Milan Milner

* 1926  †︎ Neznámý

  • “We would go to keep watch. The forests were being combed. We also caught one SS man here, when he attempted to flee in the night. Mirek Hlušců happened to be playing with a pistol, and he shot his legs through, so he didn’t escape. But the Russians shot him dead straight off. The NKVD. We received a report that there was an NKVD troop on the way to us. They had green hats. Some lieutenant came up, and Tonda said I had to go calm them down. Of course, all the Fascists who were in the Fascist party knew about it, and they legged it before the Russians came. I was tasked with taking the lieutenant to the head Communist back here. I tried explaining somehow to the Russian that he had been in a concentration camp. But he waved his hand, the Russian didn’t give a hoot. He saw a glass with slivovice, and so I said: ‘Mrs Gazdová, pour us one!’ She brought the drink, but he swept it off the table. He pointed to the two bottles, poured them out, and said: ‘Ty, popiyosh!’ I don’t drink much, but he pointed at me. Gazda said: ‘Drink it, Milan, he’ll shoot you!’ So I drank it, and he gulped down two more.”

  • “The year 1944 came, and we decided we had to prepare ourselves somehow. That was before the uprising in Slovakia. We started making the first bunkers. The initial bunkers were pretty sloppy jobs. It was all built in the municipal forest. The municipal forest had been cut down a lot beforehand, and this was some seven eight years afterwards, so at some stage it was awfully dense. Six seven metres high at most, difficult to push your way through, so no one went there, and it was practically unapproachable and well hidden. We had a rather primitive method to start with - we had saws, axes. We felled small trees, cleaned them. The second group dug big holes and then covered them. Some people later called those elephant traps. If an elephant had stepped on it, it would have collapsed. But we also stood on it. Then it was covered with turf, of course. Then we found out that wouldn’t be good enough. It would’ve been fine to hide in and then carry on somewhere else. But not to live in. So we dug deeper...”

  • “Everyone started running. Old Cichra and Mirek and Tonda stood firm and said: ‘To the forest!’ We were lucky it was close by. Right by the forest, a hundred metres away from the trees. Old Cichra said that it won’t burn forever, but the danger was that there was the train station right at the bottom of the slope with a train full of Hungarian Arrow Crossers. They manned the battery from which they later shot at Kyjov. And there was also a part of the front army there because they already had some of the mortars. You really could see it from far away. It was burning, it didn’t explode. We had our experience with that, when the boys who had been in the Reich brought home some AA batteries - so when we placed them up on the castle at the top of the hill, you could see the light all the way to Kyjov. But nothing happened, no one came. So hurrah, off to work and quickly dig it underground. A worse problem was that one of the parachutes had caught in a tall tree. But Old Cichra was prepared for that too, he was a first-rate chap, he chose the ablest of us to cut the oak down. The next day the gamekeeper passed by, and he complained of the cheek of some people, really, it’s awful. They’re not content when I tell them to pick themselves some brushwood. They go and cut down a whole oak!”

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    U pamětníka, Praha, 25.04.2009

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    nahrávka pořízena v rámci projektu Stories of 20th Century
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One decision, one life

Milan Milner was born on 2 July 1926 in Bohuslavice near Kyjov. His family and himself were strongly influenced by his uncle František Herclík, a professional soldier who was executed during the Heydrich Aftermath. As a youth, Milan attended grammar school in Kyjov and was a member of Sokol. After the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia was established, he joined the resistance. At first he merely organised demonstrations at the grammar school, later he joined a larger coordinated group of Sokols and Scouts. The resistance group built itself a bunker in the forest, it helped paratrooper František Bogataj and RAF pilot Pavel Svoboda, among others. It kept in touch with London via a radio transmitter, and thanks to this it was able to successfully organise several supply drops by Allied planes. The resistance fighters used these munitions to sabotage railway lines. At the end of the war Milan Milner‘s contacts among lawyers enabled him to participate in the extraordinary people‘s tribunals. In the post-war years he studied law, and he later moved to Prague.