Miloslav Dočkal

* 1927

  • “There was our friend Áda, he had been repairing airplanes in England during the war. They imprisoned him, just like they imprisoned the other pilots. (…) Each of us climbed up to the places where we were to work, and all of a sudden we hear a cry: ´Help, help!´ Áda got buried under the rocks. A huge chunk of a rock fell from the top – directly upon him. His friend had to break this rock with a jackhammer. We stood there for a while and then we went to fetch a wooden plank. Part of his brain fell out as we laid him on the plank. We carried him down and the mine foreman then came there, and they carried him away. We were really depressed by it – he was our friend, and now he was dead. We were sitting there and talking about him and pitying him. (...) Suddenly the mine supervisor came there: ´Why are you not working?!´ We replied: ´But Mr. supervisor, our friend just got killed.´ - ´So what?´ As if he were just a mere fly… One Slovak guy, who was of quick temper, grabbed an axe and asked him: ´What did you say?!´ Never in my life have I seen the supervisor run so fast. But we didn’t get into trouble for it, he didn’t even report it.”

  • “There was a mean warden, who would put prisoners into a correction cell immediately, and things like that… We knew that it would be risky, but still we decided that we would play some trick on him. One of us lowered his hat down, borrowed glasses from a civilian employee, raised the collar of his coat and he jumped out of the barrack in front of the warden and walked past him. ´How come you didn’t greet me?!!!´ - ´Kiss my arse, you idiot.´ - ´How dare you!´ - ´Don’t argue with me, or I’ll smack you in the face…´ - ´What?!´ The guy started running, he ran into the other barrack, climbed in there through the window, took it all off and walked in front of the warden again: ´Good morning, Mr. commander.´ The warden was so angry that he nearly got a fit.”

  • “We found lentils behind a chimney. There was one Russian, and he knelt in front of it, he clasped his hands, and said: ´Ruděnka, ruděnka. Vsjó buděť - kušání, aj děvušky...´”

  • “The commander called me and asked me: ´Are you hungry?´ I replied: ´Well...´ He gave me some bread roll and salami and he immediately put some document in front of me. ´You see, you are regarded well by all in the camp. Sign it here that you agree with reporting to us from time to time how things are, what’s new in the camp, if something is happening, and so on.´ A member of the Secret Police! I told him: ´I’ll think about it.´ - ´Well, well, now go back to the bunker…We will call you again.´ I told it to Áda Petrovský and he advised me: ´You know what, pretend that you are emotionally unstable, start trembling when you enter...´ I said: ´OK, I’ll try it.´ They summoned me again and gave me some food. They knew that I was hungry, obviously. He placed the paper in front of me again. I was looking at him for a while and he said: ´Well, sign it!´ - ´I won’t!´ He was holding some maps and folded papers in his hand, and he smashed them on the floor, turned red in his face, I thought a vein in his head would explode, and he shouted: ´Out, you bastard! You will go home, but with your legs first. (meaning in a coffin – transl.’s note) Get out of here!!!´ I got out. He didn’t like it that I refused to sign. I stayed there for two more weeks, a month altogether. I told Áda about it, and he nearly died laughing…”

  • “I will tell you what happened to me. One civilian employee brought me a piece of roast chicken. I thought: ´That’s great´ We were carrying coke. We would always tie the sleeves of our coats, lay it over our shoulders and put the coke in there. I put the chicken in the coat. There were searches all the time – searching one five-men team or the other. I thought: ´Perhaps I’d be lucky and they will search the other team.´ But no, as if on purpose, it was our team who was to be searched. I will be sent to the correction cell. The warden asked me: ´What have you got there?!!´ - ´A grilled chicken, Mr. commander!!´ - ´You bastard, you want to make fun of me, I’ll have you imprisoned... Go away!!´ I went away as quickly as I could. When the guys heard it, they were rolling on the floor laughing. He normally told me to go. If I had said: ´No, I don’t have anything there,´ he would have ordered me: ´Take it all out.´ And he thought that I was making fun of him…”

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    Budislav, 07.08.2008

    duration: 02:52:55
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
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I was counting on the communist regime collapsing one day

dockal1.jpg (historic)
Miloslav Dočkal

Miloslav Dočkal was born on June 13, 1927 into the evangelical family of a small farmer. He attended five grades of lower elementary school in Budislav, and then four grades of higher elementary school in Proseč. Throughout his childhood, he and his brother Blahoslav helped their father with the farm work. In 1944 he enrolled in an industrial secondary school in Litomyšl. After working several different jobs, he returned to work on his father’s estate in 1946. In the summer 1949, Josef Lněnička, the son of a butcher from Budislav, contacted Miloslav and invited him to join in anti-regime activities. Lněnička’s group planned to scare the local communist officials who had beeen bullying local citizens, especially farmers and small entrepreneurs. In early autumn 1949 Dočkal himself proposed a plan to burglarize an ironmonger’s shop in Proseč, which stocked ammunition. According to his plan, the group would steal ammunition for some guns that Lněnička already owned. Although the group was able to execute their plan, they did not go unnoticed by the StB, (the Czech secret police). After a year-long investigation and staging of a huge trial, Dockal and his friends were brought to the State Court in Litomyšl on October 4th, 1950. Miloslav was sentenced to 25 years of imprisonment for high treason. He spent eleven years in prison. He was interned in the prisons in Pardubice, Chrudim, Litoměřice, Plzeň-Bory, and in the labour camp Vojna near Příbram and in Opava. He was given amnesty from Opava on May 9, 1960. Although a free man, Dockal’s past as a political prisoner continued to follow him. He returned to his native Budislav, where the local communists had established a firm regime. At first he worked in Litomyšl in a construction company, but he had to quit after a few days. His history of labour in the mines had severly damaged his health, and left him incapable of handling this demanding job. He found a job as a latheman in Juranky, but the communist officials quickly fired from his position once learning about his past. Left without wokr, and with a family under the threat of eviction, Miloslav was forced to begin working in an agricultural cooperative, where he labored in freezing temperatures for only a third of his former pay. Several years later he found a better job as a latheman in Poříčí, and he remained there till his retirement. He is a member of the local chapter of the Confederation of Political Prisoners in Litomyšl, and is married with two sons.