Ivo Poduška

* 1936  

  • "When my daughter Iva went to school, of course everyone went to Pioneer. The whole class was always one pioneer unit. And I thought, 'It's not possible for them to stay in school and learn about Lenin. I have to take matters into my own hands. ' So I started to work as a leader of a pioneer unit, a touristic unit. And so I chose children who were interested in the tourism, but no longer the whole class, and even from more classes. And of course, soon there were complaint, that it wasn't allright, that the collective was breaking up and that it wasn't possible that the whole class had to be one section. And I [told them], 'No, no, you have the rights and responsibilities of pioneers written in your ID, and it says that one of the rights of a pioneer is that he can choose a section.' So they were forced to accept it in the end. And since we took part in various races and competitions, we actually transferred some of the fame to the pioneer group. And gradually we developed into the best section in that group. "

  • "[Jaroslav] Foglar founded reading clubs in Vpřed magazine right after the war. These were children's clubs in which there was was not an adult leader. The clubs were made up only of children and they decided everything [themselves]. That was Foglar's invention. My younger brother and two other friends and I also started such a club. Next to us was a neighbor, a writer who had already died. And his club even had the number fifteen. It was [thus] the fifteenth registered club. And we went with them. Then they said to us, 'Then establish your club.' So I, as the leader, established my [club], we had the number two thousand four hundred and twenty-six. I still remember that number. It was also still low because there were so many clubs. And that was so nice, because every week there was an activity plan in [the magazine] to do. There were all kinds of quizzes, tasks, expeditions. All this was given in advance by [Jaroslav] Foglar, and every month a report was sent on how it had happened, and he evaluated it and responded to each letter. He had beautiful notepaper. They were orange, pea green, pale blue, and at the top was a [drawn] landscape with a pond, canoes, and trees. He answered everyone and I don't know how he could handle it at all. "

  • "We really liked to look at the diggers, because the pilots were also visible. They were mostly black, and their teeth were shining so brightly. We waved at them and they always waved at us too. Those [diggers] really flew to the ground. And I don't remember them ever being shot down. I remember a story like this when my mother and I went on a train like in the dark. In front of Dobřany, when driving from Přeštice, the river flows there. And I asked my mother, 'Where is the river going?' And she said to me, 'To another river, and another river, and the another river to the sea.' And I said aloud so that the whole train carriage can hear it: "It is good that the rivers flows into the sea. The Germans are there, and they will all drown! ' The whole carriage froze, checking whether there are no Germans amongst us or whether there is not anyone who can report it. But nothing [fortunately] happened. At that time, in short, the children were raised by their parents so much that they hated the Germans. "

  • "And as soon as they settled in, the first thing was that they put a huge radio amplifier in the window that led directly to the street where they had cars, and blasted those American swings until about two o'clock in the morning to the fullest. Each street lived in its own way, because there was a certain number of [American soldiers] accommodated in each. They had the cars that belonged to them. And everyone on that street was told not to cook the next day inviting us to lunch. There was a field kitchen right under our windows and they cooked there. When it was done, they let everyone know. Everyone had to take a plate and get risotto. Well, we didn't know what it was because we didn't know rice at all. And there was meat! And such juice, it was so good! Then we looked at the soldiers when they had finished. They didn't have any mess tins, but such shallow elliptical bowls with a compartment. And they had two containers in that bowl. There was soap foam in one and water in the other. They washed their mess tins in the soap foam, or the bowl to be precise, they then washed it with water. And we said to ourselves:"What idiot can wash dishes in soap foam?" It didn't occur to anyone, that such things as detergents can exist. When the detergents appeared in our shops? So we amused ourselves with this sight."

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    Plzeň, 10.05.2021

    (audio)
    duration: 02:34:36
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
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Tourism and leadership of a club helped me to survive the grayness of the normalisation

Ivo Poduška as a youngster
Ivo Poduška as a youngster
photo: Archiv pamětníka

Ivo Poduška was born on June 9, 1936 in Pilsen. He grew up in Hostoun in Šumava. In 1939 he experienced a large congress of Henleins there. The two uncles went through concentration camps, and a cousin was totally deployed in Germany. At the beginning of the war, the family moved to Merklín. Ivo’s father died in 1942 of kidney disease. They then moved to Přeštice with their mother and younger brother. He experienced the attacks of American fighters and the march of prisoners of war there. He is a witness to the arrival of American soldiers of the 2nd Infantry Division called Indian Head. Six Americans were accommodated in their house in Přeštice. The mother was a teacher and refused to join the Communist Party. He did not receive a recommendation for school, so he trained as an electrician. He then worked at the Bílá Cerekev ironworks in Hrádek near Rokycany. He served in the Technical Battalions in Děčín. He later completed secondary school leaving exams at an industrial highschool. He worked for the water management administration or in a paper mill. He got married in 1966. He experienced the occupation of Warsaw Pact troops in August 1968 in Pilsen. He also captured dramatic moments of the occupation in photographs. In 1976, he founded the Saturn tourist club under Pionýr, which he led in the spirit of Jaroslav Foglar. The division won various competitions, the witness was an award-winning leader. In 2021 he lived in Pilsen.