The recognised participants

18. 3. 2014 14:28

Member of the anti-communist resistance and opposition recognised by the Ethics Commission - Růžena Popílková

for active operations in the group “Bohumil Eliáš et al.”, whose members fought against the communist regime by harbouring persons, procuring weapons, amassing weapons and transmitters, etc., from 1950 to 1958, carried out in the form of resistance as defined by § 3 Para. 3 of Act No. 262/2011 Coll.

Mrs. Růžena Popílková, maiden name Mejtská, was born on 17. 11. 1928 in the village of Stíčany, district of Chrudim. She still lives in the village to this day.

For a long time, i.e. for 7 years, Růžena Popílková, née Mejtská, provided financial and material assistance in hiding members of the resistance group “Bohumil Eliáš et al.”, František Mejtský and Eduard Janoušek. In 1950 František Mejtský, the father of Růžena Popílková, together with Eduard Janoušek and others, provided shelter to the CIC agents Bohumil Eliáš and Jaroslav Marcal, who were sent to Czechoslovakia from West Germany. František Mejtský later joined the resistance activities of Bohumil Eliáš and Jaroslav Marcal himself, used his car to drive agents around, and connected them up to another resistance group around Jan Bakeš.

In April 1951 there were plans to arrest František Mejtský, who had been helped by his daughter, Růžena Popílková, to escape from the security forces. Růžena Popílková knew about her father’s resistance activities the whole time and she and her fiancé, later her husband, František Popílek, actively, knowingly and in the long term helped by harbouring members of the resistance group to prevent them being arrested by the security forces, seeking refuge, and potentially fleeing abroad.

Using cover addresses, Růžena Popílková kept in touch with her brother František Mejtský Jr., who in 1953 fled abroad and who subsequently, in 1954, as a CIC agent, illegally re-entered Czechoslovakia and began to engage in anti-communist activities. She was informed by her husband that in 1954 he had secretly met her brother and had helped him to place a transmitter in the Chrudim region, and to find someone to operate it. She also knew the passwords with which her brother used Radio Free Europe broadcasts to pass on messages to Czechoslovakia, as well as the importance of dead and live drops. In his testimony, František Mejtský Sr. stated that when a letter came from his son, Růžena Popílková or her husband would tell him what was in it; from his testimony we also know that in 1955 or 1956, at his request, Růžena Popílková found out the address of František Mejtský Jr. abroad through an acquaintance of hers, Mrs. Štumpfová, and someone she knew in Vienna.

Moreover, in 1956 during the anti-communist uprising in Hungary, Růžena Popílková participated in secret meetings attended by sheltered members of the resistance group, her husband, and others. It was at these meetings that the resistance group agreed what to do if there were any changes in the social situation in Czechoslovakia, i.e. if the uprising were to carry over from Hungary to Czechoslovakia. At the meetings, they planned to arrest members of the Communist Party and the security forces in their area, confiscate their property and seize power.

After studying all the documents for the decision, the Ethics Committee has established that in the activities described above Růžena Popílková was not only by a desire to help her father, but engaged in those activities with the clear aim of acting against the communist regime in Czechoslovakia as defined by § 2 b) of Act No. 262/2011 Coll., i.e. with the aim of removing, significantly weakening or impairing or otherwise damaging the communist totalitarian regime in Czechoslovakia and restoring freedom and democracy, and that the actions of Růžena Popílková, née Mejtská, may be described as active involvement in the group “Bohumil Eliáš et al.”, whose members fought against the communist regime, pursuant to § 3 Para. 3 of Act No. 262/2011 Coll.

Above and beyond this, the Ethics Committee appreciates the very brave and exemplary attitude taken by Růžena Popílková, at that time the mother of two young children, during her interrogation by the StB, while serving her sentence, and after her release from prison.

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