Jan Pfeiffer

* 1928

  • "I kept telling myself: ´One ought to be in the Party, and not just as an ordinary member. But I must never get to some higher level where I would not have any influence anymore.´ I always wanted to be in this kind of… We used to call it a big party and a small party. You could go to the big party or to the small party. The small party was only our department, neurology, and the big party, that was stomatology, psychiatry, and us, but not the higher levels! In those higher places you could get yourself into some nasty situations."

  • "He was a high church official and he had some of the traits of a priest. He was not someone to succumb to entirely. I took him with a big grain of salt. I'm grateful to him for many things, such as for information and self-discipline, which was taught very well in church. But we were not for declaring that from now on we would all believe in a white-clad old guy with a beard sitting up there. That was the legacy of the monastery, which he still carried in himself and of which he could not get rid of entirely."

  • "They were not beating us. But they would not let us drink, eat, have a coffee or go to the toilet. They would always ask me: ´So, have you signed it already?´ I wanted to go to the toilet. ´Sign it and you will be able to go to the toilet.´ They treated us in this patronizing and humiliating way. It was at the time of the trial with Slánský. The atmosphere in the streets was gloomy."

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    Praha, 17.02.2012

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    nahrávka pořízena v rámci projektu A Century of Boy Scouts
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If you want to do good Scouting, then it‘s not about badges, it‘s about relationships

In front of the chalet Primavera in 1972
In front of the chalet Primavera in 1972

Jan Pfeiffer was born April 17, 1928. He grew up in Lomnice nad Lužnicí. After completing his studies at the grammar school in Třeboň he studied neurology at the Faculty of Medicine in Prague. In 1947 he joined the university Rover crew in Prague, and after the communist coup d‘état in 1948 he began attending the meetings of the Circle of Pavel Křivský, whose teaching had a profound influence on his entire life. In the 1960s, he and his wife Janka formed a hiking club called Kruh (Circle), which has continued its activity under the patronage of various organizations up to now. He worked in the Jedlička‘s Institute for Disabled Children, and then at the neurology department at the university in Prague, where he established the Clinic of Rehabilitation Medicine. He became a member of the Communist Party in the early 1960s and he served in the executive council of Pioneer (pro-regime organization for children and youth - transl.‘s note). After the Velvet Revolution he helped with the restoration of Junák (Czech Boys Scouts organization - transl.‘s note). Due to his past membership in the Party he had to step down from his directorial position at the rehabilitation clinic. He worked as an adviser to the minister of health.