Miloslav Nerad

* 1921  †︎ 2019

  • “I found out that there were people around me who were probably agents of State Security, because during various debates when we came upon problematic questions, I saw the stance they were taking. So I was convinced, or at least I reckoned I had to be much more careful before talking to anyone. Then I made contact.”

  • “I’d do it again, but I’d do it in a better and cleverer way. There were things I did that were naive to a certain extent. For instance, I met with the teacher, Hruboň, in Prague, and we spoke together in a taxi. Or when I went to my friend to sleep over, to his mother, and I didn’t check who she was at all. She rented the flats out, and students used them. I never should have done that. Because it’s possible that one of the students or the lady herself could have mentioned in to State Security. I didn’t even know if she was a Party member.”

  • “We came to Mánes Street, and I guess there was a State Security collaborator there, because I probably caught a glimpse of him at the trial in Pankrác. I don’t know if they had borrowed some prisoner, or if it was a civilian agent, but they had a conspiracy flat there. We had a meeting there, they even showed me my cousin. But we only had time to greet each other, and then it is not possible to continue, for conspiracy reasons. So they took her away.”

  • “Well I had to laugh at that. How can people accept only a hint of freedom like that after being oppressed for such a long time. I couldn’t understand how anyone could support Dubček, or later Svoboda. And yet I had sat [in prison] with people who were Svoboda’s aides, who had served with him in the east.”

  • “I knew Husák from Leopoldov, I know how he behaved and how he behaved to us. He was a mafdo [‘man for disposal’, an approximation of the Czech acronym ‘mukl’ - trans.] - I don’t remember him telling on anyone. But I do know that he got people - there were factories there, where [we] worked afternoon shifts, he acted as foreman, so he went to get them. They hadn’t come to the afternoon shift, they were sleeping, and he set off, he asked the guard to escort him to the cells, and he put the boys into order, so they’d go to work. Cold, reserved. I remember how he always claimed: ‘I’m going free, they’ll release me, but I’ll only leave if they make me minister of the interior.”

  • “There was no mention of me going back into the country. They spoke of cooperation, contacts, and so on. I was careful not to tell on someone back home, I didn’t want to get them into trouble. They took me from Valka-Lager to a private house in Nuremberg, where I got rid of everything that was unpleasant in Valka-Lager, and then they took me to a hotel. But I don’t exactly know where that was. I spent some three four days there and met up with two gentlemen, who were officers. But of course, they didn’t tell me their names, they had code names.”

  • “I was riding the tram, I sat down, and a lady came to stand by me. We were well brought up in my days, but when I came back, I would say to myself: ‘No, I won’t let you sit, you beast. The blokes killed me off, and I’m supposed to be giving you my seat?’ That was my approach, I just simply didn’t let her sit down. But then I came to the opinion that I can’t behave like that towards society, I can’t hate them. I can scorn them, but I have to find my place somehow.”

  • “Just before the trial the [male] prosecutor came and said so only I could hear: ‘You will be judged. What do you think of that, and why did you go against the Party?’ I explained why. And he said: ‘Very well, see you at the trial.’ And I was judged by a different prosecutor. A woman. I don’t know her name, I never saw the verdict in all these years. They had proposed the death penalty, which was quite common in those days I guess, and I ended up with twenty [years].”

  • Full recordings
  • 1

    Praha, 12.11.2013

    duration: 03:41:36
    media recorded in project Iron Curtain Stories
  • 2

    Praha, 13.05.2016

    duration: 02:01:15
  • 3

    Hroznová ul., Praha , 23.03.2017

    duration: 02:01:15
    media recorded in project 10 pamětníků Prahy 10
Full recordings are available only for logged users.

Our family was openly defiant of Communism

Milan Nerad, 2016
Milan Nerad, 2016
photo: Eye Direct

Miloslav  Nerad was born on 18 July 1921 in Ledeč nad Sázavou. His father owned a shoemaker’s firm, his mother died when Miloslav was four years old. The family did not hide its anti-Communist views. Before completing primary school, Miloslav and his father moved to Prague-Horní Počernice. He studied at the secondary technical school in Czecho-Moravian Kolben-Daněk (CKD), where he then worked as a technical clerk. In 1946 he established his own company for repairing boilers, but his dream of life and enterprise in a democratic country were smashed abruptly by the Communist coup in February 1948. Already in May 1948 he was arrested for the distribution of anti-Communist pamphlets in Horní Počernice. He was interrogated in Bartolomějská Street and then held shortly in custody at Charles Square. Miloslav was stood on trial, but was released due to an amnesty of President Klement Gottwald. This experience did not stop him from founding the illegal anti-Communist organisation Moje vlast (My Country); but in the end he decided to escape to West Germany. In November 1950 he left Cheb and came to Waldsassen; after a brief stay in the Valka-Lager near Nuremberg his contacts helped him get in touch with the anti-Communist Czechoslovak Intelligence Office (CIO) of Colonel František Moravec, which he joined in March 1951 as a so-called agent-ranger. In April 1951 he and two colleagues crossed the border near Domažlice and travelled to Prague, where he contacted his cousin. His mission was to restart the activities of the My Country organisation that had dissolved after his departure. He completed this task, but on 11 May 1951 he was arrested near the National Theatre in Prague. He underwent harsh interrogations and was stood on trial once again; although the prosecution originally proposed the death penalty, the result was a milder sentence of twenty years in prison. During the years 1951-64 Miloslav was imprisoned in Pankrác, Pilsen-Bory, Leopoldov, Bytíz, and Opava. When in Bytíz, he planned an escape attempt, but finally decided against it. He was released in 1964 from Leopoldov, and took up employment as a boiler man, maintenance man, and later supervisor at a heating plant in Prague-Spořilov. He received a flat from the heating plant and got married. He worked until his retirement. In 1968 he was active in the club of former political prisoners K-231, and in the current times he is the vice-chairman of the Confederation of Political Prisoners in Prague. He lives in Prague.