Ing. Alexej Kelin

* 1942

  • "My father's medical office was visited by the richest farmer in Želiv, Mr. Pokorný, who said: 'So, doctor, I will probably vote for the communists.' My father replied: 'Why would you vote for the communists?' - 'Because they have a great program, they will split up the large farms. This monastery farm in here is really huge and I need to buy some part of it.' My father told him: 'But you have so many fields that you cannot even get enough workers at harvest time!' He said: 'Well, I have a lot of fields but I have few meadows, I need some meadows.' My father replied: 'Do you realize that you may have the chance to buy some meadows but your fields will be taken over by a collective farm?' He laughed a lot, saying: 'That could have been possible in Russia but it couldn't happen here... We have had this farm for three hundred years, we have a farmers' cavalry, we will saddle up.' And my father said: 'They will take it all from you including your fake teeth, as you say that you will hold to it tooth and nail. You will actually happily give it to them all.' There was complete misunderstanding between them. A couple years later, the same guy came back to the medical office suffering from radiation illness because he was forced to work at Jáchymov's uranium mines."

  • "I got out - stupid as I were - wearing a suit and a tie from the personnel carrier. A crowd of people was assembled there and I asked them: 'Hello, please, can you tell me where there is a post office here? I need to make a phone call.' The people roared: 'You quisling swine!' And cobble stones starting flying my way."

  • "Naturally, I am also baptized as an orthodox Christian. Those orthodox priests who were here at that time were great, strong personalities. Precisely because they lived through a civil war, all of its horrors, they were people who spread around Christianity based on its principles, not on the outer form. That means compassion, support... There was a great priest here who had wed my parents in St. Nicholas temple at Old Town's Square. He had lived very modestly, having one bed, a small kitchen and a closet. When somebody needy arrived, he would have them sleep in his bed and make his bed on the kitchen floor. He was the head of the Orthodox Church in Czechoslovakia."

  • "When they approached my father telling him that a preparation of an anti-Bolshevik uprising was underway and that they desperately need experts to lead artillery batteries, he responded that he would not fight anymore. He said that this was about to be a fratricidal war which will bring about no good. But his father who always brought him up towards decency and resistance to any warring told him: 'This is great evil. You indeed need to defend yourself. If we don't fight back, it means that we agree with it and this makes us guilty.'"

  • Celé nahrávky
  • 1

    Praha, Zbraslav, Eye Direct, 13.11.2014

    (audio)
    délka: 01:45:40
    nahrávka pořízena v rámci projektu Memory of nations (in co-production with Czech television)
Celé nahrávky jsou k dispozici pouze pro přihlášené uživatele.

In every situation, one should decide in a way which will allow them to retain their self-esteem

19512-photo.jpg (historic)
Ing. Alexej Kelin
zdroj: Natáčení Eye Direct

Alexej Kelin was born on 5 September 1942 in Pelhřimov. His mother Olga (née Dubová) was a Czech émigré born in Ukraine, his father Nikolaj Kelin was an offspring of the Don Cossacks. His father fought in the Russian civil war on the side of the White Army, to be later selected within President Masaryk‘s so-called Russian Action. He then graduated from Prague‘s Faculty of Medicine and worked as a doctor in Hradec Králové, Hořepník and Želiv near Pelhřimov. Alexej Kelin graduated from Faculty of Electrical Engineering and worked in the Research Institute of Telecommunications. He is the co-author of several patents. In 1968 his brother immigrated to Germany while Alexej returned from a temporary exile to remain with his parents. With the help of the NTS (National Alliance of Russian Solidarists) founded in Germany he smuggled printed material to the USSR. After 1968 he was under secret police surveillance. He worked as a fire safety officer and after 1989 as a personal director of Czech Radiocommunications. In the late 90s he served as head of the Government Council for National Minorities. He co-authored the book History of 20th Century Russia (published by Argo in 2014).