Czechoslovak Boy Scout History: Communist Era (1945-89)

Figure 1.--Scoting was briefly revived in Czechoslovakia, after the NAZI surrender (May 1945). Junák was tge Czech Scout Association and the name of the Czech Scout Association. This is a 1947 issue. The following year the Coimmunisys seized power and banned Scouting.

After the NAZI surrender (May 1945) the London Goverrnment-in-exile wasbrieflky restored to power. Even so the country was under the cintrol of the Sioviet Red Army and NKVD who eased thge Coimmunist Party into positions of power. The Scouting Association (Junák) was briefly restablished in Czechoslovakia (1945). Some 120,000 youth joined the revived Scouts (1946). This was a substantial number forc a small country like Czechoslovakia. This made it the second largest association in the World Movements at that time. The Communists seized poower (1948). It was a step orchestrated by Stalin that lked cto the creatiin of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). The Commuists once in power rapidly created a Stalinist police state. One of many steps to limit personal liberty was outlawing Scouting. This ocuccured throughout Soviet controlled Eastern Europe. The Communist Youth Movement only allowed their organizations. Czech boys had to participate in the Young Pioneers. It was dangerous to organize Scouts during the late Stalkinist Era (late-1940s-early-50s). Many Scouters and Guides were persecuted, arrested, and and condemned to prison. Some died in the camps. Some troops continued in their work sureptiously within the sports organizations, the pioneer movement, the tourist organizations, with the nature conservationist and others. Conditions gradually improved after Stalin's dearh (1953) ad De-Stalinization in the Siviet Unuin (1956). The liberal communist government in the c1960s tolerated the Scouts and some troops were formed. Junák reappeared as an independent organization (1968) as a result of the Prague Spring. It only survived for 2 years. The Federal Ministry of the Interior banned it again (October 1970). This was even before the Soviet invasion (1973). The Scouts were supressed again and leaders arrested or harassed. A Scouting source reports, "Despite these frequent set-backs, and despite the punishments endured by those who suffered for their undiminished loyalty to the Movement, Scouting remained a constant source of hope and inspiration, commanding a special place in the hearts of the Czech nation."


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Created: 11:54 PM 2/27/2012
Last updated: 11:54 PM 2/27/2012