About Miroslav Rohel
We Remember Miroslav Rohel -- You-Tube video (12 min., sound)
Captain Miroslav Rohel was born in Paskov (near Ostrava) Moravia, Czechoslovakia, one of 5 children, although 2 died shortly after being born. His father František died when Miroslav was 4 years old and his mother Johanna remarried Julius Metz 2 years later, when he was 6. Julius moved into her house on Náměstí #26, helping to raise her 3 young children. For some reason he was never accepted by Františeks siblings and later, even the children were only close to Johannas family. We know nothing about dad's step-dad or his Metz family. In school, one of his early teachers was his uncle Josef Havránek.
Miroslav joined the Czech military school at an early age, Sokol in 1933 and became a Captain Mechanic in the Air force. During WW-II, he was a member of the resistance group “Obran a Národa” and when Captured & after a Trial, he spent 4 years in prison as a Political Prisoner. From abt. May 1943 - May 1, 1945 in Breslau (east Germany at the time) now Wroclaw, Poland and from abt. May 1943 - May 1, 1945 in Straubing, Germany. During a Prisoner Transfer march to Dachau, American planes bombed the Nazis and he escaped. In 1946-1947, he was stationed in Šternberk, Moravia Tank training base. See WW-II articles on Radio Prague; Heroes or cowards?, Liberating Ostrava-Bloodiest WW-II battle on Czech soil and World War II - 60 years on
In 1947, Miroslav noticed a pretty woman Adele "Heidi" Klimesch (age 20) walking in Šternberk few times and one day he knocked on her door and asked if she would be interested going on a date. Adeles father Johann, with sons Arthur and Rudolf left for Montreal Canada in December 1948, after Johanns troublesome encounter with the local Communists. Adele + Miroslav hit it off and were married on January 21, 1950. Thereafter, our family lived at 20 Cš. Armády near the Šternberk hotel. Both our parents worked at Moravia factory image (aka Mora-Top appliance mfg) and while there, co-workers were told "do not to talk to them or you could get in trouble", by the Communists. Our parents knew what the Communist regime was all about and would not compromise their values or join the party, even at a considerable cost to our family. After all, our Dad did not spend 4 years in Nazi jails, just to join the Communists after the war.
In August 1969 (after 1968 Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia) Miroslav (age 55), with his wife Adele and (7) children, escaped Šternberk and the country's Communist system. Waiting for our visa in Vienna, we had a chance to see the German Straubing prison where he was a prisoner, but we were not allowed to go in, as it was now a regular prison. The guard told our father "Be glad you're here on the outside and not inside". We did have a chance to visit Dachau concentration camp with a record of atrocities, none of us could believe.
Miroslav adapted well to his Toronto new home. In 1990, with Adele and his Canadian born daughter Monica, he went to visit his family and home in Czech Republic. Miroslav loved his wife Adele and family, as well as reading, chess, sports and the outdoors. At his 80th birthday celebration in a park by lake Ontario, he dove for the ball - while we played volleyball and performed a head stand.. Miroslav was a good man and is missed by the people that knew him.