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Forced Labourer from the Region Prostějovsko

28. 5. 2021

In Určice in the Prostějov region, Mr. Lošťák's family showed us pictures and official materials from the deployment in Norway.

Here we bring a biographical medallion of Mr. Lošťák and a sample of period sources, from Norway and later from Czechoslovakia.

Lošťák Jaroslav (1922 - 2001)

Jaroslav Lošťák was born as the youngest of three children of a tailor's family in Určice. He studied at the Business Academy in Prostějov. He was sent to forced labor in Norway in the autumn of 1942. At first he worked for Sager & Woerner, later he was assigned to the tailor's workshop of the Organisation Todt's equipment center in the Strinda camp in Trondheim.

After a year of commitment, he got home on vacation. He decided not to return and hid. After his discovery, he was imprisoned for several months in Prague at Ruzyně, and then sent to a military court in Berlin. After serving a three-month sentence, he was sent back to Norway in early 1944. At the end of the war, he was released from service for health reasons. On the way home, he experienced air raids and bombings in April 1945.

Delighted that he survived the hardships of war, and with faith in building a new society, he joined the Communist Party upon his return home. After the war, he started working as a miner in the mines in Ostrava, later he worked in the clothing industry in Prostějov, and he worked as a tailor until he retired. The post-war reality disappointed him greatly, especially the events of the 1950s. "How can Czechs do this to Czechs?" He said then. In 1962, he was drawn on a trip to the Soviet Union, from where he returned completely disappointed with the conditions there. He left the Communist Party in 1968 and, as a result, his children had difficult access to education. After 1989, his former employer apologized to him for the approach he had encountered since 1968.

In 1947 he married Jarmila Pospíšilová. They raised two daughters together, Lidia and Jaroslav. He lived his whole life in Určice near Prostějov. Descendants live today in Určice, Prostějov, Hradec Králové and also in Slapy.

He found friends in Norway with whom he had corresponded for a long time after the war. He also kept in touch with friends from forced labor. In the 1960s, he even considered moving to Norway with his family.

Source: Family Archive, Určice u Prostějova.

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