I can remember a tank near Popovice village which stood in the field. People called that field "At the tank". And when I was a kid and we went that way I always felt so scared inside. Because the tank reminded me something I did not understand. Or when it was storming I was so afraid and hid under the table. And mummy always said: "She´s going crazy again. She thinks it is war." Because it remains in child´s mind, such a fear.
My father was still employed in that time. And because he was in Brno he called us at 2 a.m. and told us about the armies whose were gathering near czech borderlines. He worked in telephone exchange which was guarded a lot. They were guarded by secret agents and the agents told them the armies are there. That something will happen. That the armies are supposed to cross the frontier. So we thought the war is coming. And then they took the airport in Náměšť. Five airplanes every time. Five and then another five. That was really awful. I thought to myself: "How could so many airplanes go to the Náměšť airport?" When we saw all these things we wondered how will it all end up. Everybody thought the war is coming. My son was two years old. He flew to the side houses. They drove through our village with the armoured fighting vehicles and he saw the tanks and military... with the shooting equipment up there. Stupid kid. I couldn´t keep up with him, he was so quick. The Russian sat up there by the cannon and pointed at me. And I told to myself: "Oh my God, the idiot is going to shoot."
Treatment... they considered czech soldiers, or czech people in general as a crap. That is why when Masaryk came and established the republic he was very honoured. Especially by common people who still remembered Austria-Hungary. He was very honoured and people venerated him. I can remember in many houses there were family portraits and between them there was a portrait of Masaryk. At our place it was the same, we also had his portrait. On each knee he had a grandson. That was a politician – eventhough they´re complaining about him he commanded the workmen shooting. But still he was a politician who had a certain stature. Because nobody would put a politician´s portrait between the family photos today.
They organized theatre plays, they played the theatre a lot. Various kinds of dance parties, the balls, and many other things to earn some money. They sold the bricks. If somebody wanted to support them he bought for example for five czech crowns. This was the way they earned money to acquire something. And my mom´s brother-in-law called Hladík worked at the building company. The company was liquidating a building and there was a cottage in that place. It wasn´t worth to dismantle and move it elsewhere. So they wanted to sell it. The Scouts liked it and wanted to buy it. But – they hadn´t money. So, how to get it? My father gave money, my grandfather gave money, and some Mr. Kotačka ...I think there were four people who paid for the cottage. The cottage was dismantled and was taken to Rápotice by the train. And then it was taken through te forest by the farmers. And my father appreciates very much the farmers didn´t take a crown for that job. Nor the pay for coachman, nor the lease of the wagon. They did it all for free. The building of the cottage was so much hard work. At first they had to adjust the terrain because it was wavy and full of holes. They had no mechanical digger - only hands, the pickax, the hoe, the rake, the shovel and the wheel. These were the only tools they had.
They played the volleyball there, the darts, table tennis... They bought the table for table tennis. They went to the cottage always in the afternoon. There was a nice surroundings, fresh air, it was a calm place by the forest. And because of that the youth wanted to spend their time there. It wasn´t locked. The key was up there a everyone who went there could unlock it. And they were wary to keep the cottage clean, to keep everything all right. They were tought to take care of the property because once you destroy something you´ll have nothing.
And then when the Scouts were cancelled the cottage went to ruin. It was robbed several times. When the Scout movement was cancelled my father had to make a list of things whose were in the cottage. And he went to the municipal authority to hand the keys and the list in. He thought it will be the same as with the Germans - that they´ll check it, sign it, stamp it and give him the confirmation like "We took it over." He came to the municipal authority and the man there said: "Give me the keys and don´t go there anymore." My father felt terrible about it. He said: "I brought nothing, not a little piece of paper where would be written 'We took it over'." This was... well, the communists. 'Leave it and it´s done. What´s yours that´s mine. And what´s mine that´s not your business.'
Lenka Bechná is a daughter of Scout activist and chronicler Jaroslav Harák. She was born on 14th September 1943 in Lukovany near Brno where she lives almost throughout her life. In May 1945 the battlefront passed through Lukovany and so Harák family was confronted with the presence of both german as well as russian army. After the end of the war Mrs. Haráková experienced the short period of the Scout movement resurgence. Thereafter the governing Communist party banned the movement. Mrs. Haráková witnessed the confiscation and dilapidation of Scout property. Since her father Jaroslav Harák was a heart and soul Scout she was influenced by the ideas of the movement through her whole childhood untill the present time. She still keeps the Scout chronicle and family chronicle written by her father whose she appreciates a lot.