The Nazis well understood the threat posed by the Sokol Physical Education Organization. The Sokol Organization, founded in the 19th century, was a patriotically-oriented mass movement based on a philosophy that linked physical fitness to moral values. The size of the organization and its numerous buildings and locations provided a cover for resistance fighters and activities.
Many leaders of the resistance were officials in the Sokol organization. One of those was Ladislav Moulik. Moulik had organized the X All-Sokol rally in 1938, a spontaneous manifestation of opposition to Nazism. Because of his knowledge of the Sokol membership, he was instrumental in identifying the most suitable people for resistance activities.
On October 11, 1941, the Nazis first prohibited the normal activities of the Sokol Organization, and then officially dissolved it. As a prelude to the dissolution came the mass detention of Sokol officials, including Ladislav Moulik.
His daughter describes the event:
“My father was often out in the evenings, but one Tuesday he came home early, shut himself in the parlour and burned some documents in the high-tiled stove. When my mother asked why he was doing this, he replied that he had heard that searches of Sokol functionaries had been carried out.
On Wednesday morning at perhaps 5 AM, someone knocked at the door and a moment later at the window… My grandmother woke up and called to my father ‘Lada, someone’s knocking!’ There were three Gestapo men in the courtyard. They burst in and made straight for my father. “Gehieme Staatspolizei, Come with us!” …They asked if he had a gun, and also if we had some other things. They threw things out of his writing desk and from the kitchen dresser, and took my father’s Sokol uniform from the cupboard…
They had already taken my father downstairs; in the street stood a large police van. As they opened the doors, we could see that there were several people inside; they had picked them up in turn…”
Moulik was detained at the Gestapo Prison at Terezín. He survived through a combination of good luck and his own bravery.Home »