Miloslav Bláha

* 1927

  • "They were sitting opposite to me, and my wife then asked the warder if she could give me our son to hold. He didn't speak the whole time and I never heard him speak because he was three months old when I left home. He was bigger then, he was almost five years old. So, my wife handed him to me across the table, which the warder surprisingly allowed. My son was sitting on my lap, I put a gift discreetly into his pocket - a decorative bag made of toothpaste. Then, he looked up at me so admiringly and suddenly he spoke for the first time, 'Daddy, come to our house too.' That was the first time I heard him speak. Then the visit ended. And then I had another visit, which was requested by my sister from Tachov. She was there with my aunt. I only saw them through a window for ten minutes. She handed me an apple, I put it into my pocket. The visit ended, the window slammed, and the warder told me to give him the apple. So, I handed it to him, he cut it in half, and only then did he return it to me. So those were the visits. So that you know what it was like regarding those visits.”

  • "We have our own special menu. It is known that Adventists don't eat pork. It is biblically impure for us. I will not talk about the fact that beef is healthy, it is for rheumatism and I can eat it. That has nothing to do with it. However, we hardly ever had beef. When it was pork, I left my lunch to others. I took cabbage with dumplings and the others were glad they got the meat. Regarding the other things, the advantage in Jáchymov was that we were given bread per the room, according to the number. We each sliced what we ate ourselves. We got along with it, thank God. Otherwise, we were given so-called dog biscuits there, with which I enriched my menu. Otherwise, we had enough coffee, it was still there. We could pour it into a bottle and take it to the mine. We always got diarrhea from the water, but we still cooked from it. It was radioactive and it flowed directly from a well near our house. People from the whole camp were going there for it. So, I can say that somehow I went sort of well with my diet there."

  • "What was your opinion on the Communist ideology as an Adventist, as a Christian?" - "Communist ideology is biblical. In order for all people to be well, everyone worked as they should. It is biblical to work and earn your bread and not owe anything to anyone. To lend, to give, to give away, to sacrifice, that is the true communism. The first Christians, they were not Adventists, it was the general church. Catholic, that's general. In the Bible we read in the Acts of the Apostles that they had all things common, giving their goods and giving to those who did not have anything. So that's something beautiful. When the Communists came up with the idea that people would push buttons and have a good time and the bread would be free, we took it with doubt, but the idea as such is not bad in itself. The bad thing is how one gets there. The way they did it was something else." - "So, you weren't strongly against communism?" - "I wasn't against communism before I started getting to know them myself. At my parents´ place, when the communists came there, they made a mess there and threw out even these Bible books. Then they were in trouble.”

  • "It was Christmas. We also had carp in Elias back then. There were twenty-five of us in the room, I came among the last. I brought my share of a carp in a tin box. Everyone was sitting at a long table, and I wondered why weren´t they eating? And there came Mr. Tomeček, who procured the New Testament, he was a sincerely believing Catholic, an excellent man. He turned to me and said, 'Well, Mr. Blaha, and now it's up to you.' I said, 'What's up to me?' He said that it was the Christmas Eve. But I don't celebrate Christmas. Everyone knew that Christ was born, even the Communists, because we still write before and after Christ. But I just want to say that I don't celebrate Christmas, but I do not want to take it away from anyone. So, it was up to me to say something, because he looked at me like at a pastor, he saw me that way. So, I said what it means, why the birth of Christ and what happened then. And then I said, 'Families are meeting together now, we each have our family at that table, and maybe most of you remember praying. So, what would you say if we all prayed the Lord´s prayer together? 'So, they said the prayer with me.”

  • "I came, my wife's father opened the door. She lived only with him and they lived only on what her father earned. My wife had to take care of our little boy." - "Were they waiting for you? Didn't they know they would let you go?” - “They didn't know. And I came in with the father. The wife has not slept yet. A big surprise! I had to report in the morning, but I took the boy, who was over five years old then, with me, I bought him a toy car, a bigger one, a truck, made of wood. He was overjoyed because my wife couldn't buy him even a pastry roll or clothes. I later asked her how she was doing with the money. We lived on the grandfather's salary, he worked in Tesla as an auxiliary worker in a screw factory, where he didn't earn much. She replied, 'I won't tell you today. But all I can tell you is that I always found as much money as I just needed. And in the places where I never put them before.´ How they got there is a mystery to her. But I remembered the biblical story of how Jesus nourished Elias. And no one will convince me that miracles do not happen today, that it is not possible."

  • "I came there, I reported as an obedient soldier, and he yelled at me, 'What are you thinking, I have talked to you about this and I am ordering you to take the shift. Repeat my order´ I repeated the order and then he asked me if I would go. I said I couldn't. So, he had me taken to prison. I went from Horní Suchá to Orlová at night, at about ten o'clock. Someone took me there with a submachine gun. We came there and they put me in a concrete room below the ground level. There was only one window or two, barred, without glass. Such a cellar room. There was concrete on the ground and nothing else. I asked how I should be there when there was nothing. They said they would not prepare bed for me now. There was no blanket, nothing. I remembered my dad telling me that when I was cold, it was better to take off what I had and put it on me. So, I took off my shoes and I put them under my head. I took off my jacket and I threw it over myself, and lay down on the concrete. And I stayed like that until the morning."

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    Praha, 19.03.2018

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    Pardubice, 02.10.2018

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The communist idea is at its core biblical, but the way the communists wanted to fulfill it was evil

Miloslav Bláha in 2016
Miloslav Bláha in 2016
photo: Lukáš Žentel

Miloslav Bláha was born on June 1, 1927 in Svitávka in Blansko district into the family of the carpenter Jan Bláha and his wife Žofia. They had five children. The family was believing and professed the Catholic Church, but in the early 1930s the parents converted to the Seventh-day Adventist Church. The witness graduated from a two-year business school and then worked at the Krejcar grain company in Jevíčko, where a promising career awaited him. However, due to his mother’s illness, he returned home and took over her trade with his father - they produced and sold toys and other goods at fairs. In 1946, he was baptized in the Seventh-day Adventist Church, which asked him to study preaching two years later. He graduated from the School of Biblical Studies in Prague in 1950 and then he worked in Hradec Králové. In 1951, during the persecution of the church, he resigned from his position under pressure and went to work in Tesla. In 1952 he joined the military service in the Technical auxiliary battalion in the so-called parish company. There he manually worked in various parts of the republic. As an Adventist, he celebrated Saturday and he was able to change services so that he would not have to work on Saturday. However, when he was taken to Ostrava to work in the mines, there were problems with the observance of Saturday, and he was twice brought before a military court for refusing to work on that day. He was first sentenced to one year in 1953, but he was released after four months due to amnesty. After returning to the working company, however, he immediately found himself in the same situation and received a six-year sentence in the Jáchymov mines. He was released in 1956 after three and a half years, of which he spent the last half year in Mírov. At that time, he had a wife and a six-year-old son at home. He returned with poor health, he was working in the labor professions all the time, and only in 1968 could he return to preaching. In 1969 he was ordained a priest. He was the secretary of the Czech Seventh-day Adventist Association in the years 1970-1983. He still worked as a priest on Saturdays even though he was already retired. He is married and has two sons.