Jaroslav Losert

* 1933

  • "When I first went there, there were two dead soldiers, I remember one was called Rooster. The ones who were shooting at them had stones laid in the woods to rest their weapons on, and there they waited for the soldier to come at them at gunpoint. That was their insidious plan. I'm surprised they didn't make some sort of raid to catch them. It was still a free-flowing affair. We weren't allowed to talk about it. Then when I went into civilian life, I had to sign a document saying I couldn't talk to anybody about it for a few weeks. I didn't even bring it up at home."

  • "After graduating from NCO school, they told me they didn't have any assignments for me. They put me on guard duty, which was a very bad thing because I was guarding ammunition depots. Terrible things happened there. A lot of soldiers were shot viciously there. It was done by people who hated the regime, so they went there to take revenge on ordinary soldiers. Seventeen of them were shot. The last one had two months to civilian life and his name was Navrkal. I didn't go there when I had to be at the ammunition dump. I stood somewhere behind a tree or somewhere else where I was a little bit covered. Those who did walk paid the price. They were shooting from the nearby woods. They waited there until they got the soldier in their sights and then they fired. That was a tough time. I'm surprised they didn't deal with it. There were no officers there, just ordinary soldiers going around all the time."

  • "My father was the mayor of the village, and when Milada Horáková was executed, he resigned from all the positions he had. Then it happened that they were guarding our house to see if my father was doing any anti-state activities. Someone who was there told him about it. It was interesting."

  • "I didn't even know we had a secret room in our house that had no door. The only entrance was from the kitchen, and that was on all fours. There was no window. The air came through a pipe from the garden. I don't even know what that room was for. But it was used. The Pole Vladek was supposed to go to Auschwitz. He was a prisoner who, together with others, worked at the station in Skrochovice. During the day they worked on the line and at night they were locked in houses like the ones that still stand there. Vladek somehow learned that he was to go to Auschwitz. My father persuaded him to hide with us. For several months he stayed at our house in a secret room behind the kitchen. When the air was clear, so to speak, he could come out of hiding. Sometimes he slept in the living room with us. And when things got bad, he'd crawl back into the hole."

  • "In Loděnice, the Germans hanged two of their soldiers from a tree because they did not want to fight in the war anymore. I saw it with my own eyes, it was a terrible experience. They hanged them in the dark in the place where the big linden trees stood from Loděnice towards Dvor. They chose two trees for this, where they hung for about five days before they took them down and buried their bodies in the bank."

  • "A young man named Hlaváč escaped from forced labour in Germany. At home in Loděnice, they made a hole under the stove where he hid. Across the road lived the German Gross family. Mrs. Gross was going out in the evening just as Hlaváč came out of his hiding place. He must have gone to get food. She saw him there and reported it. Weiss arrived with another man. Hlaváč had a gun and started shooting first. He missed. They shot him and no one was allowed near him. They left him there for half a day dying in great pain."

  • "Miloš Krečmer lived in Loděnice, a grenade tore off both his hands. He was very much focused against the Germans and carried a gun. It was rumoured that he wanted to shoot one of the Germans, but that didn't happen. There was one SS man, Weiss. He was picking out people to go to the concentration camp. For example, two women were arguing with each other about something stupid. One was supposed to borrow something from the other, but she didn't return it. This German mayor, called the biergermeister, came in and sent both husbands to the concentration camp at Auschwitz. They died there."

  • "I remember the arrival of the Germans. They marched through the village, drumming rum - tum - turutututum - I still remember the sound well. And whoever didn't greet them was beaten. People, in order not to have to hail, preferred to hide. It was such a group. I knew them because in our village half of the population was German. So it was quite divided."

  • Celé nahrávky
  • 1

    Opava, 16.10.2023

    délka: 01:19:59
  • 2

    Opava, 30.10.2023

    délka: 01:10:48
Celé nahrávky jsou k dispozici pouze pro přihlášené uživatele.

We hid the Polish worker Vladek behind the kitchen

Soldier Jaroslav Losert, circa 1954
Soldier Jaroslav Losert, circa 1954
zdroj: Archive of the witness

Jaroslav Losert was born on 12 December 1933 in the village of Loděnice (Opava district) to Antonia and Stanislav Losert. In 1938 they moved briefly to Melč. In their native village, the Hitler Youth attacked the Czechs for not propagandizing and the Czech school became German. Jaroslav Losert recalls the shooting of František Hlaváč by gendarme Josef Weiss, as well as the hanging of two German soldiers or the shooting down of an American plane. His father was stationed in France, where he was captured by partisans. Later he hid a Polish worker Vladek at home. The end of the war was without fighting in Lodenice. Czechs bought the houses of local Germans cheaply. Father Stanislav became the mayor of the village, but later resigned. The communists then guarded their house. Jaroslav Losert trained as an electrician and in 1953 he joined the army in Prague. There he shot guns or fired anti-aircraft guns, then guarded ammunition depots in Klánovice. After the military service he worked as an electrical fitter and later as the head of the electrical workshop at the Opava East railway station. In 1960 he married his wife Gertruda Pavlorkova and they moved to Opava. He was living in Opava at the time of filming in 2023.