Otakar Volejník

* 1927

  • “Our next summer camp, of which I was also the director, took place in the Toulovcovy Rocks in 1970. By that point, I had been informed by the district authorities that no Scout symbols were allowed. So, I had to sign this document – we continued doing things in our Scout way, anyway – but I had to sign this document without the signature of which they wouldn’t have let us organise the camp.”

  • “One morning we had stopped at motorway services, and we were just making breakfast, when this car with a French licence plate pulled up. We had no idea what was going on. They drew some tanks in the sand. And when we had made it to the campsite, we found out that we had been invaded by Soviet Russia. At the campsite, they immediately gave us– We had young children, so they offered us to stay at the hotel. We turned the offer down as we’d already pitched our tent, but they gave us food for free, petrol vouchers, and Yugoslav dinars…”

  • “The time came for us to undergo security clearance, where they put pressure on me to join the Pioneers and become their youth leader. Apparently, since I had been a Scout youth leader before, why couldn’t I do it for the Pioneers… I refused to, and likewise, I expressed my disapproval of the Soviet occupation. This must have been the reason why I was demoted to a position two ranks down and I was banned from teaching at the vocational school. After the demotion, I had to leave the job and find a new one.”

  • “When I was Scouting, then one good deed a day, that was expected. To lead a wise life, to behave well. That was, I think, somehow more appealing then. Nowadays the children aren’t made for that I guess. I was Scouting before the war, in those emotional times which managed to leave their mark on us: the love of one’s country, homeland, which isn’t really a big thing nowadays. We were also brought up a bit with compulsory military service on mind, we had that sort of discipline.”

  • “Well foremost of all, good friends - and new friends that I met in Scouting. And then I think that it did in fact lead me a bit to independent thinking and all - which I could test during military service - that we weren’t quite as clumsy as some of those who came there without anything... We were more independent. We were capable of living in a group. I think that Scouting was a good preparation for life.”

  • “There were two trucks standing in front of the town hall that had to be cleared away. So we drove there, except in the meantime the German soldiers had gathered into formation and there was another column of those carts and soldiers. And as we’re coming up to the town hall - because the roads were all cut up, it was impossible to use any of them, just the main road was open - so we saw the people from the houses push back into the corridors. So we looked round, and Germans behind us, man, they were ‘spraying’ it with their subs. The road was broken up between the town hall and the music school. We stopped there with our car, me and one other jumped out, and the third one, the driver, he was delayed - he wanted to pull the key out of the ignition, but the Germans had caught us up by then, so he got a couple of knocks on the gob, they took his keys, and we didn’t stop until behind the barricades, and we were glad. We ‘had our pants full’ pretty much, because we didn’t know what all might have happened. Later towards the evening, Russian tanks arrived and everything was okay.”

  • “It took me a lot of time. I took me a lot of time, but I pretty much don’t regret it, because it came back on the other side: We gave those kids something! So pretty much, it didn’t take anything from me, if you think of it really.”

  • “Because our troop was made up of older Scouts, we were 18 years old at the time, we bought some green cloth at Technolen, our father sowed us uniforms in his tailoring workshop, and in June we were already off to Ležáky (a village demonstratively wiped out by Nazis during WW2 - transl.), where we helped with the organisation and the construction of the site there. We lived in the village nearby and walked there daily. We kept watch during the night, we were given rifles with real ammo. We were checked on in the night, and our watch received a commendation - it’s hanging in our Scout house.”

  • Celé nahrávky
  • 1

    Hlinsko, 08.09.2009

    délka: 55:11
    nahrávka pořízena v rámci projektu A Century of Boy Scouts
  • 2

    Hradec Králové, 13.09.2019

    délka: 01:38:36
    nahrávka pořízena v rámci projektu Příběhy regionu - HRK REG ED
Celé nahrávky jsou k dispozici pouze pro přihlášené uživatele.

I don’t regret the time I dedicated to children

Otakar Volejník in 1947
Otakar Volejník in 1947
zdroj: archiv pamětníka

Otakar Volejník was born on March 6, 1927, in Hlinsko. His father František was a tailor and his mother helped him in the shop. They had four sons and lived in Hlinsko. Volejník senior worked his way up from being a small-time tailor to running a sewing shop and later a clothes shop with ten employees. Otakar was an active member of the Sokol movement and as of 1937 also the Junák/Scout organization. In 1938 at the time of mobilisation, before the organisation was outlawed, Czech Scouts were engaged in civil defence. In 1943, he started studying at the Secondary School of Textile Industry in Ústí nad Orlicí. In 1949, Otakar entered military service and in that same year, communists confiscated his father’s business. In 1951, Otakar married Eva Maděrová and they had two children born in 1953 and 1957. He was working at Plyšan-Hlinsko, the state-run textile company, from which he was dismissed for his disapproval of the August-1968 Soviet invasion. During his most difficult times, he was supported by his wife. He dedicated his entire life to the education of children in the spirit of Scout ideas and values. He was involved in the renewal of the organisation in 1968 and then again following the Velvet Revolution in 1989, when he became the head of the local Scout branch in Hlinsko. Being a Scout prepared him for life. His life maxim is honesty and cooperation.