Jaroslava Sobotíková

* 1937

  • "I was going with Anna in a stroller, my son was holding on to it, and he had a machine gun in his other hand. It was a child's one, a red one, and the rest was black. An armoured personnel carrier was driving towards us, it was 1968, and there were two Kyrgyzstanis sitting on it, young soldiers. Now my boy let go of the stroller, took the machine gun and pointed it at the transporter. The turret of the transporter started turning on my pram and on my boy. So I ripped it out of his hand, stepped on it, and I yelled at the boys, 'Igrushka!' [toy] They didn't know what he had. They calmly pointed an armored personnel carrier with a machine gun at the kid. That's when I was shaking like that. You didn't hear anything else on the radio at that time, except that a twelve-year-old girl was shot in Brno, a boy was shot there... We were still living in terrible terror. And then I was offered to join the [Communist] Party, which I refused. Then I had a record at the district to stop all promotion, and I was the regional, district and Příbor methodologist. I even had thirty inspectors in my classroom."

  • "The village had its own library before the war, and my grandfather was mayor until the war started. In 1938, Příbor was unified. There were about two thousand books in the library. In 1943, it was ordered that the books were to be taken to the front of the town hall, where the Hitlerjugend would burn them. My grandmother was very upset about this. She took various magazines and newspapers from the attic, piled them on a cart, and we went with them to the front of the town hall. There they were prancing around in those white knee socks, I don't remember anything else but those knee socks and those leather German trousers of those Hitlerjugend. They had white shirts, but they were all dirty from the fire. My grandmother told me not to even look at them and hurried to get confirmation that we had brought the books there and had them burned. And then we moved that library of two thousand books into the house."

  • Full recordings
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    Příbor, 24.01.2019

    duration: 01:45:01
    media recorded in project The Stories of Our Neigbours
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Masaryk and Beneš will hang here until the Germans leave

Jaroslava Sobotíková, née Sasínová
Jaroslava Sobotíková, née Sasínová
photo: Witness´s archive

Jaroslava Sobotíková, born Sasínová, was born on 4 November 1937 in Příbor. After the Munich imposed agreement, the town became part of the occupied Sudetenland, although the Czech population was predominant. The family lived in the local part of Véska, and the grandparents were involved in public life. Her grandmother ran the local library, and when the Nazis ordered Czech books to be burned, she handed over only part of them and kept many titles in the family home, which the family then secretly lent to people. Jaroslava describes other problems of everyday life under the Nazis. After the war, Jaroslava studied at the grammar school in Nový Jičín and later from the Faculty of Education in distant study. She taught at primary schools and also worked as a methodologist, but her career was limited by the fact that she refused to join the Communist Party. After the Velvet Revolution, she became a deputy head teacher and received several awards for her lifetime of teaching.