Mgr. Ing. Milan Cikánek

* 1935

  • "It was an interesting January in 1989. It was clear that it had to get out. I rode from the house in Žižkov and got out of the metro by the horse. I walked along the horse to Denis's institute. When I went there on Tuesday and returned, I saw a water cannon, two facing each other, in line. And because I was curious and didn't want to run away, I bought a carrot in the shop and walked around with the carrot, like an old man who goes shopping. So they didn't bully me in any way. But I was soaked once. I wanted to know what it was all about. So I walked past it every day. Even the teachers from the institute went to watch, but did not go to the corner. It was different every day. One day I remember a subway train passing by. So I drove back from I. P. Pavlov. There was no fight in one day, it was quiet, but there were about six or eight policemen around the monument, one with a dog. They went around the place there."

  • "People were very dedicated. To stop the tanks, they took chainsaws, and where there are clearings, in Dolní Rokytnice, there was a stream, so they cut down twelve trees. The Poles came to say that the Russians were chasing them to cut it open. Unless we shoot. Our border unit said they would not shoot, but that they would not help them either. The Russians wanted it removed, it was an international road. They left it there. So I saw the Scott who ran into an obstacle, rolled over, fell down. I don't know if anyone died. That's why they wanted to remove the obstacle. I got to Prague in about three or four days, hitchhiking and so on."

  • "The year 1969 was so sad. I was in the newsroom, where we didn't work anymore and they couldn't fire us. I was on Wenceslas Square when the battle was over. I didn't want to get hurt, so I ran to the side streets, I always walked down to the Bridge and saw movement on that street. When I was down on the Bridge, people downstairs applauded massively. It was strange to me, I was watching what was happening. One or two trucks stopped in the street on October 28, and armed militiamen jumped out of the hull. People who were defenseless applauded them, at least when they didn't have guns, that was nice. I don't know if these people were beaten, but they were falling down. So I ran to Sevastopol, and there was an archaeological exhibition at the Hybernians, Bull Rock. The girls hid me there. On the day I returned, people were supposed to walk in black and not use the tram. I used the tram... it was already clear. As I drove under the viaduct, I saw a twenty-year-old boy dressed all in black walking outside. I was driven and the one in black was not. You see, it's over, it's all wrong. That was just so sad."

  • "My first wife went to France on a business trip and I was in charge of a nine-year-old daughter. I went to the Giant Mountains. On the night of the 20th to the 21st, I thought I heard tractors. I went to breakfast in the morning and the Polish girls were sitting there. The Poles went there for brigades. The girls were crying. I heard there were tanks downstairs. I picked up the girl and ran downstairs and wanted to take pictures. But people stopped me, because a soldier shot a woman and a man in Jilemnice. Then I photographed the projectiles, I went to the hospital. People didn't want me to take pictures, but they advised me not that I would not be seen from the slope. So I climbed up the slope. At the time, I was the editor of that Standard. I photographed tanks running down the street. There was a boy there aged about 20-25 and he said that if they shot me, I wouldn't have to worry about the girl, to let her come to them to take care of her. Apparently he lived in the house number 34. I thought many times that I was going to look out for them, but it's been a year. In the end, they didn't shoot."

  • "The biggest dirty trick I have personally experienced was establishing unified schooling. Apolena Rychlíková is an intelligent young journalist who writes for the Právo papers, otherwise very well, but she is zealous against a single thing – not separating education for those who train to become locksmith and those who study to work as a surgeon. I started grammar school in 1945, at that time the grammar school lasted eight years, and in 1948 we returned to the schools we came from as part of unified schooling. I remember working brigades most. The whole class mainly took care of making those out of high school work. They kept us busy, even though they didn't have to work themselves. And we were no rich family. But they wanted the high school students to work. Four of us returned; three boys and one girl. It was the worst experience of my life. The whole class fought a lot. In the morning they needed to write a task, mostly they couldn't do anything and they still wanted to fight. It was the worst bullying in my life. That did not happen even in the army. I suffered for two years and we returned to high school."

  • "The Germans were different at the beginning and different at the end of the war. In the beginning, they were just silly boys at the age of 18, 19 or 21 and maybe one of them was seeing a girl in our street. Many of those neighbours, for example, had horses as draft animals. At one of the neighbours the girl could have been only ten, the boy could have been older – 15 or 17 and the Germans were so young that they befriended him. I remember singing together, 'When we meet again, we'll hold on and go around the world.' And the Germans sang along with him, just fought for fun. I once got terribly scolded by my mother. A little further at was a train station there was an open coal wagon. There were several German soldiers on the coal. They were half-naked, with a shovel, and a car or cart always came from the barracks and loaded the coal. The boys took me with them, we originally went to collect chestnuts. And I remember one of my friends saying to the soldier in Czech: 'He's poor, give him too.' So I opened the bag, if I begged too, I don't know, and I got two or three shovels of coal in that bag. It was terribly wrong when I got home."

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    Praha, 14.10.2019

    duration: 01:40:46
    media recorded in project Stories of the 20th Century TV
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I experienced the greatest bullying after introduction of a unified education

Milan Cikánek was born on August 7, 1935 in Humenné in eastern Slovakia. Both parents came from Kostelec nad Labem, where the family returned in 1939 after the proclamation of an independent Slovak state. Milan graduated from grammar school in 1953, in 1958 he completed his university studies at the School of Economics. He ran for the Communist Party, but in 1956 he was expelled. In 1958, when he had a wife and a small child, he enlisted in the army. Assuming that he would receive a vocational leave, he agreed with a friend that he would report what they had agreed in advance, and he was recruited for cooperation by military counterintelligence. He operated under the pseudonym Romain. After the war, he published professional articles on awards, also worked as a translator, and in 1968 he joined Standard magazine as an editor, testing and reviewing the quality of various products. After the occupation of the Warsaw Pact troops in 1968, the magazine ceased to exist. In 1969, he witnessed street riots on Wenceslas Square in connection with protests against the occupation. He studied theatre studies during normalization at work, and in 1978 and 1979 he worked as a dramaturg at the Vítězslav Nezval Theatre in Karlovy Vary. He then returned to Prague, where he was the head of the theatre department of the Institute for Cultural and Educational Activities. After November 1989 he returned to economics. He wrote professional articles, dealt with forecasts of price developments and his services were used by numerous companies, including foreign ones.