“Dad was slowly making acquaintances there. Mr. Sečkář (Antonín Sečkář), who had a blacksmithing, approached him. He knew we ran away from the borderland and live in a secluded house, which was good. I know they were negotiating, whether Bogataj could stay with us. Of course dad agreed. So he put him up to the upper room, which we, the girls, used to inhabit before. Downstairs there was a hidden transmitter. Dad was so handy, that no one would recognize it. I would always carry the transmitter down the cellar after the session was over. It was closed up by connecting doors and we even put pepper on it, in case the dogs came to search it. And up in the roof there was a hole, in case the gestapo came for Bogataj to escape through it. So dad took all the necessary precautions.”
“So they set up a letter, and came because he didn’t report it. Back then I was visiting with my boys. They took my dear dad from the lathe to the apiary. They threw everything out asking, who I was, and who was my husband. My dad understood that´s bad and asked if he could just wash. He went to the turbine drive as if to wash and through the meadow and the river he ran to the forest. But they surrounded him and caught him in the woods. Of course they beat him up and his eardrum was turned. Only then my husband came to join us. He was carrying a small car for our son. He saw a car and lots of men at the bottom villa. He asked what was happening and they asked him back, who he is. He said he was coming to pick up his wife and they asked what his job was. He answered that he serves at the National security forces. And they stated, that they would have a closer look at him.”
“Before the tender revolution (an amnesty in 1960 – author´s note), the father was at home. Over there, where there is a lathe, he built himself a shelter. They could search him in the forests. Back then it was a big event. When the liberation came at last (amnesty in 1960 – author´s note), so dad reported himself. But it was still not over yet. Dead dad had to go to Leopold for re-education. Daddy´s life has been very bitter indeed.”
He was lying in his cover watching a mushroom growing in front of his very eyes
Radoslava Brovjáková, née Knápková, was born on 19 October, 1926 to Jaroslav and Ludmila Knápkovi in Drozdovská Pila. In 1939 her family moved from the borderline area to a secluded house, Žilkuv mlýn, near Velká nad Veličkou. Right since 1940 they joined the resistance movement; helping men get over the border, who wanted to fight the Nazi régime in foreign armies, hiding guns at home, several resistance men and also a leader of a parachuting airdrop Carbon, Cpt. František Bogataj, who got a connection with London using a transmitter Jarmila I. Seventeen years old witness also worked as a connection between František Bogataj and resistance movement. After war the family returned to Drozdovská Pila. But after 1948 people engaged to the Western resistance were persecuted by the communist regime. František Bogataj fled abroad, where he became one of the founding members of the foreign anti-communist movement. Through the agent CIC Václav Vokáč witness´ father asked Jaroslav Knápek for cooperation. He agreed, but on March 27, 1951 secret police arrested him and in September 1951 he was sentenced to ten years in prison. He managed to escape and spent the following seven years and ten months hiding. Most of the time he was supported by the family in a small sophisticated cover in his house in Drozdovská Pila. None of the neighbors knew of him and even after several raids and house searches he was not revealed by the secret police. Only in May 1960 he voluntarily reported himself to authorities at the age of sixty two. Father´s brave attitude strongly influenced the life of Radoslava Brovjáková. He husband was thrown out of the National security forces and she could not get many jobs due to bad cadre profile. In 2016 the witness lived in Vratimov.