Záviš Bozděch

* 1929

  • “We decided to leave because we felt that things weren’t going the way they should. We went to wait at the bus stop, and then two men came along, pulled out pistols, held them to our bellies, and took us to headquarters. That was that. Later we found out that they had taken in everyone in the area without discretion. For instance, they arrested a band that happened to be going home from a dance gig. Anyone in the streets was caught. I guess they were afraid that things were getting out of control, and perhaps they also found out that the boys from the Scouts had joined in. We didn’t have any further information about the event. We were told all of this at the trial.”

  • “After the conviction they took our whole party to the concentration camp in Ostrov. There we agreed that if the Russians come to choose people for the various shafts, then in the case they’d pick one of us, the others would volunteer to join him. We were sure they would choose us. We were young and fit for mining work. And that’s how it was. The Russians didn’t mind, and so we all went to Rovnost together. Most of us even shared a room together. Which proved to be a big advantage later on.”

  • “Among others, I applied for a laboratory job at Roads National Enterprise. Seeing that I had a university degree and abundant work experience, I hoped to be chosen. But they didn’t select me, and later I was told the reason why in a face-to-face conversation: ‘Look, Mr Bozděch, we’d take you, but because of your education you would hold the post of laboratory supervisor with two laboratory assistants under you. Now just imagine that you gave one of them some instruction and he wouldn’t like it. He could argue that it’s not possible for some unreliable former prisoner to boss him about. In short, you can’t work as a lab supervisor.’ And so they sent me packing.”

  • Full recordings
  • 1

    Praha, 08.03.2017

    duration: 01:52:19
  • 2

    Praha, 08.03.2017, 16.03.2017

    duration: 01:52:06
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They judged us all together

Záviš Bozděch
Záviš Bozděch
photo: Pamět národa - Archiv

Záviš Bozděch was born on 10 October 1929 in Prague-Vinohrady. His father was an engineer and his mother was an accountant. He was an active Scout from 1943 - both when Scouting was secretly organised by the Czech Tourist Club and later when it was (briefly) officially reinstated. He was a part of a Scout patrol that served during the Prague Uprising, he participated in “blueberry picking” events (post-war Scout summer work camps to help revive the desolate border regions - trans.), and in 1949 he joined the Scout branch of a resistance group that allegedly attempted to overthrow the Communist regime in 1949. He and other Scouts were arrested and sentenced to two years in prison. He served his sentence in the labour camp Rovnost (Equality). In Rovnost he helped publish a poetry magazine, which was later re-issued under the title of Přádénko z drátů (Skein of Wire). After his release he underwent military service with the 64th Battalion of the Auxiliary Engineering Corps (forced labour) in Děčín, where he did various work, though mostly in construction. He worked in Vasilenko’s laboratory, who recommended him for university studies. He was accepted to a long-distance course at the University of Chemistry and Technology in Prague. He was the leader of the Scout troop Water Two. After the Velvet Revolution he worked as a certified expert in the field of construction until his retirement.