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Jaroslav Čermák (1929 - 2011)

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"The doctor said: 'He'll manage. What year were you born in?' - 'Twenty-nine.' - 'Is this your first wound?' - 'No, I served already, during the war.' - 'He'll survive, he lives on a lucky planet.' And I survived everything. Even jail."

Jaroslav Čermák is a man of many fates. During the war he hid in the Jura mountains with French partisans, the Maquis, he took part in the liberation of Czechoslovakia, fought in the Foreign Legion, escaped twice into exile, was twice convicted by Czechoslovak courts, returned to Czechoslovakia twice again. He was born in Odolena Voda, near Prague. His father left for Poland at the beginning of the war and joined with partisans in Slovakia, his mother was arrested by Nazis for aiding the resistance. Čermák was taken to a juvenile reformatory in Germany, near the French border. He escaped with several other boys, together they joined the French partisans in the Jura mountains. At fourteen years of age he completed his first combat training, and with false papers, making him two years older than he really was, he got his first engagement. He fought with the French Maquis also in Normandy during the D-day landings, he took part in the liberation of Paris, he accompanied the French all the way to the Austrian town of Linz. From thence he apparently continued, with Czech and Polish legionaries, and reached Cheb, and at the beginning of May also Prague, before any other Allied units. After the war he signed on to the Foreign Legion, serving in various corners of the French colonial empire, he fought in the Korean War and in Vietnam. In 1953 he was stationed at the Czech-German border, where he was kidnapped by Czechoslovak authorities. He spent thirteen years in Leopoldov and Mírov, after his release he emigrated West. He married a Czechoslovak emigrant and returned to Communist Czechoslovakia in the Seventies, gaining legal residence and at the same time, as he claims, working for the French intelligence services.


Jaroslav Cermak dans les années 50
Jaroslav Cermak dans les années 90
Jaroslav Cermak dans les années 90
Jaroslav Cermak sur la cérémonie d'anciens combattants
Jaroslav Cermak en 2008
Document à partir de la Légion étrangère

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