Miloš Blažek

* 1926  †︎ 2019

  • “But that wasn’t everything! Also the following year, 1941 - the regime had already gotten pretty tough by then - we were back at Radětice near Bechyně, and it was registered as a student’s summer work camp. We didn’t sleep in tents like in the previous years, but in a granary. There were beds - straw mattresses - and we weathered it out there. But it was a real Scout camp, because Scout Promises were taken there, even with the (Czechoslovak) flag, which was dropped down from a tree just before the taking of the Promise. And it worked!”

  • “Suddenly we had a picture of Hitler there. I said: ‘We never had this picture in our home, show it to me.’ - ‘But that is... We found it there as well.’ And they didn’t show it to me. Then when it came to the trial at Charles Square - that was one of those, as it was called, monster trials pretty much, because I had microphones in front of me and it was in the biggest court room, number 51 or 54 I think, a big room. It was crammed full. As I looked out of the corner of my eye, none of my friends, none of the teachers were there, but other people. Later I found out they had invited the so-called organised public - basically, workers from various factories. And when it came to this point, I said: ‘Mr. Chairman, I asked the officers of State Security three times to show me the picture, because I claim, and I can prove this with a number of live witnesses, that that picture never hung in our home.’ He said: ‘Everyone keeps that which he likes.’ To which the working rabble reacted: ‘Ha, ha, ha, ha.’ That’s how they laughed.”

  • “Some of the interrogations were pretty touch. I remember how when I was in Ruzyně, we could tell according to the clock at Loreta what the time was, that it was getting close to midnight. And the interrogator, the so-called reporter, what we had to call him, kept wanting me to own up to something, what we did, how we subverted the state, how we distributed pamphlets and all sorts of jokes... what seditious slander we’d said. And he kept pressing me more and more, and it started getting annoying, but I stayed calm. And when it was really late, I said: ‘So write down whatever you want!’ I pretended to be angry, that I’d had enough. He’d had his fill too, the StB man, so he took the papers, folded them and said: ‘We’ll continue in the morning.’ ”

  • “I soon realised the StB men [State Security - transl.] were following me, or us. I realised it, because when I was at school for instance, then the phone rang, and they asked for Blažek. I happened to be close to the phone, it was in the staff room, and when I said ‘here’, they hang up. That happened to me two or three times. And also, when I came home, I could tell that someone had been there. Not Mum... I was home alone at the time, Mum was older and had gone to a rest home. So I came home - the flat was turned completely inside out, as one would say. Everything was emptied out, it must’ve been done in a hurry, they kept looking for something and they had to leave in a hurry, because I surprised them.”

  • “We were thirteen, fourteen, fifteen, sixteen, seventeen years old, and we kept in touch, we kept in contact with each other, we went on trips, because our principle was that no regime can ban personal friendship.”

  • “...and I was living with my wife in Strašnice, we already had one child. And they came for me there, that time. It was just in the beginning of January ’59. I remember it was just at the time when Fidel Castro came to power in Cuba. They rang, I went to open the door and they were already sticking their legs through the threshold. So I let them in. They did a house inspection, they didn’t find much anything there. I only had one small problem, and that worked out quite well luckily. They were looking around, and I was sitting on the settee by the radio, where I had a note with the frequencies of Free Europe and Voice of America. And as I sat there and they walked about here and there, I pushed the paper under the radio - pulled that across and all was well. They didn’t find it.”

  • “In 1944, that was when the Allies were already invading Europe (6th June 1944), and we were at the Lužnice [River] in July. We were camping down under Vobůrka, where we’d had our camp twice in the past years - in ’38 and in ’39. So we knew it there, so out of curiosity we went to see what it looked like after all those years. And so in tents - we didn’t have platforms of course, just ordinary tents for two - we camped on a meadow. And I remember that it was precisely the 20th of July 1944 when we received the news from Bechyně (that was about not quite half an hour from Bechyně to the camp under Vobůrka, where we were), that there’d been an assassination attempt on Adolf Hitler.”

  • “The one StB man... well, they took what they needed, simply. For instance, the one took the hat: ‘You won’t be needing that.’ I had the Scout hat hung up by the side like this. ‘Well you won’t be needing that.’ And the other one - he looked a bit like [...] he was somewhat intelligent or something, with glasses, a young boy he was - he also took a book from the Czech History series. I’d have to think back, what the exact name of the book was, but... German Colonisation in the Czech Land - something like that it was called. ‘You won’t be needing that either...’ ”

  • “They took my picture from all sides - the right, the left, the front - and then they put me in custody, that I’m subverting the state. They made it up as ‘propagating a bourgeoise and religious ideology’ and as ‘subversion of the state’. That year, it must be said, subversion of the state was a new section of the law. Beforehand, the Scout groups, and there were a lot of them (from 1948 to 1959 there were a lot of arrests), they were all judged according to the section ‘high treason’, which came with harsh sentences. Those were sentences of twenty years or more, or even sentences of... executions, simply. Whereas they realised, the comrades, that for things like that it was a bit over the top, and so they made a new section, § 49a ‘subversion of the state’, which was from one to ten years.”

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    Praha, 26.11.2008

    (audio)
    duration: 01:03:48
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    Praha, 04.02.2011

    (audio)
    duration: 01:13:28
    media recorded in project A Century of Boy Scouts
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No regime can ban personal friendship.

Miloš Blažek
Miloš Blažek
photo: Pamět národa - Archiv

Miloš Blažek (Scout nickname ‘Mercury’) was born on the 7th of May 1926 in Prague. Growing up, he was fundamentally influenced by his mother. In 1937 he became a member of the Scout organisation of altar servers, Legio Angelica, which had been founded eight years earlier by the Emmausian Benedictine Metod Klement (it was later lead by father Ladislav Pavelka). He took his Scour promise in Stará Boleslav on the 28th of September 1938 [St. Wenceslaw Day - transl.]. During the Nazi occupation, he continued in illegal Scout activities - focusing mostly on educational activities. During the Prague Revolt, he helped as a charity worker. He cared for prisoners from concentration camps for instance. After the war he became leader of the 318th Troop (founded already on the 16th of May 1945), part of 58th Scout Group Mawadani. Among other things, the willing organiser took part in the founding of the Ecumenical Forestry School. The functioning of the 318th Troop was cut short by the communist coup d’état in February 1948, its members refused to join the Pioneer troops of Junák [the Czech Scouting movement - transl.]. For a time, Miloš Blažek was still active in the altar servers’ patrol Legio Angelica, which was however also banned soon after, and father Ladislav Pavelka was arrested. Miloš Blažek graduated from grammar school in 1946 and was subsequently accepted to the Faculty of Arts of Charles University, to study History-Geography. Unlike many of his colleague Scouts, he was not expelled from the university, and he managed to successfully complete his studies. From 1950 till the end of 1958 he taught at an eight-year secondary school. He led a patriotic study group, in which he continued his Scout activity - organising many trips and camps. He was arrested on the 4th of January 1959 for propagating Scouting. After two months in custody in Ruzyně he was sentenced to four and a half years of prison for subversion of the state. In May 1960 he was released due to an amnesty by the President of the Republic. In 2003 he received the highest Scout honour - The Order of the Silver Wolf. He is an active scout to this day.