Miloš Trapl

* 1935  

  • “I also noted the wonderful case of our neighbour. He was an awful drunk, he lived in our house, he was even murdered in his flat by some cronies from the pub that he’d brought home with him. And that man kept on trying and trying to start conversations with me. I kept avoiding him, but one time I let myself get dragged into a conversation, and he was saying such odd things that I told him: ‘How much do they pay you for me?’ As in, for informing on me. And he asked: ‘How do you know about it?!’ I had only guessed at it based on what he was saying before. ‘How do you know?’ So I told him: ‘I’ve got my people there,’ which was just something I came up with, of course. But he got them all confused, so they stopped using him after that.”

  • “Unfortunately, he was in a lot of trouble at the time because he had written an article about T. G. Masaryk during the war. The text was published in 1940, just when the Germans launched their big campaign against Masaryk. So we were terribly afraid that they’d raid the house. They did house raids back then, and if they had raided us and found Masaryk’s treatises in my father’s [office], that would’ve been a big... they would have taken him straight to the concentration camp, that is, locked him up. And they might’ve taken the rest of the family as well. They did that sometimes, that they took the whole family, arrested everyone. Well, but we were lucky that, presumably, the Germans mistook Doctor Trapl, my father Miloslav Trapl, with Doctor Jan Trapl, who was my father’s uncle, that is, my great-uncle.”

  • Celé nahrávky
  • 3

    Olomouc - katedra historie Univerzity Palackého, 25.01.2016

    (audio)
    délka: 01:40:53
Celé nahrávky jsou k dispozici pouze pro přihlášené uživatele.

It’s an awfully unpleasant sensation when you feel that you’re being oppressed

Miloš Trapl in the 1953
Miloš Trapl in the 1953

Miloš Trapl was born on 15 January 1935 in Hustopeče in southern Moravia. His father was a historian who took a special interest in first Czechoslovak President T. G. Masaryk, which got him into trouble both during the Nazi Protectorate and after the Communist coup in 1948. The witness followed in the footsteps of his father and also earned a degree in history. He joined the Communist Party at the university in Olomouc in the 1960s to be able to continue working in his field. In 1980 he gave a speech at the faculty in which he described the „Victory February“ of 1948 a bit differently than the ruling ideology allowed for. He was rewarded by interrogations and a ban on lecturing. He was not allowed to speak out in front of students until after the Velvet Revolution in 1989. He is still active at the university as a professor emeritus. In 1993 he established the Centre for Czechoslovak Exile Studies, and he remains the director of that institute to this day (2016).