Josef Švéda

* 1935  

  • “I remember coming to a clubhouse that was still closed, but one door was bungled, and it was already obvious that somebody was taking stuff there. And it was already known that no one could have gone there and that the Pioneer owned it. I do not know, if the scouts were taking their things there, or how it was, but it was actually the end of it, right?” - “And have you already been aware of it for some time, or was it just all of a sudden? “ – “Nobody thought that it would end. Because they actually went to the camps for the harvesting of blueberries, those were in fact labour camps. And no one wanted to believe it would have happened. So they thought that scouting was harmless, it would not matter to anyone, or did it? That children go to nature. But it mattered, it did. There was the Pioneer movement and it was necessary to transfer the children to Pioneer.”

  • "You know, when you grow up in that system, it's hard to imagine that it could end eventually. But we all looked forward to it once in future. But we did not know when it was going to be. Because when troops arrived, it was a confirmation that it was not so easy for someone to change their minds and destroy the old regime here and establish a new one. It was not until the 1990s."

  • “Because we did not take the pledge yet. We were there a part of the group, but the pledge ceremony was usually done in the camp. I was not in the camp anymore, so we made it there. There was an old quarry here in Slanica, where we made fire and nothing could catch on fire there. And there we did it somehow, I do not know, if it was morning or afternoon. My parents knew about it, they came to see us, and on the other side the secret police was watching - the one guy, who moved next to us. We did not know that at all. And so he did not meet us a lot, perhaps he only informed on us. When he saw us, maybe meeting at home or going to the woods.” – “And how did you figure out this guy was watching you?” – “Because he was there in the woods, somebody told me, that he stood there looking at the oath back then. I mean, my parents told me.” – “And that was when that suspicion arose?” – “Around that time. They also wondered, what he was doing, where he was employed, and somehow they learnt that he work for the secret police.” – “And do you think it was a coincidence that he moved in the neaighbourhood?” – “I do not know, I just cannot say it. I really cannot say that, but later he moved away. Maybe it was targeted at the time, when it was revealed that we had the group.”

  • Full recordings
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    Zlín, 13.04.2018

    duration: 02:14:30
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
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I hid the badge and the scarf too

photo: archiv J. Švédy

Josef Švéda was born on 12 May, 1935 in Zlín. Both parents were Bata’s employees; the father worked in the export department and his mother was a lector often travelling outside the republic to Bata’s foreign branches. The witness shortly studied at the gymnasium following the war. After they were cancelled he returned to the secondary school and continued studying at a specialised training centre. Past the war he became a member of Sokol. In 1948 he shortly attended the scouting group with its branch at Na Kútech. Following the ban in 1950 they lost the branch and all their stuff too. Despite that the friends from the scouts kept meeting and created a small group. In 1951 they got trapped by a former head, who was claiming that the Scout is going to be re-established. They even passed the Scouting vow, but they did not know that they were monitored by the witness’ neighbour, who was probably the secret police agent. Some members of their group were interrogated and one of them was forced to inform on Rudolf Plajner. At the time of boarding school Josef Švéda also devoted himself to the athletics and took over the Tyrš´s badge of fitness from Emil Zátopek. After finishing the special training he added his education by studying secondary school and passing a graduation at industrial school. He kept meeting his friend and going out in nature, later together with the mountaineering club. Following graduation he was accepted to the high school in Pardubice, where he studied chemical-technological faculty. During his studies he devoted himself to choir singing and met his future wife there. Together they raised three children in Zlín. Most of his professional life he spent in the research institute in Louky. After 1989 he began enterprising and co-founded the company Invos s.r.o in Svárov. He is still an active member of the old scouts. In his free time he enjoys painting and studying the University of the Third Age.