Jaroslav Cibulka

* 1931

  • "The interesting part was that I was asked to put all my things on the table. Imagine, I didn't know what was in that secret note. Had the police found it, I would have lost that peoples' trust. Things are not so easy in the nick. I took the cups, placed them on the table and suddenly, I felt completely calm. I thought not to panic and unpack it slowly. As it was tied into towels, I untied them slowly, pulled out the cup, placed it next to me, took the secret note and swallowed it down my throat. Shouting ensued. They got to me - the wardens were opening my mouth by force and said they would get it out of me even if they should turn me inside out. I don't know why was it so important for them. Probably, someone had spilled the beans. In the end, two wardens took me to the medical unit and ordered the doctor to apply an shot that would make me puke. It was doctor Krbec there, a great physician who helped many people. But he thought... Prisoners were swallowing various things so as to get to the hospital etc. He thought this was the same case. So I got a shot but nothing happened. I thought all would be well. But then I felt like puking, the wardens placed me on a chair and two steps ahead, there was a sink. When I could hold it no longer, I rapidly got towards the sink and before they pulled themselves together, I swallowed the note for the second time. They ordered Krbec to give me another shot but now he knew what it was about and he refused. He told them to do it themselves if they wanted to take the risk. They didn't feel like it so in the end, they didn't get the note from me."

  • "In the morning, it was already dawn, we had to pass through an open space. There, we met a guard and our trip was over. What could we do. They were policemen, I don't know whether from the camp - they didn't really have the habit of introducing themselves. They tied us up even if they could have also shot us dead - they could just have us pass as shoot us in the backs. But all ended up well and we survived. We were tied up in a way that I was in the middle and both my colleagues were tied to one of my hands. One of the policemen who was angry with guarding overnight or something, was always provoking us. He asked where did we want to flee etc. 'Nobody here in Czechia stands a chance, everyone gets caught.' And so on. As it went on, I got angry and told him: 'I wanted to flee to the Soviet Union - there's prosperity, right?' He showed me some Soviet prosperity. He got so mad that he beat me up as long until I fainted. They brought us back to the camp where they put us on display so that everyone could see there was no way to escape. They also put us individually in the so-called correction. I thought that they'd them come tell us that escaping is bad. But by afternoon, the secret police came in, blindfolded us and brought us to Klatovy."

  • "Everything comes to mind... Since I am a religious person, I didn't see at as tragically as the others did. I simply believed that this would end one day and that I'd make it back home. Of course, I was thinking about my close ones. It was neverending. In fact, many times when I need to think something through and walk in my room, memories of solitary confinement come back. I recall that once I returned home, I would begin running around the kitchen until I realized I didn't have to. These habits took a long time to get rid of."

  • "We were just about to be next in line. I was sitting next to the shaft and was looking for my colleagues. Initially, there were three of us working on the overdig, then they brought in another guy whom we hadn't known at all. So I went to search for the two boys. I arrived to a lamp and saw one of them standing there. There was a railing and before I reached it, I told him that we were about to go down the shaft. To that, he replied: 'Are you going with us?' Immediately, I realized it was meant as a proposal to escape. At that moment, his other colleague was already driving a truck from behind that building. He made it to the main road leading towards the gate and we jumped on. I was the last one to jump and by that time, I was already practically at the gate. The guard was placed on the other side and so they hadn't spotted us running by the car. I jumped on, slammed the door and we passed through the gate. As we were turning on the main road, some fifty meters down, the surprised guard opened fire. The road went by the camp and I recall us passing two watchtowers from which everyone opened fire on us. We were being shot at both from the gate and by the guards in the towers. I recall the bullets hitting the car but they didn't make it through. Later, I learned the car was hit about seventy times."

  • Celé nahrávky
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    Karlovy Vary, 19.07.2018

    délka: 01:23:17
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    Karlovy Vary, 19.07.2018

    délka: 01:53:04
Celé nahrávky jsou k dispozici pouze pro přihlášené uživatele.

To this day I don‘t understand how the politicians could let a party take up arms

Jaroslav Cibulka military service in 1962
Jaroslav Cibulka military service in 1962
zdroj: archiv pamětníka

Jaroslav Cibulka was born on 5 March 1931 in Prague. Since four years of age he lived in Tábor where he attended school, trained in Sokol and after the war, joined the renewed Scout. In 1946 he started an apprenticeship in Prague to become a car mechanic but was transferred to a locksmith vocational school. While in Prague, he also started training Greco-Roman wrestling. For a short time, he worked as a boiler operator in Poldi Kladno. In early 1950s he returned to Tábor, finding a job in the national company Kovosvit in Sezimovo Ústí. At the same time, he entered an underground resistance organisation whose members were preparing for an awaited military conflict between the Soviet Union and the US. In 1951 he was arrested alongside the other conspirators and sentenced to twenty-two years in prison. He served his time in labour camps in the Jáchymov area at uranium mines. Following an escape attempt, he spent six years in the Leopoldov prison. He was released on amnesty in 1960 and shortly thereafter, underwent shortened military service with the Auxilliary Technical Battalions.