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Ivan Kieslinger (1928) - Biography

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Be prepared! This is the Scouts' motto; here it meant – for anything

Ivan Kieslinger was born on 28 November 1928. Ever since childhood, he was a member of the Boy Scouts and in May 1945, an active participant in the Prague Uprising. In 1948, he was sentenced to six months for distribution of an anti-communist samizdat. For his participation in the attempted uprising of 17 May 1949, he was sentenced to 16 years in jail. In December 1949, the Jáchymov camp wardens used to Ivan Kiselinger as a training ground for beating of prisoners. He sustained serious injuries and bears their consequences to this day. In 1954, he was pardoned for health reasons. It took him a long time to start living a normal life once again. Due to his former imprisonment, he was frequently pressured by the state administration. It was difficult for him to find a job. In the late 1950s and 60s, he did various jobs before landing for a longer period of time in the ČKD Sokolovo factory. By the late 1960s, he was finally allowed to study, undertaking a course at a school of chemical engineering. Ever since 1968, he worked in the Fuels Institute and was active in K 231 - Club of Former Political Prisoners where he met many of his former inmates. He was struck by the Warsaw Pact armies occupation, considering emigration as well as suicide. In 1970, he established contact with the Scout movement and in the upcoming years did a number of expeditions, incl. to Romania. Up until 1989 he faced harassment by the secret police and his children and wife had trouble getting admitted to a university.

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