Vladimír Tomek

* 1944

  • "In Letohrad from the year 1968 people sung at guitar masses. That was a thorn in the eyes of our comrades. And later they forbid our guitars, and so the songs were sung with piano. That vicar, under which they cancelled the guitars, they later also took away state permission from him. And so he was this sort of mix. They didn't like us as independently thinking and independently existing people. And so because of that, that we believed and put some effort into it. The church at Orlice was full for the rhythmic masses, especially for the first two years. That of course annoyed our comrades. They pressured the vicar. They really couldn't tell us much overall. If we were singing songs, which were different from the classic folk songs from the canon, they shouldn't care less about. But they did care about it, because many young people followed it."

  • "We knew that when the Russians came in with tanks, that Scouting would never exist here. You could see that one beautiful day they would destroy us. But we were granted two years. And then in Letohrad we founded the hiking troop of the youth by the Physical Education Unity Spartak Letohrad. The troop functioned for three years. Unfortunately our comrades didn't let us out of their sight and in the year 1975 Spartak dissolved the youth hiking troop. Our comrades were like nothing had happened, they had pushed Spartak, to cancel us. They threw us out of the physical education organization. Back then some were thrown out of universities, some didn't get heir promised diploma, some, for example Robin, went a step lower in their career. But back then Robin told us: 'We're starting to have children, slowly you are as well, and so the comrades can do whatever the hell they want, we're going to keep going on trips with just our children.'"

  • "They had the broadcast on, back then in that broadcast the Soviet Union was playing against the Federal Republic of Germany. I was immensely surprised, how fanatical Poles from the army sports club could so fanatically cheer for the Germans. I then later went to talk with Stan Vodinský, a Polish friend of mine, and asked him: 'Explain to me: you had suffered so much from the Germans - and so then why are you cheering for them so much against the Russians?' We were also cheering for the Russians to lose, and were glad, when we won against them in hockey, but against them it was a total walk in the park. And he told me: 'Vladko, you don't know history? You don't know, what the Moscovites did with us historically?' And he started recalling it to me. And so I started to look around for literature on the subject. But back then and there we didn't know anything at all about the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. But the Poles knew it, they knew about Katyn. That was one of the greatest experiences I ever had. I repeat: it was in the year 1966."

  • "On the seventh of May, I remember it exactly. There was a large hall in Letohrad, it was used as a cultural station and also as a gym. We hung up posters at schools and around town, that those interested in Scouting should come to the hall. When we went out onto the stage there, we saw that the hall was full of children and parents. I had my head in my hands. And then Robin organized the rest. I said: 'Pepa, what are we gonna do with this?' And he told me to not be scared. And also yes. There were many children interested in us. We mostly picked the future group leaders - children 13 years old and older. So that there would be some leaders and Scouting could actually be organized for the children. A course was made, which climaxed in August - still before August twenty-first - with a trip to the Jeseníky mountains. There we taught them practical things, how to cook on a fire and other practical things, that belong to these trips."

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    Červená Voda, 04.10.2021

    duration: 02:14:30
    media recorded in project Příběhy regionu - HRK REG ED
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It annoyed our comrades that we were gathering and not hiding our religious faith

Vladimír Tomek, 1963
Vladimír Tomek, 1963
photo: archiv pamětníka

Vladimír Tomek was born on the 29th of August 1944 in Kunčice u Letohradu, back then still Kyšperka. His mother Růžena (1916-1989) worked as a school janitor and his Father Karel (1912-2003) was a career electrician. He grew up with his older brother Karel, born 1941, and his younger brother Jiří, born 1949. The family had a very active religious life as practicing Catholics. The children attended religious classes, went to religious services at church, where Vladimír even helped as an altar boy, and from 1959 sang in the church choir. It was this unapologetic religious practice that later also significantly shaped the course of his life and even the lives of his later friends. In the years 1958-1961 he studied to become a toolmaker and then worked in Tesla in Jablonná nad Orlicí. He was recalled from his middle school studies after a month by a cadre member, for the reason, that the regime didn’t need management positions to be filled by people, who turn their backs to it. At the start of the 60s he started going to camps with a group of friends under the leadership of Josef Vychytil. These camps weren’t organized, but at their roots were values, that even Scouting recognized: fraternity, honour, responsibility for the collective. After attending mandatory military service in the years 1963-1965, he returned to the Tesla and kept going on trips and summer jobs with his friends. On the 7th of May 1968 he resurrected the Scouting organisation in Letohrad with the help of Josef Vychytil and others. In the summer of this year he joined a group of youths, that started accompanying the services in the church in Letohrad-Orlice with rhythmic songs and guitars. Thanks to this a large number of young people started heading there from both near and far to attend the services, which was not to the taste of their observant comrades. After the 21st of August 1968 and the coming of Warsaw Pact tanks they still managed to organize two Scout summer camps. Vladimír attended both as troop leader. After the ban on Scouting in October 1970 his members transferred over under the Spartan troop in Letohrad. They continued to meet and go on trips and summer jobs. This troop soon came under the supervision of the secret police. Their members were additionally the same as those, that played at the rhythmic masses. The unorganized meeting of faithful youths was unacceptable to the regime. In 1975 a number of the troop’s members were interrogated by the secret police, some where then thrown out of university, others suffered penalties in employment. In September 1975 the Spartan troop was dissolved as an antisocialist cell. But even that didn’t discourage the group of friends from further social meetings, and so they went to family camps with their children until the year 1989. After the Velvet Revolution, still on the 3rd of December 1989, Josef Vychytil called together a meeting to renew the Scouting organization in Letohrad. Vladimír Tomek then spent twelve years leading one of the troops. After the November revolution he also started on a career path in communal politics in Letohrad. In the years 1990-1998 he was a member of the local council, in the years 2001-2006 he became mayor. In the year 1972 Vladimír Tomek married Pavla Faltusová and raised four children, who were born in 1976, 1977, 1981 and 1982 respectively. He considers his faith to be the most fundamental part of his life, which motivates him to never stop trying and to love others as you love yourself. In the year 2021 he still lived in Letohrad.