RNDr. Ivan Makásek

* 1944  

  • “My future bride lived at Smíchov, Hřebenky under the Strahov hill, I lived as far as Hloubětín. When Franta from our group called me around three in the morning, saying: ‘Ivan, turn your radio on!’ I did as he said. I woke up my father too. We stood at the radio, listened, cried and heard Antonovs or what their planes were called landing in Ruzyně. The next morning I walked to Hřebenky. It was quite awkward to zigzag among the tanks and the soldiers. The most dramatic moment came when I was crossing from the National Theatre to Újezd. The Russians blocked the road but the pressure of the Czechs was so strong that eventually there was no shooting and they let us go. But walking from Štefánik’s Barracks and Holeček street up, I was really scared. Why did I walk up there? I was afraid of my bride!”

  • “To say ‘Ditch Makásek’ or ‘We’ll stop this’ they knew the impressions were high and that there would be unrest among the people. I was not assessing the political situation back then. This was the way it was suitable for them… and for me too. But this was not the only pressure on us. They made an effort to find a mistake in our accounting. This is the biggest and easiest weapon against everybody, as there is nothing more elegant than to find a mistake in accounting. But we managed. We were so wild, no wonder they were afraid.”

  • “No one gave me Charter saying ‘Sign this!’ If it were so simple, I would have signed it in my stupidity and recklessness. I was naturally excited that someone spoke in protest, something was finally happening and that the ice broke. No one could have foreseen it. I didn’t look for people who would give me something to sign. Don’t forget that it was not just about me and my family. With some exaggeration I can say I was the guru of my group and other friends who knew about me. In the 1950s, it was enough to be on friendly terms with someone to get arrested. Not this time. Now you had to be someone to get arrested. That you know this one and that one, they didn’t care. Despite this I felt a kind of… I told myself, ‘You are doing something!’ From my perspective, Charter 77 was great. I did not put too much weight on what we did but we did dangerous stuff many years before Charter 77.”

  • “Then one day my mum came to me, saying, ‘Ivo, would you like to be a part of Foglar’s unit? What if I entered you there?’ I said, ‘Mum, I could register in this unit? Don’t make a fool of me. The unit is long…’ And she says, ‘Don’t be fooled, the unit works. The Hawk lives.’ So I said, ‘Well, that would be great.’ It was thanks to the fact that my mum shared an office with a guy, Mr Stehno, whose two sons attended Foglar’s unit and brought home excited stories. My mum got an idea and asked him whether he could see to it that I was accepted. I waited for about nine months. I won’t elaborate here why but it is related to the way a Boy Scout unit lives. It was spring and the boys were getting ready for summer camps. As a novice, I would have encountered difficulties to cope. The recruitments were usually done in September. And in September of that year, my moment came indeed.”

  • “We would call on Scout functionaries of the old days to help us. For example, Franta Němec-he used to be a high ranking functionary of the Scouts, a deputy mayor of the Scout movement in Czechoslovakia. Now he worked in a hotel somewhere in the Krkonoše Mountains. I’ll tell you what I witnessed. We created a Scout information agency in Prague at Gorkáč, where we alternated duty. The purpose of the agency was to spread the word, to tell the Scouts that this and that happened, that they were supposed to do this and that and to answer their questions. One day I was sitting there and you wouldn’t believe what happened! The door opened and I couldn’t believe my eyes. It was Franta. He came in and said: ‘Hey, I’m here’. He wouldn’t even introduce himself. I think he was touched. He just said: ‘So what do you have for us boys?’ He pushed me to the side of the table, sat down in my chair and started to manage the whole thing. I was completely taken away by that. We didn’t have the courage to lead the way for an entirely new segment of the Scout movement. We were helping it and of course these old Boy Scouts sat into the saddle and directed it all.”

  • “When they were reporting the show trials with the Boy Scouts in the broadcast, my dad would walk around the room and say: ‘These Communist bastards, go to hell with slandering the Scouts. The Scouts were the best organization I’ve ever been in’.“

  • “There were three currents: The first group said that it was all about the kids, and that we need to remain especially for them. They pacified many and got many to stay with Pioneer. The second camp basically resigned. They said that it was all over and gave on the Scouts. They claimed that the Scout organization ceased to exist. And then there was the third group, which was us. We were basically an underground Scout movement.”

  • Full recordings
  • 1

    Praha, 03.05.2010

    (audio)
    duration: 03:00:17
  • 2

    Praha, 19.11.2016

    (audio)
    duration: 02:02:20
    media recorded in project A Century of Boy Scouts
  • 3

    Praha, 23.11.2016

    (audio)
    duration: 01:42:45
    media recorded in project A Century of Boy Scouts
  • 4

    Praha, 11.04.2017

    (audio)
    duration: 01:33:54
    media recorded in project A Century of Boy Scouts
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Rudolf Plajner told me: now or never!

scan 30.jpg (historic)
RNDr. Ivan Makásek
photo: kniha Kluci z Dakoty

RNDr. Ivan Makásek was born in 1944 in Prague. In 1957, he joined the Scout company Jaroslav Foglar. After he was forced to leave the company, he founded the DAKOTA club on March 21, 1959. The DAKOTA club became the DAKOTA rover clan in 1963. In September 1965, he founded the 3rd division of the dog heads by the name of NESKENON. In 1969, the third Scout center in Prague ,TECUMTHA, was founded and existed until 1970. On December 10, 1969, he co-authored (together with M. Kopta and J. Zachariáš) the Syrinx manifest. In June, 1970, his Neskenon was transformed into a canoe and camping troop and subordinated to the district house of children and youth in Prague 4. In 1970, he also founded the 68th base group Taraxacum in Tis. From 1976-2004, he founded and then managed the NIKA magazine on the conservation and protection of nature and the environment. In 1982, the Midewiwin (Midé) fellowship was created. In 1992, he created and led the Wampum Neskenonu magazine that spread the ideas of the ecumenism of the Scout movement. In the period 2003-2005, he worked as a special advisor to the prime minister on ecology. He is currently a member of the League of Forest Wisdom and the Confederation of Girl and Boy Scouts of the Czech Republic. He has devoted all of his life to the promotion of ideas of the ecumenism of the Scout movement. He is the author of ethnographic books about Native Americans, several chronicles about his Scout troops and a book about nature conservation and protection.