Radomil Raja

* 1932

  • „The grave digger there (in Hejnice, note of the editor) was a German, such a decent man, an elderly gentleman. They were stripped naked. He refused to bury them like this, he said that even during the war people weren’t buried like this, so they had to cover them up with something and then they dug them into the ground at the Hejnice graveyard like dogs. He was forced to sign a secrecy statement, so he’d tell nobody, but as he was a decent man he told us. After 1990 they exhumed the bodies so at least their remains could rest in the graves of their parents. The biggest tragedy about it besides the loss of their lives? As they weren’t sentenced, they couldn’t be rehabilitated and so neither did anybody apologize to their families.”

  • „So the idea after February was to somehow take over the Scout movement and incorporate it into the Union of the Youth. But no scout would become a member of the Union, except for a few individuals. It was clear that they needed to intervene drastically. They had this slogan: Making strange heads fall solves problems. That’s how they eliminated the ideas of people, preferably along with their bearers.”

  • „I was rather lucky because my shoulder joint was shattered and they were trying to put it back together. I had to go through two surgeries. I was partly disabled, so they figured I wouldn’t be much of a working force. The penalty therefore wasn’t that high. Pepík Veselý, Jindra Kokoška, they got double my sentence – four, six years.“

  • „As we were lying there, one or two policemen came running and shooting at us. He emptied the whole cartridge of his pistol. They shot Tomáš Hübner, a young boy from Železný Brod who was lying next to me. I was shot in the legs and Pepík Veselý and Jindra Kokoška were wounded as well. So he fired about seven shots in the bodies and as he was reloading his gun to continue the shooting somebody shouted at him: “Comrade, don’t act like a fool, we need some of them alive”.

  • „The Scout movement was a nuisance for all of the totalitarian regimes that were here, it was even dangerous for them. These were altogether young people that the potentates understandably had no use for. That explains why the regime was so resolved to eliminate the movement. So they started at that time with the Union of the Youth and the “Pioneer movement” as a counter movement to Scouting and, of course, there was the property of the Scouts, which they had a hard time putting together.“

  • Anti-state groups, as they called them, began to form those days and when there was just none of these groups around, they could easily create one with the help of decoy agents. Of course, all these secret repressive state forces need to justify their existence by showing how important and active their work is for the state’s security and existence. They do so by demonstrating some activity. The flow of money into their organization depends on it. That was exactly our case. A lot of “movements” or “groups” were “created” by secret state agents “provocateurs” and that was our case as well.

  • „So they had a shrewd plan really, to make sure that no one would think later on this could have been organized beforehand. Therefore this Slovak came to our camp and told us he was searching for his horse. That was, of course, nonsense, the secret agents sent him. I and a friend of mine walked him out of the forest. So now they had the pretext that this guy told them about us, which was nonsense because they had perfectly known about us before. So in the morning, after three hours, they surrounded the camp when it was still dark. They received the order to open fire at dawn, when they would see the outlines of the tents – to open fire and wipe us out.”

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    Železný Brod, 29.06.2006

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It was such a sad life experience. Two wonderful people paid for it with their lives

Radomil Raja in June 2006
Radomil Raja in June 2006
zdroj: Hynek Moravec

  Radomil Raja was born in 1932 in the town of Železný Brod in a family of a small businessman - his father owned a small glassworks. He graduated from the Glasswork-school in Železný Brod with the vision that one day he will take over his father‘s business. On 24 July 1949, however, he was arrested under dramatic circumstances. Železný Brod had a very strong Scout organization - after the war, the Scouts had a big clubroom, there were several divisions, they organized annual camping trips to the Jizera mountains with a camp traditionally nearby Smědava. The Communist regime of course resented a strong Scout movement. His friends from the Scout movement were warned that the Communists are planning their arrest. They didn‘t want to remain passive and wait for the police to come and arrest them, so they were getting ready for a border-crossing in Šumava. They didn‘t know, however, that they became puppets in a game of the StB (secret state police). Under the leadership of under-cover StB agent Hilger seven scouts from Železný Brod gathered in the Jizera Mountains at the same time as State-police agents in the morning hours of 24 July 1949. Two of the scouts were shot on the Jizera Mountain-ridges by the State police agents - their names were Tomáš Hübner and Jiří Haba, a tax officer. The thirty-five-year old Haba was the only one of the seven scouts who wasn‘t still a teenager. Radomil Raja was sentenced to two and a half years in prison. He was through several juvenile-delinquent prisons and he underwent medical treatment of his shattered shoulder joint. After his release from prison in the fifties he worked in stone pits and quarries, he also worked as a lorry driver. The relaxed political situation in the sixties enabled him to work as a glass grinder in the Železný Brod Glassworks and later even at the special-orders department. Today, he still lives in Železný Brod, he is a passionate beekeeper, sports fisherman and an active member of the Jablonec branch of the Confederation of political prisoners.