Ludmila Chytilová

* 1911  †︎ 2014

  • “We, female district chiefs, got united on this. Not all of us, there were some who only silently agreed. We united, and when they wanted to get rid of Provazníková, we all signed a declaration that if Provazníková was not to lead the all-Sokol slet, not a single woman from our organization would appear there either. That was our resolution which we put in front of them and they got scared. It was unthinkable that there would be no women’s exercise in the slet which was well-known all over the world. We have thus really saved Mrs. Provazníková this way. It has happened thanks to our female district chiefs, and I was one of them.”

  • “The atmosphere in 1938 was extremely tense. It was a Slet which one does not forget. When the men stepped in the stadium and began their mass exercise, your eyes filled with tears. Or when we were there, and there were thirty thousand women all at once doing the same exercise. That was for the first time, and the same exercise was then repeated in 1948. Can you imagine that? I was a district chief at that time. I always felt proud because our women were always positioned in the front row, or in the first rows. They were not standing somewhere aside. That was when I felt so proud.”

  • “When we returned from the slet, we knew that things would not be easy. They were already taking our documents. The leader of the communist party in Přerov was Zuzaňák (Josef Zuzaňák) and they summoned all of us who had been at the slet. I still remember precisely where each of us was sitting. Lukaštík was sitting on the side, I was here, the Sokol secretary was there, and there was the Sokol chief and the training officer. There were five or six of us and Zuzaňák began shouting at each one of us: ´Why? Why was this?´ He was shouting at them. Some replied to him in the same manner. Some responded differently. Then it was my turn and he said to me: ´I will deal with you. You will come to me to the Communist Party office.” Then it was Lukaštík’s turn. I would like everyone who had some doubts to be able to hear what Lukaštík said and how he replied to him. He talked about everything that the communists had done so that the Sokol slet would not be held. Lukaštík was a member of the Czechoslovak Sokol Association and on top of that, he had friends from the time of his work in Britain. He thus knew everything about it. We were just staring at him. Zuzaňák tried to stop him: ´Enough, enough!´ - ´I have not finished yet,´ Lukaštík insisted. He himself was disconcerted by all this. When I think of it, it was a great experience for us... It did not take long and I received a notice that the Sokol district was being disbanded and that my position was cancelled.”

  • “I was very well aware of that. In 1948 I worked as the head of the sales department in Zejda’s company. Then after the communist coup d’état in February 1948 the communists began taking over. I no longer recall their names, but there were men, especially one of them, who kept criticizing the office workers. People working in the office allegedly just came there and did nothing. He was one of the first who got into the communist-dominated office. When it all began, they apparently got an order to recruit people, and when I came to the office in the morning, I discovered an application form for membership in the Communist Party on my desk. I put it away and didn’t say anything. The next day when I came to the office, as soon as I sat down to my desk, there was an application form for the communist party again. Again, I didn’t say anything. But I thought to myself that this was no longer possible. Their leader was certain Čada and so I went to him and told him that I had never been in any party before and that I did not intend to join any party either, or something like that. He asked me: ´Do you know what is awaiting you?´ I said: ´What could that be?´ He told me: ´A dismissal. Nothing but dismissal.´ I said: ´Well, things will be worse then, but I will not sign it.´ He replied: ´I will try again.´ I found the application form on my desk two more times, but after a short time, in September 1948, I think, I received a note from the labour union council informing me that my work contract had been annulled.”

  • “When we marched in the parade, as the district chief I walked in the front together with the head chief and the Sokol president. When we walked past the main stands where all the communist party leaders were, our head chief did not give the order “look right!” We kept looking forward. There was one man among us who was a supporter of the communists. Lukaštík arranged it this way: he told him to walk at the front and carry the flag of the Central Moravian district. He thus completely separated him from our members, because he was afraid that some conflict would ensue.”

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    Přerov, 17.10.2013

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Being a Sokol in both body and mind

Ludmila Chytilová (Barašíková)
Ludmila Chytilová (Barašíková)
zdroj: archiv pamětnice

  Ludmila Chytilová, née Barašíková, was born in 1911 in Přerov while the country was still part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. She has thus lived through the entire modern history of the Czech state. She witnessed not only the establishment of Czechoslovakia, the First Republic era and the Nazi occupation, but also the dictatorship of the communist regime which lasted more than forty years. As a member and later one of the leaders of the sport organization Sokol in Přerov she participated in several all-Sokol meetings („slet“) which took place in Prague. What remains most deeply etched in her memory are the 10th and 11th Sokol slets. They were held in the dramatic years of 1938 and 1948 when Czechoslovakia was threatened with political dictatorship. Ludmila thus experienced the dissolution of the Sokol organization twice - first by the Nazis and then by the communists. When she did not submit in 1948 and refused to join the communist party, she was fired from her job as a result. After the restoration of Sokol in 1990 Ludmila Chytilová again became involved in work for the organization. Until 1993 she was the vice director of the Central Moravian-Kratochvíl‘s District and then she served as the leader of the department of the Věrná Garda (Loyal Guard) in Sokol Přerov up to her to the age of ninety-eight. She has been awarded many Sokol decorations and memorial certificates for her work in the Sokol movement and she is also the recipient of the City of Přerov Award - Jan Ámos Komenský Medal. She still lives in her native town of Přerov.