Jaromír Šimkůj

* 1930

  • "These days young people have options, to study, to do everything, and nobody can forbid you from doing anything. Nobody can forbid you from doing, what you want to do. But us, me, at my eighteen years old, was morally destroyed... right at the moment when a person is beginning their life. Communism destroyed me, all the way until eighty-nine I had problems all the time, that I had not joined the party. But why I had problems because of it, I do not know. At that work bureau in Brno back then, who was it, who devalued us like this. Not only me, but also the printers and the barbers, how we could not start doing our trade, but we had to go work in heavy industry. I don't know, who it was, but he insulted my father, who liked photography and pictures, and so wanted for me to go into photography. That landlord told me, that if I was not ashamed of myself. What kind of person was that to have for a father?... he couldn't understand it... He humiliated me like this. Today nobody can humiliate you like this."

  • "I have five children, and so I had to work a lot back then. I painted also some paintings then and some people snitched on me, that I was making money on the side. When I was doing some cottages, I got twenty or thirty crowns. It bothered someone here. The police came, I told them, that I am not selling anything, that I am giving it away. I have these kinds of memories about our people, who snitched on me back then... and it was still something."

  • "We had to go to the bureau of work in Brno. They promised us, that it was a two-year decree, which will then be abolished, when the heavy industry is built, but that was them lying. I then after two years went to the personal department in Adamov, which was ending back then, there was a secretary from Boskovice there, who jumped up and started shouting at me, that comrade, you don't know, that the state abolished, you don't know that... The decree was abolished, and you will work here! And he added, that I was required to build the heavy industry. He also ordered me to do that. And that I have to return to work. I cursed at him. Then they started to watch me more. In the end they found out, that I was an honest worker, and so they wanted to tempt me to join the party. But I told them, that I was apprenticed as a photographer, and that no. And so they immediately said, that I am against them and that was done. I had it all calculated. Immediately I had a lower wage than those, who were in the party. I was already marked."

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    Lhota Rapotina na Blanensku , 01.06.2019

    duration: 02:27:19
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
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Let the future generations not allow a dictatorship like we did

Jaroslav Šunkůj, in his youth, probably 1946
Jaroslav Šunkůj, in his youth, probably 1946
photo: archiv pamětníka

Jaromír Šimkůj was born on the 19th of February 1930. He grew up in Lhota Rapotina in the Blanensko region. As a boy he together with his parents worked for the German war industry. After the liberation he applied his artistic talent in the field of photography. After finishing his education in the year 1948 he had a promising career in a private photography studio ahead of him, but in the meantime the communist party took over the state and so the state decided that he would work in industry. He refused an offer to join the communist party. He worked in the factory in Adamov until the 80s. Only after retiring to his pension could he fully devote his time to his passions of photography and painting. With his wife Aloisie he raised five children. In the year 2019 he still lived in Lhota Rapotína.