"This was organized by the Student Constitutional Council, where I was the chairman. I posted a statement that said that we should remain faithful to the legacy of our presidents. But it was soon torn down and then came to the wrong conclusions about it. At that time there were, I think, only two Communists - one professor and the janitor." "And what were then the consequences for you?" "If I shall be honest, no great persecution or something of the sort followed. They threatened me; they said that they wouldn't let me graduate, and this was just before our graduation so it was very important to me. Then they took a more moderate position and the professor went for advice from the local Communist Party. There must have been somebody slightly wiser there who said that it was not worth ruining our lives over. We were supposed to sign up for youth construction and then they would not engage in any further reprisals against us."
"When the Russians came here, we hurriedly rehearsed the play Těžká Barbora (Heavy Barbora) from Voskovec and we hinted at our antipathies by the Yberlanďáci - these were the foreign troops - one of them even wore a Russian uniform. The Communists made some noise about it, but they were weakened at that time... It didn't influence me directly but afterwards I had to go through a screening in Electro-Prague, of course ... And when word came to Těžká Barbora, the chairman said: 'Let it be, it's none of our business, let the town hall handle the case'. The mayor did nothing ... apparently, they didn't realize it. But anyway, because everyone knew about my opinions, they downgraded me. Before that, I held a quite high and well paid function, still under the communists. I got degraded by three pay grades and that's where I stayed until retirement."
"I liked it very much. I remember one story from there. A colleague who slept with me in the tent broke his collarbone and all they did was to take him to a distant town where a doctor gave him a cast and that was it. He returned to the camp and worked there with us. This is how we got treated."
They threatened me; they said that they wouldn’t let me graduate.
Vladimír Červenka was born on July 13, 1929 in Hlinsko. As a child, he was a member of the Junák and Sokol organizations. After the renewal of the Junák in 1945 (when he was 16 years old), he became the leader of a troop during a summer camp in Babáky. After the war, he also became the goal keeper in the local hockey team in Hlinsko and he remained actively engaged in the Sokol. In 1948, he participated in the 11th Sokol Rally. In February 1948, he posted a declaration to remain true to the ideas of presidents Masaryk and Beneš on the corridor of his grammar school. This got him into trouble – he faced the threat of being disqualified from the school leaving exam. Eventually, he settled the dispute by taking part in the so-called “Youth construction”.
After he graduated from the grammar school in Chotěboř, he began to study medicine but didn’t complete his studies. Before he enlisted for military service, he worked as an assistant in the Institute for the Medical Treatment through labor – a detached department of the mental hospital in Prague, Bohnice. After he completed his basic military service, he returned to Hlinsko where he began to work for the Elektro-Praga company. There he could fully unfold his creativity by directing theater performances. He also founded, and for 48 years (1956-2004), ran a photo club there. In the course of the screenings that were introduced after the invasion of Czechoslovakia by the Warsaw Pact armies, he was degraded by three pay grades. He died in 2013.