Miloslav Fiala

* 1928

  • “I was interrogated by one such… I told myself: ‘You idiot, you could have hardly made a primary school.’ He was really simple. And as he was fanaticised, he kept telling me: ‘As soon as I look at you I can see you are a criminal type.’ I just smiled and kept calm. Moreover, he had – let him forgive me if he’s still alive – a kind of egg-shaped head and was red in the face and hair. He soon realised he would achieve nothing with me. He had some questions ready beforehand on illegality and clandestine meetings. Forbidden activity and such things. Then they took me to a cell. There were twenty-eight of us in a single room. A large room in Bartolomejska. They didn’t have a mattress for me. During the day the mattresses were stood against the wall and were laid on the floor for the night. It was a large cell on the first floor. So I laid down on the bench around a kind of tin toilet. I was twenty-one and I told myself, ‘I’m going to brave this out.’”

  • “A new period began, the time of purges. In our part of Kutna Hora were engaged communists, the party was pretty assaulting there. It was typical that the party members and leaders became those, who were unemployed in the first republic. I remember that in front of our house on the square was groceries. In the Jewish house they used to meet, five to seven people and preached. One of them, also unemployed man in his forties, talked about the communist taking over the power that it is necessary that the proletariat won, quite according to Marx and Lenin. It was quite a repulsive group of people.”

  • “When I returned from my second stay in Austria and was in Litoměřice, I was summoned to the secret police department in Litoměřice. I was interrogated over my travels abroad and my activities. Although I was not interrogated between 1958 and 1970 they had much information which they wanted to discuss. They wanted to win me over for cooperation and among us, unfortunately, there were some who were willing to inform on others. They didn’t get me. Going for the interrogation, I kept saying to myself: ‘What can happen to me? I may finish my studies underground and some bishop will no doubt anoint me secretly.’”

  • “I sent the provincial a message I need to hide the material, card file and photos. The Association of Catholic Youth and the priest Sedlák said: ‚Ok, bring it here.‘ So one day I came in with a big rucksack on my back, and not to walk right out of the main church entrance I took the side entry. I ran there, walked past a ministerial sacristy, which I knew very well and in the sacristy I met brother Slezák and told him: ‚Here it is.‘ He replied: ‚Boy, you´re coming in the most inappropriate time, the police is here.‘ I actually spotted a young civil man already in the passage, but he didn’t notice me and I did neither. So I had to run upstairs from the sacristy, there is a connecting passage, then on the right side up I ran through the oratories past an organ player I ran downstairs and got out through the main entrance. And as I looked around, I saw two probably secret police men standing in front of the church. So I walked just casually past them, still carrying the big bag. That must have caught their attention. So I crossed the road and (ran) into the park. Luckily it was pretty thick so I only ran a couple of tenth metres and hid in a big bush and just waited.“

  • “He brought a box, for bananas or something. And it was full of the samizdat. The Rohanský island was full of Metrostav sites, so we always drove to a secluded place by the Vltava, where they unloaded sand for the cement plant. No one saw us there and it was there I received the parcel. I put it in my car by the car shop and distributed it on Friday afternoon. It worked like this for many years, no problem. Sometimes Áda brought too much and it was heavy. The other day I received just this heavy parcel and I walked with it from one end of the island to my workplace. And I met the chairman of our Party organisation, comrade Mrázek. He was a large man, with an influence in the Central Committee. He made no secret of it. He was kind of strange, I even liked him. I told myself, ‘Man, you are a comrade but still there is something good in you.’ And it was him I met. On Friday afternoon after work the place was almost empty. He spoke to me in a voice of a guard, ‘Fiala, what is it you are toiling with?’ ‘These are spare parts, Mr Mrázek. There’s shortage of them, we try to get them wherever we can. I’ve just managed to get some,’ I replied. And he said, ‘Fiala, you are a good one! It’s after work and you are still working hard!’ About two months later I was declared the best worker.”

  • “In a quarter of year I received was another summons; to the secret police head office in Ulrichovo square, former Gottwaldovo in Hradec Králové. And again, there were the two, my personal secret policemen and said: ‚Mr. Fiala, a confrontation. Let´s go.‘ They put me in a car and drove me to the forest about 15 to 20 kilometres towards Orlické mountains via Třebechovice, further up. There they said: ‚Get off!‘ And because I knew that the people did not ever come back or got beaten up, so I was ready for everything, but calm. They took me amongst themselves and said: ‚Let´s go for a walk!‘ So we walked and they kept talking: ‚Listen, you have a future ahead, you should be reasonable, we are giving you a chance to be of use. But within the socialist legality. And if you respect us, when we ask you to do something, you should suit us. Just be reasonable!‘ I replied: ‚By no means count me out. Only for the two of you, if you wished for any spiritual advice, I'm available, but nothing more!‘“

  • Full recordings
  • 1

    v bytě pamětníka, Praha 4, 15.07.2016

    duration: 01:53:13
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
  • 2

    v bytě pamětníka, Praha 4, 15.03.2017

    duration: 35:17
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
  • 3

    Praha, 15.03.2017

    duration: 02:04:01
Full recordings are available only for logged users.

Open the gates to your hearts

01- serving in the army in Havlickuv Brod in 1954
01- serving in the army in Havlickuv Brod in 1954
photo: archiv pamětníka

Miloslav Fiala O. Praem was born on 28 August, 1928 in Malín near Kutná Hora. After completing elementary school he was accepted to gymnasium in Kutná Hora, where he graduated in 1940. His activities after February 1948, mainly around the Catholic Youth Association, were spotted by the secret police and in 1949 he was arrested and interrogated by them. In 1951 he graduated at the High School of Commerce in Prague and from 1952 to 1955 he completed his basic military service. After returning to civilian life he decided to follow a spiritual path and developed his Christian activities. In 1955 he was persuaded to cooperate with the secret police several times. After studying theology in Litoměřice he was ordained a priest by the bishop Tomášek in December of 1971. In 1974 he was taken away for so called state approval and then worked as a storekeeper and accountant. In 1989 new opportunities opened up for him. In January 1990 he worked in a religious section of the Czechoslovak Radio and from 1991 to 1996 he was a spokesperson for the Czech Bishop Conference. In 1999 - 2006 he was president of the Czech Catholic Charity. After retiring, he devoted himself to temporary spiritual activities, took part in seminars and spiritual trainings. Amongst others he is an author of the book Thoughts for Time and Bad Weather. As of 2016, he lives in Prague 4.