Daniel Vychodil

* 1973

  • “We took part in events like when Scout troop gathered in secret at a campsite known as the Black Dolphin in the valley of Žejbro river near Vrbatův Kostelec. There was a stone with a Scout lily carved into it. And at that place an unofficial gathering with games took place where we also exchanged experiences. We were amused by the fact that we were not alone, that in Pardubice there was a club 'Žižkovo bratrstvo'. We had been cooperating with other clubs also and we had this opportunity to meet from time to time.”

  • “The defining moment was when I discovered books by Foglar during the 1985 summer holiday in Rýmařov where my father was born. My older cousin did his compulsory military service and he had several books by Foglar and also 'Rychlé šípy' in the form of a comics. Before that we didn't see anything like that, me and my brother, so we were amazed. Right after we had come home we founded a club inspired by 'Rychlé šípy' and we got into this stuff. And since I was maybe twelve or thirteen years old I was sure that this was the inspiration, the way I wanted to take.”

  • “I felt that it was this deliberate, subtle manipulation that was going on and on quite discreetly. There were various rituals in which one had to take part in. Like celebrations of various anniversaries with film screenings. We had to declaim poetry celebrating the regime, at the anniversary of the so-called Great October Revolution and on the 25th of February. Those were the rituals the school had to engage in and we had to participate in this. As they watched closely whether you came to the May Day March and so on, on those collective, herd-like activities. I would say that we weren't brought to be citizens but sheep. Children were brought up to obedience like sheep. They had been hammered by ideology. This had, I think, quite deep impact on the child's soul. It was going on on so many levels, from the Czech classes to the civics. There was this subtext everywhere: the Communist ideology is the only valid worldview and it is necessary that young people would take it over.”

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    Praha, 22.07.2019

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I was fascinated by books by Foglar, they showed me the way

Daniel Vychodil
Daniel Vychodil
zdroj: Post Bellum

Daniel Vychodil was born on June 27th 1973 in Chrudim. His parents, Jaroslav and Zdeňka Vychodil, were arrested shortly before his birth as they were caught smuggling banned books from Netherlands to Czechoslovakia. As a result his parents lost their jobs. Since he was twelve years old Daniel took interest in the Scout movement which was banned at that time. While studying at a gymnasium type secondary school in Chrudim he founded a club in Slatiňany with his friends based on the ideas of Scouting. Daniel was in touch with Jaroslav Foglar, a writer, and he was collecting Scouting books. The club found refuge in the chateau in Slatiňany and was operating legally as a part of the Union for Nature Conservation. In 1989 he was invited to a Communist party meeting to explain the club‘s activities. He was spared further problems due to the Velvet Revolution which he joined as a Chrudim secondary school student going on strike. Right after that he joined the Scouting movement. In 1997 he graduated from a college of education and started working as a teacher at an elementary school in Slatiňany. For eight years he acted as the director of that school. After that he went on to teach at a Waldorf school in Pardubice. For eighteen years he was a leader of a Scout troop, in 1998 he had become a director of a Scout centre.