Dr. Milada Horáková wrote ten letters between 24 and 27 June 1950, addressed to her loved ones. She wrote the last one only three hours before the execution, shortly after having met her daughter Jana (referred to as Janička in the letter), sister Věra Tůmová (Věruška) and brother-in-law Josef Tůma (Pepíček). The daughter received this letter as late as 1990.
Prague – Pankrác Prison
27 June 1950, 02:30
Here’s a few more words to you. I was extremely relieved being able to meet you all. All I am now concerned with is Věruška and her baby to be born that will come to replace my life. It’s rather peculiar coincidence: when Jana (now Jana Tůmová) was to be born, our mother deceased to make her a place in this world. Now I’m doing the same ‘exchange of lives’ again. Dear, beloved sister, you will become a mother: someone inside you is claiming thei right to see the new world. You have to live for them and only for them now. Don’t let them to be born from under a heart burdened by sadness and decadence stemming from it. Bring the baby into the world as a whole, healthy and beautiful person with strong nerves. Whether it’s a girl or a boy, it must have the heart of a lion! Please, Věruška, I beg you to protect them, for my sake and for the better days to come. In these last moments, I pray for you and your difficult yet happy motherhood. You will have two children now. The rest of you, please do everything to support this new life to come: Pepíček, I rely on you so much. Jana, you are a brave girl and I am so happy for and proud of you; just use your bravery in a positive and not destructive ways.
I am totally calm and ready now. A priest came to see me, and although it was not Dr. Kučera, who could not come, it was a great relief for me. I asked him to give his help to you especially now. Rely on everything and everyone who is willing to help you. Live, live! You are beautiful, marvellous three people. Time wil soothe Grandpa’s sorrow, too; please, stay with him! Grandma Horáková will survive thanks to her faith. My girls from Sadská – Věrka, Anička, Boženka – will also be with you. See, there’s so many of you; I am alone and I have to help myself.
I have never doubted your strength, but you surprised me all the same. It will hurt for a while, but then the pain will die down. Go to the meadows and forests; there, in the scent of flowers, you will find a piece of me; go to the fields, look at the beautiful scenery and we will be together once again. Look at the people around you and you’ll see my image in every one of them. I’m not helpless or desperate; I am not putting on an act, I really keep calm because I my conscience is clean. Request the letter I wrote for you; there is my complete legacy in it. It’s just for you, finally something in my life that belongs to you only and to those I love so much. Everything seems unreal to me at the last moment, and yet it’s only the minutes I count. It’s not that bad – it’s just you who matter, not me. Be strong! I love you so much and such love cannot be lost or fade out. Nothing is lost in the world, everything grows on and somehow comes to life again. Always follow only what is close to life. Stick with and support one another!
I repeat: the new approaching life has reconciled me immensely with what is coming. I’ve finished my act, someone has dropped the curtain, but a new play is starting instantly. In it, let there be only a victorious hero and no more tragedy! I love you so much, so much. I kiss you and hug you. I am with you in mind and in prayers and only with you. I may have played my part badly, but I did my best. You can believe me. I am humble and committed to the will of God it is only a trial He has conceived to test me, and I take this test with one wish only: to fulfil the laws of God and to keep my human name honourable. Don’t cry; don’t mourn too much. It’s better for me to die like this, rather than to decay slowly. My heart would not last long in a world without freedom. Now, I will fly again into the fields and meadows, the hills and the ponds, the mountains and the lowlands. I will be unchained again. What peace! and what tranquillity! Please grant it to me; there was so much to overcome. I want to go now. Don’t try to stop me with your crying. You must live for me now, too. I kiss you, I kiss you. May God be with you. I will return in your son or daughter. I see myself in the world again. May God give you strength to endure; all that matters now is that you show the child what is right in the world. Janička, my darling my daughter; Věra, my beloved sister, Pepíček, Grandpa, Granny, my girls Věra, Anička, Božka, and you, my lost, dearest, beautiful husband – I feel you presence as if you were here with me. Now, let me shake your hands, with a firm grip. The birds start singing, a new day is dawning. I am going with my head held high – one must be fair to admit a defeat. Losing is not a shame. Even an enemy is to be treated with respect if they are true and honest. People die in a fight, and what is life if not a fight? Be strong!
Yours and yours only, Milada
Document: Original of the last letter (National Museum, Archive of Jana Kánská)