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JUDr. Jiří Navrátil (1923 - 2017) - Biography

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Those who had collaborated with the Nazis were telling us: We wanted to protect you against Bolshevism – and see where you ended!


Jiří Navrátil was born September 10, 1923 in Leipzig. His father was a diplomat. After the family's return to Czechoslovakia he joined the boy scouts in Prague. During the war their scouting activities continued under the Czech Tourist Club. In 1944 Navrátil and his colleagues were arrested at a scout-patriotic demonstration during a sports match at Strahov. However, he was shortly released. He took an active part in the Prague Uprising in May 1945. On February 25, 1948 he joined the student march to the Prague Castle and as a consequence was dismissed from the Pedagogical Faculty of Charles University. On May 17, 1949 he was arrested for his participation in an attempt to overthrow the government. During the ensuing trial he was sentenced for high treason along with the other scouts. He went through many prisons and uranium mines, but was eventually released on amnesty in 1960. From this date on he worked as a pool cleaner, a maintenance worker and as an assistant at exhibitions. In 1968 he worked as a journalist for the magazine Doba, and then as a free lance translator. In 1977 he became an editor of the culture column in the weekly, Naše rodina (Our family). In December 1989 he started work as an editor-in-chief for the Lidová demokracie newspaper but left this position after half a year. He is the holder of scout decorations. The court acquitted him of all charges of cooperation with the StB. Jiří Navrátil passed away on January, the 16th, 2017.

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