“Three days before the invasion, before August 21, me and my husband left in our car to Mamaiu, Romania, for holiday. Suddenly, on August 21, there was a stir among people. There were many Czechs. All said there were some rumours but no one knew for sure. My husband had a radio to which he attached a handy antenna, he was always into mechanics and radio technology. We caught a signal from Prague and heard everything. There were dozens of people around us on the beach who listened, as they wanted to know about the situation, since the Romanians refused to let us back, that it was dangerous, that we would get into trouble. It was only after a few days that they let us go back via Hungary and we were cautious, since they kept telling us, ‘Be careful, be careful. You can get a hotel here. No reason to be afraid. Stay here until things calm down.’ The Romanians were not in favour of the invasion. But we didn’t want to stay, I had two children. They were with my parents but still I was afraid what was going on. So we went and when we arrived at Salgotarjan, where we slept in a camp, we just heard that there was a shooting in Prostejov and that there were many dead and injured. We were terrified. It was Sunday and about three people were shot dead, nine injured, as the convoy passed through and because all the traffic signposts were reversed, they went berserk. Eventually we got home via Slovakia. We passed carefully around Trenčín and we told ourselves that if we got there it would be good. It is true that we encountered a convoy of tanks twice and they aimed at us with automatic weapons while we passed them. But we arrived home safely and I was relieved to find out that my children were safe. I was afraid indeed.”
“Now they started to investigate what really happened. And they found out that it was mainly the workers who were present at the demonstration. So they started looking for someone to blame, looking mainly at schools, especially the grammar school, which, according to their opinion, was the home of Masaryk-religious bourgeoisie. On April 18, a commission from the Ministry of Education arrived from Prague, summoned Tonda Kavička and myself and immediately had us excluded from the school. ‘Go, take your things and immediately leave the building.’ We received no statement, in fact we didn’t know what was going on. In the preceding week, all students at all Prostějov schools had to write a report what they did on April 10, hour by hour, where they were. While they were investigating, they found out that nobody of our class was present at the demonstration. But they didn’t care, we were blamed as culprits, ideological leaders or pioneers who made the demonstration happen. Tonda and I were no longer allowed to enter the school but our class was then investigated by a commission of a Regional National Committee. They kept coming and saying: ‘Confess, confess, confess.’ But no one did.”
“It was rather odd that just a month after we entered the grammar school, our class was suddenly and without any explanation left by Mirek Týnů of Plumlov and replaced by Květoslav Králík from Olomouc. We didn’t know then that an informer was installed in our class. Why it was already then, we never knew, but there was this fact that his father was an influential member of the People’s Militia at Milo Olomouc. He got from him detailed information about what happened in our class, what people said, what it looked like, what people did and didn’t do etc. Perhaps it was because there were many children in our class from the so-called bourgeois families. Antonín Kavička was the chairman of our class. His father was a very influential solicitor who, however, had to leave his office and was employed just as a clerk. Tonda never forgot to emphasise this in his profile. There was the daughter of farmer and miller Dostál from Kostelec. There was Věra Přikrylová, whose father was the secretary of the National-Socialist Party and also a number of people who, by the then opinion, were of bourgeois origin. I was definitely not what they wanted. I was a daughter of a parson. And moreover, our class teacher, Bohumil Svozil, was the lay leader of a congregation of Czech Brethren in Prostějov. Other teachers included professor Prudík and the catechist Životek, a very kind man indeed.“
Důležité je snažit se hledat pravdu, která je konkrétní, nepřibarvená
Olga Čermáková, dívčím jménem Stehlíková, se narodila 16. března 1935 do rodiny evangelického faráře. Bydleli na faře v Prostějově, kde na konci války přečkávali ve sklepě bombardování lazaretu v sousední škole, které faru také hodně poškodilo. Od roku 1950 studovala Gymnázium Jiřího Wolkera. V roce 1953 položila se spolužáky kytici k soše T. G. Masaryka, čímž se přihlásili k odkazu první republiky. O měsíc později skupina vojáků a estébáků sochu odstranila, což vyvolalo bouřlivou demonstraci. Při vyšetřování Olgu se spolužáky označili za organizátory demonstrace, i když se jí nikdo z nich nezúčastnil. Celou třídu a některé profesory vyloučili z gymnázia a nedovolili jim složit maturitní zkoušku. Olga mohla odmaturovat až o rok později, ale když složila zkoušky na JAMU, z politických důvodů ji nepřijali. Vystudovala agrotechniku na Vysoké škole zemědělské v Brně a našla práci na šlechtitelské stanici v Hrubčicích. V roce 1968 byla členkou komise vyšetřující odstranění sochy Masaryka v Prostějově a perzekuce lidí spojené s demonstrací, ale za normalizace komunisté komisi rozpustili. V době invaze Vojsk varšavské smlouvy do Československa byla na dovolené s manželem v Rumunsku. O dětech doma neměli žádné zprávy a museli absolvovat nebezpečnou cestu domů. Její děti nepřijali na gymnázium, a tak odešly studovat do Brna. Olga se dočkala svobody a v roce 1998 se spolužáky položila květiny při odhalení nové sochy Masaryka.