Miloš Horanský

* 1932  

  • “Well, like this Gypsy friend Ebebe, the shepherd. We loved him, he was older than us and he was cute. He had a hunchback, and he was a very unusual guy, he had a strong massive head, and he was slightly crazy, and very cheerful, slightly mysterious and he had a suggestive influence on us children and he was actually a kind of a leader for us. You know, a gang of children always has some leader, and this Ebebe... Well, he had a speech disorder. Mostly, when he was grazing sheep, he would be saying: ‘E be e be be.’ He spoke to the sheep, and he called them: ‘Be be.’ You know, the sound sheep make, like ‘baa, baa.’ A herd of sheep was passing by and bleating ‘be be,’ and he was repeating ‘E be E be be.’ He was as if talking to them and speaking to them like this and we thus started calling him Ebebe; I don’t even know what his real name was. But in a friendly way, we gave him this nickname Ebebe. And then he received the notice. He was dressed in festive clothes. He did not know where he was going. A lorry arrived, there was a poultry coop and stairs, and the Gypsies and Jews were climbing up those stairs and they were being taken to a camp. And we, children, were standing down there and crying and saying: ‘Ebebe, Ebebe.’ We said farewell to him, and made the sign of the cross, and we cried, and our Ebebe left. We have never seen him again. So this was our friend Ebebe.”

  • “But I remember it with great pain when Germans were executing Czech patriots. There were special notice posters with blood-red colours and black writing. Can you imagine how nasty it looks? We have some colour, or black letters on white, but if you have this red poster which is the only one in this colour on the poster board with those black letters and the German eagle sign, and it says - according to the martial law – the martial law was introduced after the assassination of Heydrich, and people were being shot by thousands – the following people were punished by the capital punishment. And this was followed by a list of people’s names. We, as children, walked to school and then we would freeze in horror by those black and red letters. Well, it is a terrible, painful feeling for sure. Then you go to school and you see the Nazi eagle or the swastika and you read the names of the people who were sentenced to death penalty by them.”

  • “For example, when the Bolsheviks banned Václav Černý, after he published the First Notebook on Existentialism, then (grammar school professor Tylman – ed.’s note) said in the literary circle which he had established: ‘Here you go, this is a writer who he has troubles with the political regime.’ It was after February 1948 and professor Václav Černý published the First Notebook on Existentialism, about the large literary and spiritual movement in France. ‘And make out of it whatever your mind is capable of.’ Horanský did one presentation, and then there was another. And the students were discussing it and with pencil in hand we were underlining the text. And he would finish the parts which we did not understand. But can you imagine what great power it is, when you are sixteen and you can touch this great spirit of Václav Černý? And a year later he is kicked out from all universities. Not only the civic aspect, but also the fact that in this way you are learning about existentialism and he did a basic summary of that. An unforgettable experience.”

  • Full recordings
  • 1

    v ZŠ Cimburkova, 02.11.2016

    duration: 01:10:13
    media recorded in project The Stories of Our Neigbours
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It sends chills down my spine when I hear today ‘Czech lands to Czechs’

Miloš Horanský
Miloš Horanský

Miloš Horanský was born in 1932 in Slovakia. However, since his father was a Czech, he and his family had to leave Slovakia after the rise of Hlinka’s Guards to power. Miloš thus began attending elementary school in Kroměříž, and he also experienced the Second World War in this town. After completing elementary and grammar school he studied theatre directing at the Theatre Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague (DAMU) and at Janáček Academy of Music and Performing Arts in Brno (JAMU). He was subsequently worked in theatres in Nový Jičín, Ostrava, Opava, Prague, Cheb, Liberec and Kladno. In 1968 he was actively involved in the Club of Committed Non-Party Members (KAN), and at the beginning of the normalization period this resulted in a temporary ban on his work in theatre. In the 1990s he was habilitated as a professor, he taught at DAMU and for three years he also served as the faculty’s dean. Apart from theatre activity, Miloš Horanský is also an author, writing mainly collections of poem.