CZECH SCOUT ACTIVITIES ABROAD
The Czech Scouts were very helpful during the resistance and war efforts. They helped the soldiers, politicians, anti-fashists, Jews and other endangered groups to escape the country. They used their scouting skills and knowledge of the local areas. For example the scouts of Ostrava helped to guide people across the mountain range Beskydy to get to Poland or to take other roads across Slovakia to Hungary, They helped this way to Velen Fanderlik who got through Yugoslavia and Syria to France. He reached Adge where he was joined by soldiers-former scouts - and they all joined forces with French scouts. They were also joined by Ladislav Sitensky - a photographer and former scout.
When the Czech lands became a Protectorate, many scouts had already left their homeland and were abroad. For example in Shanghai in China, a bank employee Emil Sembera-Janosik founded a Rovers-Old Scouts club. These clubs were very active, even during Japanese occupation. The Japanese did not suppress scout activities - as opposed to the Germans.
The Czech scouts had a very strong base in England. In London - where the Czechoslovak government in exile resided - the scout group Junak started to function already in May of 1941 as the Czechoslovak Center for Scouting Education. A month later this organization was recognized by the International Scouting Center. Some Czech scouts became members of British scout groups. Other scout groups were formed also in the Czechoslovak school in Shropshire, also in Cumberland and in Cheshire. Several groups were also formed at the various military units.
In June of 1942 a Czechoslovak Scouting Congress took place in Youlberry accompanied by a “travelling” exhibition about the Czechoslovak Republic. This exhibition travelled all over England for three years and was visited by at least a half million people. The scout leader in Great Britain was Velen Fanderlik. Many other outstanding scouts cooperated with him including General Vaclav Vlcek.(This is the part of very nice book “Skautské století”)
Right after 1989 - when we could travel back and forth over our borders - I met Mr. Jan Stransky. Fot twenty years Mr. Stransky published the “Severske Listy” in Sweden. I understand what a job that was. I have published the Czech Dialogue for twenty years (The Czech Dialogue is now on the web). It was a lot of work, no money, no time for anything else… Jan Stransky was a wonderful man. He was one of those who deserve a special place in this world as opposed to others. Not only did he have the most beautiful blues eyes, but I wish that all people (even the repulsive ones) could have experienced the great goodness that emanated from his person. Maybe it would have changed even the detestable people. Here I want to mention that even Jan Stransky was a scout and that he also was helped in exile by Velen Fanderlik. I do not remember the details. I only know that Fanderlik helped whenever he could.
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