“My name is Libuše Musilová, born Kovařicová on October 15th 1926 in Protivín, but since I was 10 months old I have been living in Prague. I have one older sister. I come from a bourgeois, or better to say, “small bourgeois” family. We were part of a well-to-do middle class, which I believe holds all the states together, or at least that’s how it should be. My father was an agronomist engineer, my mother was a housewife. Our childhood was very pleasant. The younger ones perhaps did not even see mother at home all the time. I went to an elementary school in Jarov. My sister’s name is Vlasta and the parents´ are Marie and Antonín. We grew up in a family where the father was an adherent of those pan-Slavic ideals, that’s why we got names like from Jirásek´s novels: Libuše and Vlasta. If we had a brother, he would probably be named Přemysl. But I hold nothing against my name.”
“The standard penalty for boys was twelve to fifteen years. These were really high penalties, and the boys spent a long time behind the bars. I was sentenced to five years and spent precisely four years in prison. They released me on Christmas Eve in the afternoon. The trial took place in Pankrác. On the other hand, at least something is happening after the detention period. You still wear your civilian clothing, you don’t even realize all those years pass. I think no one believed he would spend the whole sentence in prison. I don’t now whether they thought so. Maybe I did, but hardly those who got fifteen years penalties. It was certainly nothing pleasant, but it marked an end to certain period in your life. I think that release from prison always gives you a feeling of relief, even though you do not know what will follow next.”
“I don’t know, but I believe it, and I’m not the only one. I am a believer, a Catholic. In all those times I thought I was being very fortunate. Take for instance the work commando where they brought me, it was in the Liberec´s Elite factory in Vansdorf. Compared to the work in Žielezovce or Minkovice, as the girls told us about it, our work was incredibly nice – glass beads in water. You needed good eyesight, we were sorting those beads, so you had to be able to see well, but I managed.”
“We were preparing to leave for the Christmas break, so I started to look for Boris Kovaříček.
I knew where he lived, so I went to his place, but he had already been arrested before the Christmas of 1948. I talked to his parents, they were scared, and I realized the situation was really serious. I saw a list of all the members´ names lying there on the table, which I considered unprofessional, even though none of us had any experience of that kind. Boris was arrested, and I did not dare just to go to the Šumava Mountains by myself. Maybe I would have taken the risk and tried, but I myself got arrested on the Christmas Eve. The policemen who were arresting me were not so cruel or hardened, they were even chatting together as they drove me in car: Why did you have to pick up that damned phone on Christmas afternoon, she would not have run away during the holiday, anyway. Meaning that they might have let me be for a couple more days, but this is just an interesting intervention of fate.”
“I even participated in the founding of K 231 in Žofín. I was there with my sister, her friend and husband. My uncle Kovařovic, who was also imprisoned, was even one of its founding members. He was not like Procházka or others, but he was also present there. Later they had an office on Karlovo Square, and I was also coming there and trying to find out what was happening, but I did not trust it so much anymore.”
“In times of distress I always felt I was very fortunate.”
Libuše Musilová was born October 15th 1926 in Protivín. The family was relatively well-to-do and her father even knew some of the important First Republic politicians. After graduation from a grammar school, she entered the Law Faculty of the Charles University in Prague, where also her fateful meeting with a classmate, Boris Kovaříček, occurred. A kind of an anti-state group was formed, led by this young man. Libuše Musilová did not know anybody else from the group except Kovaříček, nevertheless she was eventually also sentenced together with about seventy other students, mostly from universities. She was arrested on December 24th, 1948. The trial with the group Šeřík (Lilac) took place in June 1949 and Libuše Musilová was sentenced to five years of heavy jail. She spent precisely four years in communist prisons, and was released on December 24th, 1952. After her detention she spent the rest of her penalty in the working commando in Vansdorf. Afterwards she earned her living as a crane driver, later as a factory canteen worker, a janitor and a worker in a joiner’s workshop in the ČKD Prague factory. This is where she met her husband Jiří Musil, with whom she raised their daughter Dagmar. Till the 1990s she worked in a DIY shop. In 1968 she actively participated in the founding of the association of former political prisoners K 231, and since 1989 she has been involved in the Confederation of Political Prisoners. Now she lives in Březnice and is a member of the Confederation’s Příbram chapter. Although she has had to bear many terrible experiences throughout her life, she has always felt she had been fortunate precisely in these events.