Bohuslav Fencl

* 1942

  • "Our move from Vysoké Mýto to Chroustovice was based on negotiations between my father and the army leadership, when my father, after the arrival of several officers in Vysoké Mýto who served in the military garrison, was to take over the Communist Party's id and, of course, he refused it because he was a Russian legionnaire. And he told them straight away that no one could ask the people he was shooting at to be friends with him now, and because of that he would never join the Communist Party. About eight of his colleagues did the same after him, and these people, within about three months, were all evicted from the area with their families from Vysoké Mýto. To The City, to Stradouna, we to Chroustovice and so on. So that these people were separated from each other, so they can't socialize, and most importantly, they got a little scared. For me, it was a change that I experienced quite without any problems. It was a huge blow to the parents, because from a decent apartment in Vysoké Mýto, in on the second floor of the historical building of the , they moved to the village to an apartment where the conditions were completely inadequate."

  • "The downside was that in this job I came into contact with various people who had nothing else to do with the Soviets (...) than were “serving” them in different ways and I was forced to do things I would never do — not to name some, or to label anyone so that it would simply be collective guilt. And they kept pressuring me for so long that they told me that if I helped them in any way, that I could help, for example, those people who were being persecuted for resisting the Soviet army, who I knew were being persecuted and that they were being bullied. I mean, they got me to sign cooperation. Not with the StB, but with the military counterintelligence I helped solve these cases. And to find out who stole what from me, and that put me on their radar and in their records. I've never said anything, I've got a clear conscience about this. I've never reported anyone, and I've never reported to anyone."

  • "But, during their stay in Vysoké Mýto, I came into contact with them very often, because we had gravel, sand and macadam dumps in various places around Vysoké Mýto, and this was absolutely scarce material for them. At night, they always sent cars and boys with scaphovels, and I found out in the morning that my material was missing from the landfill and I couldn't fit in the inventory. So I followed them in a company car, and I saw that they always came to the gate, honked the horn, the gate is opened them. So I stuck to them, went to the barracks where they take it, and found that they were making completely new areas, preparing for the pouring of asphalt. So I started investigating it, and that's how I got to the police of the Czech Republic or then the SNB, the National Security Corps, where I told them how we were losing material and that it was not possible. And, of course, they said they had to help. At that time, however, they negotiated a liaison officer at the city building office, that was Jirka Antlů, my classmate, and I always reported to him how much they had stolen. And I already got a chance with him to get to the barracks, where I saw where they were doing the areas, and he arranged for me to be able t invoice the material and get paid for it. And that was the debt of the Soviet Army, because the liaison officer, Jirka Antl from the Construction Department, used it to go to Pardubice to the Regional Military Building Accommodation Administration, which confirmed it, so at least they paid me for the material."

  • "We tried to do as many rallies as possible already in the first phase to get information to people. So every week, at least once, sometimes twice, we did rallies either at the M-club or at the Sembera Theater, depending on how many people might come. Anyone who came forward could give their opinion on what the city needed most, what it should do. And there was a group of people who were willing to participate in the work in some way. I was appointed spokesman of the Civic Forum in January of the 1990s on the basis that I was commuting, that I was such a connection from Hradec Králové. Dr Sova, who came here and informed us, helped us secure people who had something to say to people and who had some vision of what direction this should take in the state. Above all, it was about ensuring free elections. This was the first task not only of the Civic Forum but of all those who realized that the state could not function as it operated under the leadership of the Communist Party, where those decisions were beyond anyone's decision."

  • "And in 1959, I graduated and wanted to go to university, which I wasn't allowed to do at the time. For political-profile or cadre reasons, as they were called at the time, my application to study at university was rejected. So I went to this construction company right after the holidays, or during the holidays, and I asked if they would hire me because I wanted to try again in a year. So I worked for a year in a city construction company, then in a district construction company with masons, which personally did not bother me at all. My parents took it hard because they thought it was “degrading”. At least I've learned normal work, I've learned to wall up, I've learned to mix mortar, and to this day I can fix what I need at home because of this experience."

  • "The house was occupied by the Soviet army, and there was the “Kommandatura” . The Soviet flag was constantly flying there – in Czechoslovakia on the square in Vysoké Mýto. And we took that very badly. So we organized a march. We met twice a week at the square. Those were the demonstrations you see in different videos today, and today we'd get people there, only if there was a concert I don't know of which bands, maybe they'd come. But if someone says, 'Come on, let's go demonstrate for something that might bring us something,' I think a few people will come together. But that's not important. It was a completely different time then. The excitement that it was starting to move in some way was huge, and people were willing to go anytime, anywhere. They were no more afraid. They saw that there was no one else chasing them, who was ordering them not to be here. And we appreciated that immensely, and that's why we organized the march. It was the first major event, this march, when we went from the office building to the Kommandatura. And that's where we handed the colonel on duty a petition calling for the immediate withdrawal of Soviet troops from Vysoke Myto. He was so scared, he didn't even come out. He sent a soldier with a bayonet to take over, who promised to give it to him. And we moved on."

  • Full recordings
  • 1

    ZUŠ Vysoké Mýto, 10.01.2020

    duration: 01:23:40
    media recorded in project The Stories of Our Neigbours
  • 2

    Hradec Králové, 24.08.2020

    duration: 01:42:47
    media recorded in project Příběhy regionu - HRK REG ED
Full recordings are available only for logged users.

They were all wondering: When will the Soviets leave?

Bohuslav Fencl – speaker at a rally during the Velvet Revolution, Vysoké Mýto
Bohuslav Fencl – speaker at a rally during the Velvet Revolution, Vysoké Mýto
photo: Regionální muzeum Vysoké Mýto

Bohuslav Fencl was born on January 28, 1942 in Vysoké Mýto to the family of Czechoslovak Army officer and former Legionnaire in Russia Bohuslav Fencl sr. After the February coup, his father was discharged from the army, the family had to leave the officer’s apartment, and until 1956 they lived in unsuitable premises in Chroustovice. After completing grammar school, the witness was repeatedly not accepted for higher education. Bohuslav joined the District Construction Company as a worker gradually completed his professional high-school leaving certification and spent most of his life working in the company Road Hradec Králové. After the invasion of Warsaw Pact troops in August 1968 and the subsequent placement of the Soviet garrison in Vysoké Mýto, the witness had to deal with the theft of building materials as part of his work agenda and became the subject of negotiations with the security authorities and signed a cooperation with military counterintelligence. In 1989 he was one of the founders of the Civic Forum in Vysoké Mýto, and in 1990 Bohuslav Fencl was elected mayor of the city. He participated in organizing the departure of Soviet troops and dealing with the consequences of their stay. He worked in municipal politics until 2006.