“On the twenty-first of August 1968 there were a lot of us in the cottage, and I couldn’t sleep, so I went outside and sat down on a stump and waited for the others to get some sleep. Suddenly the loudspeakers blared up, like they do in villages... We had a loudspeaker near to the house. After the usual crackle the chairman of the national committee spoke up and said: ‘Tonight we have been occupied by Fascist Soviet armies...’”
“They took the coffin out and wanted to move it over into the funeral hearse to take it to Haná. So during this moment the students began singing the national anthem, they sand Where Is My Home. Everyone stood to attention, and when Where Is My Home ended, the students began singing Lightning over the Tatras, which was already a political act because Slovakia was an independent state at that time, it wasn’t part of our anthem any more, and they sand Lightning over the Tatras, which meant that they considered the second half to still be a part of the anthem and that they did not agree with the splitting of Czechoslovakia. So the chief police officer turned to the crowd of students, raised his hand and shouted: ‘Stop!’ But the students continued to sing. So again he shouted: ‘Stop!’ And the students sang on, at which point he made a gesture like this, he clasped his hands together and said: ‘Please, stop.’ So it started quieting down until it ceased completely.”
“I remember him when he did the Three Eagle Feathers [a Scout challenge - transl.], and so he also hid for 24 hours and kept silent and ate nothing. I was wandering around the forest at the time, and then I saw him and he noticed me, and he wanted to tell me something. He was already opening his mouth. I told him: ‘You mustn’t speak!’ He caught himself by the mouth and crawled away, disappeared. In that moment of surprise he almost forgot himself and he would’ve ruined his Three Eagle Feathers.”
To Scouts, and not just them, I wish an intense and sustained effort to live a meaningful and joyful life
MUDr. Jiří Bořucký (*1919) tells of his memories of the First Republic period of Czechoslovakia, when Ostrava was made up of large communities of Jews and Germans. In the early 1930s he joined the 1st Scout Troop in Ostrava, where he met with the resistance fighters who are honoured by the memorial in Ivančena in the Beskydy Mountains. He attended three summer camps with the troop. He also participated in Sokol. He graduated from the Foundation Grammar School in Ostrava in 1938 and went on to study at the Faculty of Medicine of Charles University in Prague. However, in November 1939 Jiří Bořucký attended Opletal’s funeral, which turned into an anti-German demonstration of students. The universities were closed, but luckily the students from his residence hall were not sent to concentration camps. After his forced study break, he started working at an apothecary; he did the same work when he was sent to forced labour in the Reich. First in Berlin, then in Fürstenwalde. After the war in 1946 he married, and in 1948 he received a degree from Charles University. As a non-party member he had difficulties at work, for the process of socialisation was already transforming the healthcare system. He has a daughter and a son.