Jiří and judaism
Jiří Winter had Jewish roots. He and his mother were the only ones in the family to survive the Second World War. During the war, the Gestapo confiscated all their property, including personal documents and photographs. Childhood photos could not be saved. The first photos were taken by a friend after high school. Jiří Winter was an active participant in the anti-fascist resistance, for which the death penalty was proposed.
In March 1944, the Gestapo came for him, arrested him and later brought him to court. The interrogations took place at the court on Karlov náměstí and Pankrác. The main witness did not appear at the trial, and the judge, who did not want to postpone the proceedings and could not sentence Jiří to death without a witness, reduced the sentence to six years in the Nazi penitentiary. On August 21, 1944, a trial was held in the building of the Straka Academy. In September 1944, Jiří was transported to the Bernau prison by Lake Chiemsee in Bavaria. He spent his sentence in this Bavarian Nazi penitentiary. He was here for nine long months. Nine months of suffering.
Fortunately, the 1st armored vehicle of the US Army entered the camp on 3/5/1945 at 11:45. Just two days later, Jiří Winter, together with two other prisoners, set out on foot for Czechoslovakia. They traveled for only three days when the three-member expedition was intercepted by an American patrol on 8 May 1945, and they were all placed in a camp in Grümer. They were released from it only a month later. They continued their journey on foot to the borders of Czechoslovakia. On 11.6. they arrived in liberated Prague. They were finally home...
After the war Jiří Winter was only reunited with his mother, his father was tortured by the Gestapo during interrogation in Pankrác. The rest of his family perished in the Auschwitz concentration camp. He never talked about this part of his life. Perhaps it was precisely because of his traumatic experiences that his goal throughout his life was to give only laughter. He himself said that the motto: "Don't take life too seriously, you won't get out of it alive anyway!" is his lifelong philosophy that he follows.
Jiří Winter was a member of the Czech Union of Freedom Fighters and a medal holder for anti-fascist resistance. He never bragged about his resistance activity, he didn't publish it anywhere. That is why she is not known.
At the exhibition from the prison, he published drawings and photographs that had never been published before and were unknown even to his closest family and friends.