Svatopluk Čech

* 1935

  • “I have pretty good memories of Trade union holidays because we have quite good friends as the leaders and Trade union was active well enough. At that time I could not go anywhere besides East Germany and Hungary, because other countries were banned to me. I could not go to Yugoslavia, as they feared I would have remained there. My membership in the Boy Scout organisation accompanied me throughout my work in Magnetonka. So eventually, our group built a camp near Balaton in Hungary and there we went virtually every year. And my wife, since she could speak Hungarian, she travelled with me and interpreted for me, so we had no problems there.”

  • “First I met him in Olomouc, when our big scout, the regional leader Meisnar, died. We were at his funeral and this is where I met dr. Plajner for the very first time. We said hello to one another and talked about our activities. Although I could say I saw him for the very first time in 1946, when we uncovered the memorial to our dead member Mirek Adamík. We stood as guard of honour by his memorial. Dr Plajtner was there too as the chief of Boy Scout, but I saw him only from distance as I was just ten and the older talked to him.” — “And when you met him as an adult, was he still the model for you?” — “Yes, he was always the chief, from time immemorial.”

  • “I caught radio amateur broadcast and they said, the Soviet troops, tanks and a military truck with soldiers passed by them. But they did not know what was happening. No one knew. They just said what what was happening, without knowing the cause or anything else. Until the very last moment, before they launched the attack, claiming they were fighting against counter-revolution — we had none here, so no one could know they would want something. We knew there were some military manoeuvres — but it was everywhere.” — “Has it occurred to you that it could be dangerous to disseminate that information.” — “Well, there was this rule that you didn’t spread such information, so we didn’t spread it. They just said the Russians passed by, but no one knew why, so they didn’t say why.”

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    Bystřice pod Hostýnem, 26.04.2018

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We never thought this could be for a short while only

Svatopluk Čech
Svatopluk Čech
photo: archiv pamětníka

Svatopluk Čech was born on March 24, 1935, in Olomouc. He spent most of his life in Kroměříž and with his mother’s family in nearby Zborovice. His father was a barber and mother helped on the family farm. In May 1945 the ten-year old Svatopluk joined as a ten-year old the Third Junák (Boy Scout) organisation. Under the leadership of Miloš Janoušek and Viktor Olszewski he was a member of the organisation until 1950, when Junák was officially dissolved. After the ban on private business, his father was no longer allowed to work as a barber. He then commuted over a hundred kilometres to work in a glassworks in Rapotín. Svatopluk Čech, due to his bourgeois origin, was allowed to train only as an apprentice. He thus trained as electro-technician and later, thanks to his excellence at school, he was chosen as a labour cadre for the study at the secondary school in Mohelnice. On graduation he worked in Zbrojovka Vsetín. He served his military service with the Auxiliary Technical Battalion in Komárno. During his military service he met his wife-to-be. After his military service they married and lived together in Kroměříž, where he worked in the Pal Magneton company. Since 1958 he was a radio amateur, an activity he practiced as his hobby. At night August 21, 1968, he caught the broadcast of his colleagues, in which he learned that the Soviet Pact armies crossed the Czechoslovak border. Since the 1960s he was employed as an instructor in the Svazarm (Army Association). In 1968 he renewed, as the leader, the third Boy Scout unit in Kroměříž. After the reasserted ban in 1970 he transferred children under Svazarm, where they stayed in an unchanged mode. Since 1989 he has continued in his Boy Scout activities.