Miloš Hájek

* 1921  †︎ 2016

  • „When the transportations started few members of Hasomer Hacair decided not to go. They have tried to survive the war with false documents and asked me for help. Of course I have agreed and we started to seek false documents. I told members of my cell what is going on. During the war we successfully created new identities for seven Jews. Five of them survived the war. We stole personal ID, erased it and filled in the needed name. It was our most effective activity of this period.”

  • „I strongly believed in communism. I had no doubt about Stalinist theses, including the way how the opposition should be treated. I needed someone who would break my view that the crushing of opposition in Russia was necessary for the socialistic progress. I maintained this opinion until the year 1956 when I have heard the secret speech delivered by Nikita Chruscov. From his speech was absolutely clear that the liquidation of opposition was a crime. I needed to hear an official authority – in this case it was the First Secretary Chruscov – to say: it was not necessary to crush the opposition.”

  • „We knew there was the Communist Party and we decide to contact it. One Sunday in September 1941 after our regular walk trough Prague, I and my friend Jan Heller have reached a Bethaluc. Bethaluc in Hebrew means a workers’ home. There lived people from Slovakia, Russia even from Germany. Among them was some Laco Herškovič. That Sunday we were standing in a corridor and Laco Herškovič took me aside behind a wardrobe and asked me, if I was a member of the Communist Party. I thought he was looking for a connection to the party so I answered: ‘Not me, but I know some members of the party.’ His second question was: ‘Do you want to cooperate?’ – ‘Yes, I do.’ Then he asked, if I knew more people who were interested in cooperating with illegal Communist party. After I confirmed, he told me to establish a cell.”

  • „I was already sleeping. My wife woke me up: ‘Russians have crossed the border.’ We dressed up and drove to Senovážné square. Czechoslovak parliament had there an emergency meeting. Then I drove with Křen and Kural to Strašnice to pick up Jaromír Litera, who was the second highest party representative in Prague. When we returned, the first armored cars were just arriving. In the street they shot a young railroad man to death. We looked at each other: ‘What else?’ – ‘Let’s go to Dubček!’ But when we came at his office, two Russian paratroopers were already standing in front of the door: ‘No way!’”

  • „We were disappointed, because we were not given weapons. We were getting an illegal journal World Against Hitler. We had distributed it to reliable people. Our first real action happened after the Red Army regained Rostov. We made stickers with ‘V’ sign, hammer and sickle and a sign ‘Rostov’. Each of us has covered one area of Prague. I and Jiřina were supposed to paste up the stickers in New Town. At the moment I was going to paste up the first sticker, I have spilled everything on the ground, so big was my fear. But Jiřina behaved perfectly: ‘Everything is all right; you will overcome it.’ I really overcame the fear after some time, but now it was clear to me how naive we had been, when we had thought we could get weapons.”

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    Praha, 15.04.2008

    (audio)
    duration: 03:00:22
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
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“At the moment I was going to paste up the first sticker, I spilled everything on the ground, so I was afraid.”

miloš Hájek.JPG (historic)
Miloš Hájek
photo: Jan Horník

Miloš Hájek was born on May 12th in 1921, in Dětenice. He was interested in politics from his youth. He sympathized with the Left. After the USSR was attacked by Nazi Germany in 1941, Hájek joined the communist resistance movement. From 1943, he cooperated with Hasomer Hacair as well. He helped to obtain false documents for Jews. Hájek was arrested by the Gestapo in August 1944. He was sentenced to death on March 21st in 1945, but the end of the war forestalled the execution. He became a professor at the University of Politics in 1948. Hájek as a communist welcomed the putsch in February 1948. In the 60’s, he worked as a historian. The Soviet invasion in August 1968 caused his slow descent from communism. In 1970, Hájek was expelled from the Communist Party. He signed Charter 77 in 1977 and in years 1988-1989, he served as its speaker. He also participated in the foundation of a political club, Obroda, and in 1990, he became a member of Social Democratic Party. He was awarded the prize Righteous Among the Nations by the state Israel in 1996 for saving the Jews during the World War II. He died in 2016.