Miloslav Trégl

* 1960  

  • “But then, when those from Budejovice took over, the advantage was that I had a ride in 613 (*Tatra 613 a large luxury car). Until then, they rode mostly Zhiguli (a compact sedan car), or Tatra 603. But those from Budejovice who came from the regional administration of the StB, they at least took me into the sixty-sixth. That was nice. They let me change my clothes, so I wouldn't mess up the car. And there it was very hard, they were threatening us that our children will be taken away, that I will be arrested and our children will go to young offenders' institution. By that time there was eighty-nine, eighty-eight, eighty-ninth coming. And there it was going to be tough and then they scared me. Just to mention, my mother was too ill, she wasn't nearly mobile at the time, she was after a hip surgery. So, I was fighting very hard not to leave her here. But I wanted to get a passport, so I could take her to my aunt in Sweden. But when I went for the passport that was about to be done, they immediately told me that it was not in compliance with the laws of the Czech Republic and likewise, and immediately confiscated the passport. So, I filled in a complaint, they replied that it is not in accordance with the law and likewise. So, I couldn't go with my mom to take her to Sweden. And she actually had to stay here. But she didn't want it that much, but it would be a solution. That was the first time I hesitated, and I came to the German Embassy, (...) if they would have taken me if I had applied for emigration. Like the friend Petr Hlavatý, who missed it so badly that he wanted to come back. He was going to the border almost every week and there he looked at Bohemia. He told me that it was so traumatic and it affected their family so much, that when they returned, they got divorced. Just the stress was so terrible for them that they couldn't stand it, they missed it. So, I came to the German embassy, there they said, of course, if I apply. But I said I would hold until the last minute. But the interrogations, and the house arrest and likewise, escalated and escalated in frequency and style. At the time, as it went, I didn't feel I would not make it. But then, when it hit me ... People then told me it was heroism. I don't know if it was heroism or irresponsible behavior towards my children. I do not know if anyone can imagine and think that they would really do what even someone did in the fifties for sure. (...) They took children from some people who signed the Charter. Was it heroism from me, or irresponsibility towards my family, my children? What if the eighty-eight really didn't come so soon? And they would take the children, put them in young offenders' institutions ... I would be arrested four or five years; I would lose my entitlement to children. My wife would be arrested, too, because she too ... I just don't know; I didn't feel like a hero when I evaluated it. That was the biggest pressure on me. Or even they told me, and it was the hardest thing for me: 'Well, your kids walk to school, they could be hit by a car, something could happen to them.' It was that harsh. Well, you start to crumble. Looking for a little support. That's why I went to the German embassy.”

  • “And then, when it was unbearable, I knew that… And Father Francis already told me: 'You will not be able to come here anymore; they already know about you. People have been questioned here, as believers, you will have to stop coming here. So, it graduated into the situation, that I had to sign the Charter publicly. Because I always sympathized with it, I worked for them. Someone signed it a non-public way. Which I didn't understand. And I didn't even understand that it was obliged to do it so. But when it was already like this. Therefore, I signed the Charter, and it all got started by that. Because I was suddenly seen in the small town too much, because it spread among people. And there was, what I was talking about that they were doing to Peter Hlavatejch. Interrogations, they were taking me. I was mostly taken away from work, so people would see it.”

  • “There was nothing left, it was the last school, so they took me there. But I was unhappy there because there was a terrible communist lady and she was giving me a really hard time. That was unbelievable. I had to get my hair cut immediately. Which I refused. They said they would send me to, at that time it was probably not a Youth detention center, back then it was a young offenders' institution. So, they said they would send me to the young offenders' institution. Because I had jeans at that time in the eighth grade, which in the year 74 was already weird. The sun glassed of John Lenon´s style, the hair. So, they said they would just send me to that school. So at least I had a haircut. So, I cried. Well, my father saw it, and they were getting divorced. So, I told him, 'Dad, I don't want anything from you, but help me get out of that school.' So, he did this maneuver again and it worked. They put me back. With a gnash of his teeth, the director, who was an assistant to the Public Safety, accepted me.”

  • “Comrade Tlach thanked me because there was (…) a rabble gathering outside and they wanted to lynch him. And I came there and it was like in the 1948. I opened the window, told them to break up, it was from the first, second floor. That it is the thing that is solved. And those people broke up. That Comrade Tlach, already in his early 60's (...), thanked me so much. And he said I was the most respectable person, from this group of people, he met. It was a terrible honor to me.”

  • “I only took it as a continuation of my work, as I have always functioned. I tried, of course. I made mistakes, sometimes I was wrong for sure. But I've always tried to tell the truth, speak the truth, or live the truth. And the signature was such a culmination of my public attitude to the regime back then, because it was really unbearable. When I saw them destroying the people around me by not allowing them to study and forcing them to join the party because of their profession. These people were terribly upset. So, I basically wanted to show them that it was possible. That it is possible to confront them. And I think I've shown a lot of people that they don't have to worry. Though it is more difficult, but you can still live with it. (...) It was inside me. I think I've always lived that way. Or I tried to live. And I thought to myself, 'If I do that, maybe the other one won't be afraid either.' To show this, show them. They ruled only because the people were afraid. After all, there were no more of them who ruled than those who did not want them. That was really Orwellian. I really love that Orwell. ”

  • “He (father – editor´s note) always wrote to the presidential office that he was asking for an apartment. (...) And because he was proficient in that, apparently, I inherited it from him, he referred for example to human rights, to the Charter of Human Rights, that it is a part of Czech Republic constitution, and he was right. Even today some politicians do not know it. And based on that, the failure to comply with these and those conditions and the constitution, he simply sent this letter there, asking for the matter to be settled. If they are unable, he asks for emigration. And since it would be a disgrace to the socialist regime, it was then taken so they complied.”

  • “Well, they let me enjoy it. It was in a big gym there, when everyone got in there, chasing all those classes from the first to the ninth. Now, there was the decorating, we stood in a line, children from the same year and everyone got it. And they walked pass me and nothing, just the intention…” “So, you didn't know anything before?” “No. No. I just stood there and you know, for that kid back then ... I'm not saying I got a trauma, but I still remember it. It's like standing in front of a big sold out hall, and everyone laughs at you. I know I cried, but I just didn't understand it as a kid, I didn't know what was going on.”

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    České Budějovice, 19.11.2019

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Miroslav Trégl at the age of 15
Miroslav Trégl at the age of 15
photo: Archiv pamětníka

Miloslav Trégl was born on January 24, 1960 in Strakonice. He was apprenticed as a mechanical engineer. From 1978 he worked as a labourer in Fezko Strakonice. During his teenage years he found his way to Christianity and in 1981 he was baptized. Thanks to that, he bonded with several dissidents from Strakonice. In 1986, he signed Charter 77. Since then, he has experienced an intense terror by the State Security, he was even considering emigration, but he has not been issued a passport. He was one of the main leaders of the Velvet Revolution in 1989, in Strakonice he was the founder of the Civic Forum. Between 1990 and 1994 he became a member of the Strakonice Council. In 2003 his heart stopped working and he was got a disability pension. Two years later he had a heart transplantion. In 2019, Miloslav Trégl lived in Strakonice.