Jiří Antonů

* 1966  

  • „During the first week it was necessary to distribute leaflets, to print some stuff since there already was a copy machine. We would gather at the squre. Ever since that Tuesday we were gathering on the Jihlava square by the fountain every day, so a programme had to be planned, the speakers, the sound system. We had a construction site close to the square, we were building for Bohemia glassworks. We had a construction distribution board and our foreman decided to lay an electrical cable for the sound system. So during the general strike on Monday, we then lay the cables down and had electrical power. Because there were state-owned companies everyhere, the Prior state company, the city wouldn’t give you any electricity. So we made it happen, that the sound system worked.”

  • “From Wednesday it took place more in the club. It was still under the heading of the Czechoslovak Union of Youth, so they had some office space there. They even tried to set up a discussion there and even Communist Party representatives came. Back then people already had a bit of… it was calm, but people absolutely didn’t trust them anymore. They kept trying to lie their way out of it, it was an open discussion, the hall packed and airless and you could feel the mistrust of the people. People were not scared anymore. At one point when they said: ‘We will discuss this later,’ I replied: ‘Well that is if somebody wants to discuss it with you.’ And a former colleague of mine said: ‘Ease up, ease up.’ He was still afraid. He thought I was being too revolutionary. He couldn’t imagine that we could do something without them, without their consent. With their consent yes, but without them altogether… But some of us others had already felt different.”

  • „I remember exactly what happened on November 17. We had all lived our lives somehow and only later got to know stuff. So, I was here around the corner in the then hotel Beseda, where there was a youth club and in it, on the first floor, a wonderful performance of brothers Justovi was taking place. You could feel… not really a revolutionary mood, but they already could dare to do and say more in the performance than ever before. I later met with the Just brothers, we were remembering the times and they recalled the show very well because it was the last one they ever did. Then there was the strike, theatres were closed, they didn’t travel at all, the Velvet Revolution came and they said that for a long time this was their last performance, which is why they remembered the amazing atmosphere of it, that you could already feel the change in the audience.“

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    Jihlava, 24.08.2019

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Communists tried to lied their way out of it but people didn’t trust them anymore

Jiří Antonů in 2019
Jiří Antonů in 2019
zdroj: z produkce Post Bellum

Jiří Antonín was born on June 7, 1966 in Třebíč, but he has spent most of his life in Jihlava. His relatives led him to Christian faith but already in primary school he understood that proclaiming a faith was not desirable in socialist Czechoslovakia. He lived a rich cultural life while growing up and strongly experienced how art was being hampered under the Communist totalitarian rule. After graduating high school he studied at university for two years, but left the studies due to medical reasons and found a job as a planning engineer in Drustav Jihlava construction company. In the late 1980s he felt the changing mood of a society that wanted to live freely, and joined the fourty thousand signatories to the „Několik vět“ petition. After November 17, 1989 he joined the demonstrations in Jihlava, became a member of the Civic Forum and actively participated in its activities. After the fall of Communism, he further engaged in the Civic Forum, helping with setting up the subsequent general election. After the division of Civic Forum, he joined the Civic Democratic Party and was involved in regional policy. He then changed jobs and became an IT specialist in Česká spořitelna.