Miloslav Kohout

* 1930  †︎ 2009

  • "You asked me if someone influenced me. Yes! It was for an example Honza Novák from Přelouč. He was a textile tradesman and he spent four years in concentration camp. He taught me what I can or can´t do...We used to get a small loaf of bread - that was bread for three days. He told me: ´You can´t eat the whole bread in one day. You have to split it to as many pieces for as many days you have it. Only then you can stay alive. If you stuff your mouth with it in one day, then you won´t have nothing for the next two days! ´ He was giving me these kinds of advices from his life experiences." "Were more people from concentration camps there?" "A lot, in fact...Because the communist police was convinced that those who went through the concentration camps are so tough now they won´t be able to do anything with them. In most of the times they were right. Those people were real men. They have already experienced something and the State Secret Police could do or say whatever they wanted, but these men would rather scarify their health or life, but would never surrender."

  • "It looks funny today, but we didn´t think about the political point of view. We thought mainly about the communist party wanting to rule the young people. Only the fact that we - the scouts - were receiving ID cards with the ČSM title on it was a clear prove to us. There were more organizations concerned by that: like Eagles (Orlové, Czech catholic gymnastic organization) and everybody else. We didn´t like it so few of us got together and we decided to fight against it. We wanted to publish some leaflets - which was quite common act at that time. But because of those who wanted to make a big deal out of it our 8 member group was associated with the rest of the people involved. One group was led by Karel Metyš and was in charge of publishing of the leaflets and the other group which wanted to get the transmitter for external purposes. So now they made one group which held about twenty five people, mostly students...But there were also ordinary people like clerk from the shop or some lady who was in charge of the entire operation in monastery - meals, accommodation and all that stuff. When they brought all this together they needed some leader. So they named František Ambrož Stříteský the head of it. His only wrongdoing was that he took a gun from one of my colleagues and threw it in the ditch. That was the only thing he did and it cost him twenty five years."

  • "If another totality would come, would you also advise young people to go for it (the resistance)?" "Yes indeed; definitely. Where do you think we would come to if young people would listen to all nonsense and wouldn’t do anything to prevent it? Where would our country come to? They have to recognize the truth and then go hard for it."

  • "My lawyer was kind of a weirdo. I wouldn´t mind that...But for all my life I never forgave him for not telling my mom I can´t get the death sentence...Because I had it proposed. It was extremely tough time for my mother; she didn´t know what is going to happen, it was shortly after the Horáková process (she was hanged by them)...My mom didn´t know if they are serious or not. And he knew I won´t get it and never told her."

  • "I don´t know the name, but I shared one cell with relatively high functionary of the Church. When they gave us our food he was always first to finish his plate. After that he was watching with envy those who were still eating. It doesn´t make a good impression when you´re vicar. That´s the same like in Leopoldov prison where an officer was stealing bread from the shelves. Captain is not allowed to go around stealing bread..." "I heard the people say that the greatest hunger was in Leopoldov prison..." "You could see some nasty things in Leopoldov: the leftovers were disposed in sump and when we were walking around some people couldn´t resist and jumped in for rotten carrot...You know, the dignity is completely gone at that moment!"

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    Litomyšl, 08.08.2008

    duration: 02:02:50
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
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“The only wrongdoing Stříteský did was that he took the gun and threw it into the ditch. It cost him twenty five years in jail.”

kohout_mladi.JPG (historic)
Miloslav Kohout
photo: Ondřej Bratinka

Mr. Miloslav Kohout was born on December 21st 1930 in Litomyšl town. He was just in the sixth grade of the local state Gymnasium when emerge of the communist regime came in February of 1948. He was a member of the student government and he also participated in boycott of trade union general strike which was planned on the day before the putsch in Gymnasium as well as throughout the country. At the time of increased pressure (1949) of the Czechoslovak Youth Organization on the Scouts Movement he wrote a leaflet called Colleagues and set up a meeting of few friends. During this meeting they have discussed a joint action against the “integration”efforts of the CSM (Czechoslovak Youth Organization). This group was already preciously named by Mr. Kohout as ATA (with the subtitle Star) and didn´t have enough of time to develop fully its organized activity. In June of 1949 was Mr. Kohout arrested and detained in custody until March of 1950. After his release he couldn´t carry on his studies, for he was dismissed from the school in the mean time. He was looking for some job. He and all of his friends were arrested again on September 16th 1950. The Stříteský case was held on October 7th - October 11th 1950. Mr. Kohout was judged as an adult and was sentenced to twenty years of imprisonment. In addition the court imposed a fine of 10.000 Czech crowns, the loss of civil rights for ten years and also confiscated all of his property. Less than five years of his sentence he served in Chrudim prison, in uranium mine in Jachymov Brotherhood in camp XII in Horní Slavkov town , then in Leopoldov prison and in Bytiz camp in Příbram region. He has been released on September 16th 1954.