I see it as my duty to publish this obituary for an unforgettable
soccer player of the “Terezin League” in the ghetto, 1943/44.
Jirka Tesar-Taussig died on July 24, 2010 in Los Angeles* USA (he was born on March 28, 1919).
One of the last and surely best soccer players of the Terezin league left us. Jirka started out before the occupation as goal keeper for DFC Prague. A the time of the Nazi occupation he gave, in the framework of the Jewish community, a soccer course for youth at the “Hagibor” sport grounds; there he trained a number of promising young soccer players for sport in ghetto Terezin.
In the Terezin league he played as a goalie for the “Kleiderkammer” (clothing store) and became for many of us unconquerable. In the Nazi propaganda film, showing the match played on August 26, 1944, the last match played in the courtyard of the Dresden barracks and also the last in the ghetto, Jirka is shown jumping after the ball. In October 1944 we were in Auschwitz. After the war and recuperation from the hardships of the concentration camps he became goal keeper for “Czechia Karlin”.
At that time he was enlisted to the Czechoslovak national teams of soccer and ice hockey and represented that country successfully at important matches, also abroad.
After the regime changed in 1948 he left Prague and immigrated to the USA. He married the figure-skating champion Eliska Havlova; they founded a beautiful family with 3 children and 9 grandchildren, all of them good in various sports. They lived in Minneapolis and only after retirement they moved to California. Jirka was active in sports until his last days – tennis and skiing. We corresponded from time to time and he was also a member of “Beit Terezin” in Israel. He had planned to visit us here but that, alas, did not come about.
I am taking leave from a loyal friend who never forgot the time in the ghetto!
With a sad heart and deep sympathy for Eliska and the children
July 28th, 2010
* - should be San Francisco Area