jaroslav Mojžíš was born on 4 June 1934 in Olomouc. He grew up in Kojetín, where his father owned a textile shop. After graduating from grammar school, he and his former classmates planned to publish anti-Communist pamphlets. He did not like that the Communists were nationalising property and forcing people to join agricultural cooperatives. Although the youngsters never actually published any pamphlet and merely spoke of fighting against Communism, they were arrested. The witness was imprisoned from 10 December 1953 to the beginning of 1954, when he stood trial. He was sentenced to seventeen months of prison for the crime of seditious association. He did hard labour in the uranium mines near Jáchymov. His punishment was reduced by two months in the end. He then worked in farming and successfully applied to the University of Agriculture in Nitra. Although he was an excellent student, he was expelled shortly before completing his degree because the school management discovered that he was a former political prisoner. He was only able to hide the fact for so long because he was studying in Slovakia. His past also caused him trouble in finding employment. However, he finally succeeded in completing a veterinary school in Košice alongside his work duties. He was employed as an assistant professor and later worked at the Research Institute of Veterinary Pharmacy in Prague until his retirement.