Vladimír Záleský

* 1928  †︎ 2021

  • "Transports went through, they were going to Vysoké Mýto. I worked for Mr. Bárta. We were making bread, we took out a crumb and made such a star out of it - a four-corner star. We had sharpened nails without heads and a nail was inserted into each corner. No matter how you threw it one corner always stood up. This is how it was done and there was a nail in each (corner). We had it in our pockets and we walked from Lány to the city, and we always threw a couple of those four-corner stars out of our pockets on the road. And they (the Germans) drove cars and as their tires were punctured, they had to stop. We didn't even realize that we were actually risking our lives, that we could be shot if they found out. We were glad that they stopped, because the transport could no longer go. They moved into another car and went on and on. And again, we threw a couple of the bread stars in there, and they couldn't figure out what it was. Bárta made the bread then. A transport went around the boys' school up to the chateau, I think it was the Russian Liberation Army. Bárta put the bread on an open cart. He cut the cones into 10 cm pieces and left it together. He told me to drive around the transport all the way up until it is empty. The Germans went from the other side with the guns and no one shot me. Those (prisoners) took it, stole it from my cart. I came to the castle, and I had no more bread. So, I helped them by giving them food. They wore shoes, they didn't even have laces, they just shuffled their legs. They were really poor."

  • "They talking about how they announced in Svobodná that President Novotný was supposed to steal a camera or something in Japan, that it would be a scandal. I said I heard that too. And they blamed me for saying it - someone said it. So, I got up on the political floor, and there they told me that the director took me off the press, and put me in to pucárna, and I had 500 crowns less. Even though it wasn't true, I didn't say it, I just nodded that I heard it. So, I was punished for it. My daughter then wanted to go to study languages. She went to Ústí to a secondary grammar school and wanted to go to study languages. However, then she didn't get into there. The headmaster told me that she was a linguistic type and spoke well, but that she couldn't study there because I was found unreliable. The street committee that consisted of some grandmothers who went there, they confirmed it. So, she didn't get any further."

  • "I don't like Zdeněk Nejedlý very much because during the communist era, when he came there, I was already at home from school and I was with my parents when he was there. There was such a large space downstairs for the school caretakers, and he was there talking to teachers and some gentlemen. Then he left, bent and gray. There was such a long house opposite the school, and he lived in that house. If he was born there, I don't know, I just know that he lived in that house, he went there. And then Anton (a police vehicle intended for the transport of detained or imprisoned persons) came and some communist Gestapo came and they picked up Beneš teachers there. They were two teachers - František and Josef, the directors of Cask. Who else was there? Mr teacher Opletal and Mrs teacher, her name was Pepina, I don't know her name anymore. And so they picked them up, because they were Sokol members and they were probably not communists, so they went after them…"

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    Hradec Králové, 27.08.2019

    duration: 01:41:37
    media recorded in project Příběhy regionu - HRK REG ED
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The street committee made a decision: I was found unreliable

Vladimír Záleský, 1952
Vladimír Záleský, 1952
photo: archive of the witness

Vladimír Záleský was born on July 14, 1928 in Litomyšl. His father Emanuel Záleský (1901–1950) was a school care-taker at a boys’ school, where they also lived. His mother Emilie was helping the father. He had three siblings: Emilia (1921), Emanuel (1929) and Zdenka (1931). He witnessed the visit of President T. G. Masaryk to Litomyšl in 1932 and, as a little boy, he took part in the filming of the movie Filosofská historie. In 1942 he started learning to be a baker at František Šponar´s place in Litomyšl. Towards the end of World War II, as a prisoner of war transport passed through the city, he and his friends gave the prisoners bread. It is also said that he harmed German soldiers by puncturing the tires on their cars. After the communists came to power, he witnessed Zdeněk Nejedlý’s visit to the school and the subsequent arrest of teachers. He worked in bakeries in Svitavy and joined the military service in 1950 - he served as a radio operator on the border with Austria. After the military service he worked in bakeries in Česká Třebová, in 1955 he married Božena Jankovská (1929–2005) and they moved to Česká Třebová. In 1955 their daughter was born, in 1962 their son was born. He was briefly employed at the Dukla Mine, just at the time of the mining accident in 1961. He then joined Armaturka Česká Třebová. At work, he and his daughter were bullied by the communists. His daughter who could not study the chosen field. He died March 27, 2021.