My comment on Dana Zatopkova obituary, The Times, March 28 2020.
Earlier comments indicate lack of understanding of what Communism is and the extremely important role played by sportsmen and sportswomen as functionaries of Communist regimes. Communism, like Nazism, is a program of ruthless elimination of people classified as the Other. Who belongs to that category depends on ideology and decisions of the managers of terror. The death to the Other is delivered in various forms, social death being the most common, often accompanied by physical death.
Careers in all spheres of life without exception are reserved for those serving the Communist criminal state. Emil Zatopek served that criminal state with dedication. His career flourished.
Winning Olympic medals does not make anyone a hero. You may be a hero and a person worth praising depending on who you are as a person and depending on choices you make.
It is useful to put things in perspective by comparing Emil Zatopek and his wife Dana to Janusz Kusociński, the Polish runner who won the gold medal in the 10k race at the Olympics of 1932 in Los Angeles.
After the German aggression on Poland in September 1939 Kusociński participated in the defense of Warsaw and was wounded twice. When the German occupation began, he quickly joined an underground military resistance organisation Wilki, the Wolves in English. This was one of the first underground organisations in occupied Poland, perhaps even the first one. It was founded in September and October 1939. As a result of denunciation, Kusociński was arrested by German Gestapo in March 1940, imprisoned and tortured. He was executed by the Nazis on June 21 1940 in Palmiry in a forest west of Warsaw.
When Kusociński joined the resistance, the Communist Soviet Union was an ally of Nazi Germany, having participated in the aggression on Poland in September 1939. Zatopek himself was a Communist and joined the Communist army after WWII. He also signed a despicable public letter condemning Milada Horakova, Czech female lawyer who was a member of underground resistance under the Nazi occupation and active in the politics after WWII. She was falsely accused by the Communists of a plot to overthrow the Communist regime and was executed by hanging.
My wife’s grandfather, Aleksander Głuchowski, was not a sportsman. He was a violinist and an officer of the Polish army in 1939. At about the time when Kusociński was executed by the Nazis, Aleksander was a POW in the Soviet Union in the infamous Kozelsk monastery, where several thousands of Polish officers were held earlier before being transported by train to an execution site in Katyń in western Russia. Aleksander was lucky to get out alive from the Soviet Union, and fought later in the Polish forces on the western front. When he returned to Poland in 1947, he was immediately arrested by the Communist secret police and imprisoned. He died in 1952, not long after his release from prison, at the age of 45. 1952 was also the year of the Olympic games in Helsinki, where Dana Zatopkova won gold and Emil Zatopek won three gold medals.
In 1952 my parents and other family members were starving and fighting for survival in Communist concentration camps in the Soviet Union.
This obituary is nothing but a pro-Communist cleansing of memory.