"Engineer Emanuel Seliger experienced how the Germans were disposing of our universities in 1939, and they tortured him then. Professor Kořánek would tell us, 'Young men, please don't ask engineer Seliger about the beginning of the war, because he was very much affected after the student demonstrations. When the Germans had the students tortured at Pankrác, they trampled on his genitals. He hated the Germans. And Kořánek used to tell us not to mention it in front of him, because he was affected very cruelly."
"Mum always prayed that Daddy would come back in one piece, because he used to go through the forest, and if he was caught going back... In those villages they paid him in kind for his work - a chicken, half a goose or honey. Thanks to it we were well supplied throughout the war. My mother always used to say: 'I always pray that you wouldn´t meet German patrols in that forest. They wouldn´t handle you with gloves.' And I guess she was right."
"Dad said, 'Keep your eyes on the ground so that we don't get hit, because as they are shooting, something might happen. Keep your eyes on the ground!' But me, [I was] a curious boy, when the Mustang aircraft was flying, they were flying about twenty metres over the railroad and shot a locomotive into pieces. They always flew in pairs. And I was purposefully looking up and I saw a black man for the first time - beautiful white teeth, black face like coal. I saw him grinning and laughing. Towards Česká Třebová they lifted the planes and disappeared. When we got home, my mum used to tell us: 'They could have killed you!' And dad said, 'You know, they can´t hit real men.' I remember that Daddy always took it with a pinch of salt."
At night the engines were roaring in bunkers, by day the sirens were wailing during air raids
Alois Škorpil was born on 19 February 1940 in Kerhartice near Ústí nad Orlicí. His father Alois (1905-1963) was a plumber, his mother Ludmila, née Knapová (1909-1995) was a housewife. He had an elder sister Blanka (1931-1937) and a younger brother Luděk (1942-2014). They lived in a municipal house near the Ústí railway station. During the war, the Germans had bunker testing rooms for aircraft engines in Kerhartice, which made noisy mostly at night. In 1942 Kerhartice merged with Ústí nad Orlicí and from the autumn of 1944 the citizens experienced frequent Allies air raids, as the local German arms production and the station transport junction attracted them. Inhabitants also heard the bombing of Pardubice, 60 kilometres away. After the war, Alois started to go to school, and in 1954 he went to Čáslav to study at the four-year Agricultural Technical School. After graduation he worked as a section agronomist at a machine tractor station (MTS) in Lanškroun, detached workplace Hylváty. There he immediately joined the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia, where he stayed until 1989. In 1959 he started his compulsory military service in Přerov at the airport. Shortly before he finished his service, he had an accident, and he spent eight moths recovering in hospital. After his discharge in April 1962, he lived with his parents in Letohrad. In 1964 he married Jaroslava Faltýsková (1941-2011) and they had two sons together - Luděk, born in 1965, and Alois (1966-2017). In 2021 he was living in Letohrad. His credo was to take life as it is and try to think positive. He died on 25 November 2021.