Ing. Miloslav Gajdorus

* 1942  

  • “That was the main reason, that our family lived a bourgeois way of life. Because we had maids in Mikulov and it just simply wouldn’t do if I studied. I was summoned to the dean of food product chemistry’s office and informed that unfortunately a letter from Přibyslav had arrived saying that I had to leave the school.”

  • “During a break at the trial, of the proceedings, I went outside to the hallway. A female Russian prosecutor was in charge there of the entire prosecution and the court. She was standing there with my judge, who just happened to be Mr. Lhotan from Pelhřimov, they were standing and talking together. Then I appear and he looked and she obviously asked if it was me or not, and then he explained the situation to her. Maybe he asked what to do about it, or how to take care of it. And she said: ‘Siberia!’ To Siberia. So I told myself it was the end. I started trembling in fear because I had a family, I had a son. If I am going to have to leave them here alone, maybe I’d even survive, just maybe.”

  • “In the year of sixty-eight on the twenty-first of August I arrived to work about fifteen minutes late. And from the station or the stop I could already see that the monument of the factory, the Soviet symbol was missing. I wondered to myself if the Russians hadn’t removed it, because they had already been in Hlinsko. When I got there I saw, it was starting to heat up and that heavy construction, that really very heavy five-point star was lying on the roof, which was asphalt under the roofing cover. So I told myself that it was heavy, it was going to be a scorcher that day, if it ends up raining, if that construction tears into the tar paper, it might start raining into the product. And that was the beginning of my end. Because when it was investigated later, I was told that there had to be a boss presiding over the entire action. But I was waiting for it to fall on me, so I mechanically stood by my decision. I was transferred to the D-class. That means the gang in the courtyard. I never minded physical work, so there I was of loader of trains, coal, and so on. Then I asked myself why I should commute to Hlinkso as a manual worker, when I could be one here. It was a hard landing. Nobody here would talk to me. When I would go to the co-op or anywhere to find work, they would turn their backs on me and I no longer existed.”

  • “In spring of sixty-eight during the Prague Spring two willing people said: ‘Come on! Start it and we’ll join you.’” – “Could you repeat what it was you wanted start?” – “The Club of Engaged Independents. There were two such organizations. There was KAN and K231 and we founded KAN here. These two guys, as I was saying, went with me to Prague. Coincidentally, the initial meeting with Dr. Štěpánek and Mr. Battěk unfolded on the grounds of my alma mater, the University of Chemistry and Technology. This is how it started off. When people here found out about it I started getting a bunch of registration forms because everyone had already had enough. So we founded KAN and that became another aggravating circumstance.”

  • Full recordings
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    Ždírec nad Doubravou, 18.09.2020

    (audio)
    duration: 41:13
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
  • 2

    Ždírec nad Doubravou, 25.09.2020

    (audio)
    duration: 35:06
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
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The sinking red star pulled him in

Miloslav Gajdorus was born on 25 January 1942 in Uherské Hradište. His childhood was spent in Mikulov where his father was employed from 1944 as a chief clerk in a wine company. During the Second World War his father Miloslav Gajdorus Sr. was briefly imprisoned in the former Kounicova dormitories in Brno. After the February takeover his family, often labeled as bourgeois, was unable to avoid communist persecution. Thus, his family moved to Vysočina. Their class origins however caught up with them, which would later foreclose the witness’s chance to study at the university level. In the end, however, after a short stint doing manual work, the witness completed his studies at the University of Chemistry and Technology in Prague. He lived in Ždírec nad Doubravou and in the fall of 1965 he became an employee of the Hlinsko Industrial Creamery. Eventually he left his technical position for management of the condensed and dried products operations. In spring 1968 he became a co-founder of the KAN (Club of Engaged Independents) political movement in Ždírec nad Doubravou. During the Soviet occupation on 21 August 1968, someone attempted to pull down the red star from the creamery’s building. Miloslav had it removed completely so as to avoid any accidents from it falling. The emerging Normalization period saw him transferred to a manual worker’s position soon, and he soon left the company. He searched hard for adequate employment and in the end he became an employee of the state forest division. In 1971 the removal of the red star became the issue of a trial, one from which he left with a three year prison sentence, for which his engagement in KAN and alleged authorship of anti-occupation posters from 1969 only worsened his case. State Security considered Miloslav to be a hostile individual and opened up a file on him codenamed Mlíkař (Milkman) and later Lesník (Forester). Afterwards the witness went back and forth between a series of mainly manual professions. After 1989 he became the vice mayor of Ždírec nad Doubravou and he remained in this function until 2002.