Jaroslava Stoklasová

* 1935

  • "My father was a member of the National Socialist Party and the Communists did these meetings where you had to approve of the punishment for Milada Horáková. And my father said he didn’t agree with it and didn’t vote for it. This was the reason why he was immediately released from duty and had to leave his office job at the Post and Savings Bank. And he had to find a manual job and be a wage worker. As nobody wanted to hire him, he was happy he finally got to work at ČKD. And he always said he was happy being among the workers, because he never felt as good as with ordinary people, manual laborers who were very civil and dependable. If not for his bad health, he would be happy there."

  • "My grandfather who owned the hotel was already dead in 1948. He died during the war, so it was only his children who endured the Communist persecutions and had all their property confiscated. My uncle had a business and the hotel was nationalized. Well, they didn’t nationalize it officially, they just took it away from us. Maybe they set up something like national administration for it, I don't know. My dad was an office worker and had nothing to do with it really, but he was persecuted as well for political reasons. He was a National Socialist and everybody who didn’t agree with the Communists was bad and an enemy of the regime. My father lost his health over it. He was sacked from his job and forced to do hard labor he couldn’t endure physically. Finally, he collapsed both physically and mentally. Then my mum had to start a worker job because she was the daughter of a shop owner and the wife of a persecuted office worker. So she had to go to a factory and work manually – make transformers at the Křižík factory."

  • "The presiding judge in court where I worked bothered me and wanted me to be his informant. When I refused, I had to leave the job." – Did you face any sort of discrimination due to leaving? – "I don’t know, because you never learn about these things. I never saw what they wrote in my "background assessment" because when the Russian occupants came, the local people destroyed it all. Whatever there was left from old times was not there anymore. They gave us everything back after the Velvet Revolution, but I never got to know what they had written about me."

  • "My family lost everything after 1948 and struggled to survive. My grandparents had passed away before the communists took power, but my dad was fired from his job. He was persecuted because he didn’t agree with the capital punishment for Milada Horáková. When they voted on it, he was the only one of his office who didn’t approve of the punishment. He had to start working as a blue-collar immediately. He got to work at ČKD and was lucky enough to work with bricklayers and be a helper. But then he got a heart attack, and then a second and a third one, after which he passed away at age fifty eight. Sure, we had some heart problems in the family, but how they treated him must have precipitated it. When he was sacked, it disappointed him even more that all the hard work he had done at the office for all those years was forgotten in an instant."

  • "I remember when Gestapo searched our home once, maybe because some of the neighbors reported us. People would come, even from as far as Prague, to local farmers to get something to eat, because you couldn’t live well with what the food tickets alone provided. My grandfather had a shop and we had a reserve of the basic food such as sugar, corn and flour that we took home, which was strictly forbidden. Some of our neighbors must have seen us bringing it home and told somebody. So the Gestapo came to search our home. Fortunately, they didn’t find anything, because we had a secret pantry hidden behind our library. When the Gestapo came, my mum said, excuse me, I have to take care of my child, and she ran to the library and pushed it to the wall so that nobody could see the secret door. We were really lucky because had they found it, it would be really bad for us. But we had pots of lard and flour in our pantry (we had two pigs in the yard), and they stole that. Those were not the kind of things that would get you to jail, but had they seen a bag of flour, it would be bad."

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    Horní Počernice, 09.07.2012

    duration: 01:18:04
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My father was persecuted because he didn’t support the death penalty for Milada Horáková

At age twenty
At age twenty
photo: Rodinné album

Jaroslava Stoklasová was born on October 27, 1935 in Horní Počernice. Her grandfather owned a grocery store through which he was providing his family with basic food such as sugar and flour. This used to be severely punished at the time. Somebody from their neighbors probably reported it to the police because the Gestapo came unexpectedly to their house for a search. Thanks to a secret pantry that her mother managed to cover with a sliding library at short notice, the Gestapo didn’t find anything. Her mum knew Mrs. Kodlová whose family was hiding Kubiš’s and Gabčík’s parachutes. They later brought them out in a coffin and buried them in a grave after the assassination of Heydrich. However, someone must have reported them and the whole family was executed. After 1948, the Communists confiscated all the family businesses. The grocery store was taken away from them completely, and the other grandfather’s inn, the well-known U Čelikovských, was placed under forced administration of the Communist officials. Technically speaking, the family still owned the place but the officials made all decisions about operations and repairs etc. The only thing that was left to them was the mortgage loan for the inn which they still had to repay. Still, the place became the venue for some important cultural events. In 1975, Václav Havel’s Beggar’s Opera was performed there by the actors of the Na Tahu Theater. Sadly, the main supporting beam in the dance hall was damaged in 1985 during the installation of a giant red Communist star for a ball and the hall was not accessible to the general public until 1989. The family got the building back in 1989, but it was in such a state of disrepair by then that they eventually sold it. Despite the nationalization of the shop, Mrs. Stoklasová’s father was still able to support his family thanks to his job with the Post and Savings Bank. However, he lost the job once he refused to commend the death penalty for Milada Horáková. He was immediately dismissed and had to find a manual job. He worked at ČKD. Due to the hard labor, he suffered three heart attacks, and passed away as a result of the third and last one at 58 years old. Jaroslava Stoklasová experienced the Communist despotism in Poděbrady where she worked in court. The presiding judge started to ask her to report on her colleagues. This was the last drop in the increasing atmosphere of fear that made her leave the job and get a job at the Fruta food processing plant.