Miroslav Kamil Černý

* 1950

  • "We walked slowly and the police checked us politely. When they were taking my name down one day, they found out from my ID card that I had two children: 'You're bringing them up nicely!' I replied that I was raising them well and going to camps with them. Nothing came of it and we continued on until dark. Later on, Rychvalský again said that it was boring and invented that some of us would separate and dress up as a group of policemen. Helmets made of watermelons on their heads, batons made of cucumbers and sausages in their hands. We set up in an apartment not far from the Children's House. First we watched the cortege from the top floor and then about ten of us ran out into the street and whistled. Luboš Rychvalský got a trumpet from me from a theatre poster into which he shouted: 'Break up! Your assembly is not allowed!' It was great fun. The foreigners, who had no idea what was going on, were laughing too."

  • "We were such an active group in Prague 4. We thought we'd pretend to work in the woods, meet there and, as if by chance, collect papers together. We actually met like that about three times. There were all kinds of interesting people there: [Miroslav] Kvašňák, who later hung around Havel and worked as a military correspondent, young Štern, Holata, Jarka Richterová and others. One day we were sitting in a gazebo and someone said that Battěk was coming. I had just prepared a few sheets with signatures and I wanted to give them to him right away. No sooner had we sat down than Mr. Stern Sr. came in, sat down and said, 'Yesterday I was with Battek and together we were perused.' Then uniformed and non-uniformed policemen came out of the bushes from all sides and rounded us all up. There were about five cars which took us to the newly opened StB office in Michle. We stood on the stairs and they were quite polite to us. I even took out a crossword puzzle and did it. Then I got inside, where they emptied my backpack. There's a video somewhere on the internet where you can see the stacks of papers spilling out of my backpack. They told me, 'Sir, for every signature you sign, you will be fined two thousand.' They confiscated everything and locked me in another room. One of them came to me every now and then later and asked me what I had to say. I refused to testify because I knew I had the right to do so. Finally it was obvious that he wanted to go home, so he let us go. We met outside and went to the pub where we retold everything."

  • "On the anniversary of the self-immolation of Jan Palach, my friend and I went to Všetaty. We understood that it was to be a pilgrimage that would start in Prague. So we drove to the bus terminal in Čakovice and set off on foot. Halfway there we were stopped by several civilian green jigulis and those who got out of them wrote down our names. They also asked us where we were going and why. We made up an excuse that we had a friend Peter in Kostelec nad Černými lesy, we were going to see him, and they drove off. Later, when we were approaching Všetaty, one of the same jigulis stopped us again: 'You lied! You are going to Všetaty. There was indeed a police barrier at the beginning of the village and we couldn't go any further. We went to the train. In our carriage sat Bratinka and Kroupa, whom I already knew at that time. I remember that it was cheerful then."

  • " In that Committee there were former political prisoners, the People's Party and us, as younger guys. The prisoners were quite old, I was forty and then there were a few people in their twenties sitting there. It was incredibly difficult to persuade the older, good-natured convicts to actually throw out the STBs. We invited them one by one and they all said that they had never committed any violence against anyone and that they were disgusted. They said they wanted to deal with terrorism and they were all suddenly very nice. Despite the fact that harshness is not normally my habit, I tried to convince the old gentlemen that all those STBs had to go. There was also one clever guy among us who made an open challenge. He tried to find out from the cleaners and other employees which of the uniformed SNB members was the biggest villain. So we summoned him there later, and in the end they were all wiped out. After a while we were joined by other people who wanted to help their friends with getting their driver's licenses and so on. I didn't like it and was glad when the commissions were abolished and it all fizzled out. In the end, I was sorry when some of the fired officers were recalled and the new minister took them back."

  • "In that moment, at Jiraseks bridge (the embankment is raising near Palackého bridge), we saw how many people gathered there. We were at the back, so we saw how many of them are there. There I realized that this is the end of bolsevism, for sure. Nobody could turn us away from this, I wondered that this is their end. So we arrived to Narodni třída and I met Ivan Havel and Malý. We sit in the place near Mikulandská street. I told them that I was at demonstration, where they acted humanely, I’ve told them that everything’s gonna be alright, we will sit there and then go home peacefully. Next moment I saw those big cars with ploughtshares, I thought that those guys with berets jumped off the walls and started beating people. I remember that voice, it sounded like crushing the skulls, bones, terrible hits. That sounds was really awful. They squeezed us to the wall so we couldn’t nearly breath, right to the cinema they squeezed us. I turned that banner down because I was afraid. There was a parked car so We was defying by it so we could breath. We were nearly suffocated by that pressure. There was a friend of mine, who was a little bit older than me and she was demonstrating daily so i said her »Jarka come, You will be acting like you hobble and I will lead you out of there. It will look like they have beaten you already and they will leave us«. So I carried her out of there, I didn’t go through that underpath where they beat people, but i went another way. So we experienced that without being hurt.“

  • "… They didn't arrest me. However, I was arrested 6 times in the year 1989 for other things. The first time, which I'm really proud of, was good. It was on 1st May 1989, I created a banner made of paper with an inscription »Freedom to the prisoners of state«. When I was saying goodbye at home, I was put up with the chance that they will arrest and imprison me. I already had children around 15 years old, I thought myself that I will not tolerate this forever I had to do something. I was suffocated all of the time of the Charta, because I felt as though I had to do something, so I finally started protesting. I dressed up nicely, to create an illisuion that I belonged to the communist supporters, and I went to Mustek. I went to that tribune, passed around the hallways of the militiamen, acting like I was going to watch those idiots. I was looking towards Štěpán, because I went to him and showen that banner up in the way in which he would see it clearly. He was laughing looking directly into my face and his face bleached with rage. Everything happened in few seconds. They twisted my arms, banner ended who knows where, they pulled me behind the tribune in to Provaznická street (the one at Mustek) in to the Seat of ČKD, that ugly building made of glass, which is at Mustek."

  • "It happened when I was standing near the Dětský dům at 8 o'clock in the morning. Opposite to it there was a broken shop window from demontration which took its place during the night on 20th-21st August. I went there and I was hanging around, indicating that it‘s good. A policeman, accompanied by a soldier, came to me with machine guns and a long baton. It was an innovation, that long thick baton. So they asked me who am I and what am I doing there. They carried me to the police station. They suspected that it was me who crushed that shop window or that I was doing something against the low during the previous night... They opened a barn door where was a hall and stairway that led to the first floor and to the office. There stood about one hundred soldiers, militiamen and policemen, everyone wearing one of those batons. I had to walk through that hall and each of them beat me without knowing what they were doing it for. I got about one hundred hits before I made it past them and to the office. “Just for standing in front of the shop window?“ „They didn't know it, just for leading me there. They noted my identity card and said »you are going with us« So I did. I was a suspect, but when those two carried me there, they treated me like a criminal, so they beat me. That morning was very peaceful in the streets, though. There was nobody to be seen. So they led me to the great room and jailed me."

  • Full recordings
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    Praha, 25.09.2013

    duration: 03:51:06
    media recorded in project Portraits of Prague citizens
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    Praha, 10.12.2020

    duration: 01:59:19
    media recorded in project Stories of the 20th Century TV
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    Praha 7, 15.12.2020

    duration: 02:07:35
    media recorded in project Stories of the 20th Century TV
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I wish for civil society so often. There is still a lot of socialism here.

Miroslav Kamil Černý, historical photograph
Miroslav Kamil Černý, historical photograph
photo: Archiv pamětníka

Miroslav Kamil Černý was born on 16th November 1950. He was an illegitmate child from a poor family. He studied at a specialized school and became a precision mechanic on construction sites. His interest in humanities was reflected during his studies, so he started to attend evening high school. He attended his first demonstration on the 21st of August, 2969, and was arrested, beaten, and interrogated. He became active with the founding of Charta 77 and distributed texts. During 1988 and 1989 he actively fought against régime. He attended demonstrations, anti-regime happenings and he cooperated with the leading characters of dissent groups. Exept of these actions he did his own as the showing up the banner „freedom to the prisoners of state” during the 1st May anniversary. He attended legal demonstration at Albertov, then he moved to Národní třída. Due to his experience with demonstrations he evaded being hurt by police. After the revolution he worked for vetting comittees, shortly on Department of Enviroment on Prague 5, office for documentation and investigation of the comunistic crimes and departement for studiing totalitarian regimes. Nowadays he is on retire, he have wife and two children and live in Řevnice.