Radoslav Sáblík

* 1924  

  • “I signed my authorization for sixteen people who wanted to have passports issued. If somebody applied for a passport, we always had to sign a recommendation for them. The director and the chief production engineer didn’t want to have anything to do with it and they left the matter to me. I signed the recommendation for those sixteen people so that they would be able to get a passport and travel abroad. I knew that all sixteen of them would remain abroad. They wanted out, they wanted to get out!”

  • “Zbrojovka was an exceptional company. Something like, let’s say, Baťa in Zlín. I mean in terms of production control and the system of training for young people. Zbrojovka had an excellent school for apprentices. Excellent! Experts taught there and they gave instruction in physics, mathematics, and all that. Then the German occupation and the Protectorate came in. But in spite of that, the school has still maintained its high level. All the time.”

  • “During the mobilization, in autumn 1938, immediately before the Munich Agreement was signed, soldiers took over our school building. We enthusiastically helped to carry all their equipment, unload things from their cars, we were so eager to help them! Just a small digression, only one time in my life I participated in the May Day parade, and that was in 1938. I joined the parade as a Boy Scout, because our country was in danger. It was terribly disappointing to see how they did away with us during the Munich conference. Everyone felt terribly about it. About the disappointment. Terrible disappointment.”

  • “I was after a night shift, and mom woke me up and told me to go and have a look, that there were white trails on the sky and great roar. I went to see it, and it was clear to me that they were the four-engine flying fortresses. They said that there were three hundred airplanes, but I don’t believe that. I would say one hundred planes at maximum. Fighter planes were circling between them and there was an anti-aircraft cannon here on the Stránská Hill, and it fired at them. At that moment one of the fighter planes changed direction, we could hear that, and that was it, it was over. The formation separated. Half of them flew to the northeast and the other half to the southeast. I went to sleep again and mom woke me again and she said, look, there are people from Kuřim coming here, all in tattered clothes. They were barefoot, with ragged working overalls. They were bombing Kuřim. Líšeň was being bombed, too.”

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    Brno, 21.07.2014

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Stand here for ages, guide, protect, and resist!

 Sáblík Radoslav
Sáblík Radoslav
photo: Dobové - Radoslav Sáblík, současné - Alena Kastnerová (sběrač)

Radoslav Sáblík was born February 9, 1924 in Brno. His father Viktor Sáblík worked in a mine, and his mother Marie, née Kudlíková, was a housewife. Radoslav Sáblík showed exceptional technical talent already when he was a young boy and after completing elementary school in 1939 he was thus sent to apprentice as a machine fitter in the Zbrojovka arms factory in Brno. It was in this factory where he experienced the mobilization in September 1938 with his classmates and subsequently all the events brought about by the war. After the war he began studying a secondary technical school. In 1947 he married after completing his military service, returned to the Zbrojovka factory, and in 1948 he joined the Communist Party. During the 1950s he worked in the Zetor factory. In 1958 his fellow Party members asked him to testify against two of his colleagues in a staged court trial. Radoslav refused, which resulted in several weeks of psychic terror that culminated in his two suicide attempts. Later, in 1958, he began working in the testing laboratory of the Research Institute for Rolling-element Bearings, the second largest testing facility in all Comecon countries. He gradually progressed to the position of the deputy to the director. During the thirty years of work in this institute he became the author of with fifteen patent applications and inventions, some of which were being sold all over the world. Apart from recognition from the research community, however, they also brought him a lot of envy from less successful colleagues, tens of anonymous letters and eventually also the interest of the secret police, which did not favour Radoslav’s contacts with colleagues from foreign countries. In 1968 Radoslav Sáblík openly criticized the invasion of the occupying armies to Czechoslovakia, and with his authorization he helped sixteen of his colleagues to emigrate. The activity of the StB secret police intensified after 1968 and they eventually offered him to collaborate with them. Radislav Sáblík refused, but the situation eventually escalated so much that he succumbed to the pressure and in 1974 he signed the commitment of cooperation. A file was kept on Radoslav Sáblík under his cover name n. 20319 Výzkumník (Researcher) by the registry department of the Regional Authority of the Police (SEO KS SNB) from January 21, 1974. In the 1980s he submitted several proposals for improvements of the submachine gun, and he also temporarily worked in the Military Technical Institute in Prague. He experienced the Velvet Revolution while he was about to retire. As for his collaboration with the secret police, he claims that he had been forced to sign the commitment under harsh pressure and he had never harmed anybody; on the contrary, thanks to his connections he helped many people.