Michal Danišovič

* 1945  

  • "Miroslav Štěpán called me, asking about the situation, what it looked like, and he said:" Michal, hit by all the available means, just break it up "And I said:" Mirek, you don't know the specific situation." I didn't listen to him. We knew each other personally a little bit, we lived a short distance from each other, he lived in Zelená Street, I lived in Fleming Square, I could see his apartment from the window. The singer Petra Janů and the Czech Television reporter Mr. Jirků also lived in the house. We knew each other personally. After November 1989, there was a meeting with the Czech Minister of the Interior, I asked the heads of the regional administrations, would you be able not to follow the instructions of the regional secretary [KSČ] (communist party)? The fact that it turned upside down in some way, part of that, was caused by Lieutenant Zifčák, who led the entire demonstrating crowd to Národní třída. I didn't know about it, and no one in the staff command knew about it. I was sentenced not for giving instructions to intervene, but for not knowing what was happening at Národní třída, and as the commander of the measures, I did nothing to prevent this from happening."

  • "There were mostly people at the State Security who didn't suit me, I admit that. There were unfair people, crooked people. If they weren't like that, they would hardly work there. They worked with the news intelligence - I don't mean a secret service, even they must be able to do it. They must have a stomach for it. Similarly, in the field of counterintelligence service, I am not talking about the economic crime activity, which was the so-called III. administration that dealt with it. I had no positive attitude towards the StB (State Security)." "It is said that there was often a relationship between criminal investigators and StB officers, that there was a slight contempt from the side of the criminal investigators because they were doing real work." "We did the real work, they just gathered information and even made our work harder many times. There was no popularity from the criminal investigators´ side towards the StB. Although the StB sometimes chose people from the criminal investigators to become StB. But they had to be the ones who had the character to do it. Mostly people who were not very popular at the crime police, those were going to the State Security.”

  • "To tell you the truth, it seemed pointless to me when twenty people went in a circle at Můstek and one didn't know why they were actually going there? What was it? The State Security knew it, we didn't. Demonstrations were held on the top of Wenceslas Square. There weren't many protesters. There were more curious people who were there to see who is talking there and why. They did not even hear what was read there, or they did not understand it. Everyone knew that the opposition existed. I did not think about the fact, whether it had any meaning or not. I wasn't a politician; I was a real policeman and that's how I behaved."

  • "I did not have a problem. On the contrary, in the evening in Prague 7, when the bullets started to shine, they started shooting in the streets, whether it was a submachine gun or what it was, they started shooting in the air, so the streets became clearer and the crime rate decreased. Because thieves and car robbers, were afraid go out to the streets. It was more positive for us."

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    Praha, 31.05.2019

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I did not know what was happening at Narodní třída

Michal Danišovič during the filming
Michal Danišovič during the filming
zdroj: Post Bellum filming

Michal Danišovič is best known as the commander of the intervention against the participants in the demonstration at Národní třída on November 17, 1989. He was born on October 20, 1945 in the village of Biely Kostol near Trnava, and he grew up in poor conditions. He lost both parents and lived with his older brother during his childhood and teenage years. He was trained to be a joiner. He joined the Communist Party after reaching the age of majority. During his military service in Prague, he worked as a driver for the Felix Edmundovič Džeržinský Secondary Vocational School in Hybernská Street, where he first came into contact with the then police forces - the National Security Corps (SNB). After the military service, he joined Letná as a patrolman of the Public Security (VB). He completed his education at police schools and subsequently graduated from the Faculty of Law, so he quickly advanced in the police hierarchy. He was in charge of the criminal department in Prague 7, he was also the head of the VB department in Mělník, the head of the district administration in Prague 6 and finally he became the head of the UK Municipal Administration in Prague in May 1989. In this capacity, he was assigned to manage police measures during the authorized student parade on November 17, 1989. He led the police intervention from the military headquarters at the Congress Center in Prague 4 (then the Palace of Culture). According to him, he did not know until the end of the intervention how brutally the police officers intervened against the students. At the beginning of December 1989, he ended up in pre-trial detention for two months, the trial lasted eleven years, and finally in 2000 he was sentenced to three years on probation for abusing the authority of a public official. In the 1990s, after leaving the police, he established a private security service. He has two children and is active as a pigeon breeder.