Zuzana Brikcius

* 1960  

  • “Of course I didn´t go when the elections were being held. Those three poor women from the Street committee came to me. I had been calling them the Streetwalking committee. So they came, stating that I had to vote for the first time, that I was eighteen years old so I just had to vote. I told them that I wouldn't vote. And again, they would ask me why and I told them that I wouldn´t. I told them that I just wouldn´t participate in the elections in this country. And one of them would say, “Let me give you some cake, you are so skinny. But you would vote, wouldn´t you?' I said that I really wouldn´t. And I was so sorry because of them.”

  • “It was been evident that I had to be sympathetic to people who I knew, who had been – euphemistically spoken – going through various troubles. One had to face them. It might sound that I am exaggerating but the main reason why I left the county was that I wanted to live a life of honesty and righteousness. I didn´t want to join any organisation, I didn't even want to be a ROH member. That just couldn´t be. And as I had an extended practical training at school I had to join the ROH. I told them that I wouldn´t join. I didn´t want to have anything in common with the things that had been officially happening here.”

  • “As I turned eighteen and I reached majority, some official came to our class. He was telling us that as we were adults now we have to sign that we agree with being the SSM members. And would say that I didn´t know about such membership. So I had to file an official request to be expelled from the SSM that I had not even joined, which I found completely ridiculous. So I had been complaining about that. As the only one in our school. Everyone yielded. No one would understand why I was doing that. But I didn´t even know I was a member.”

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    Praha, 15.03.2019

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I wanted to live as a decent human being which wasn´t possible in a socialist country

Zuzana Brikcius née Jelínková was born on January 12th of 1960 in Praha. She was raised by her grandparents. She spoke German at home, so after she begun to study at the elementary school, she was struggling with the Czech language. She graduated from the School of communal dining. As a seventeen-year old, she got into a company of people who publicly opposed the communist regime. She voiced her protest against the fact that she had been growing up in a non-democratic country right after reaching majority. She refused to vote; an act considered a provocation by the socialist regime. In 1978, she signed the Charter 77 declaration. Several times, she had been interrogated by the Secret Police. In 1982, she immigrated into Austria legally. The communist regime offered the Charter 77 signatories such an opportunity as a means to supress the dissemination of anti-communist ideas in Czechoslovakia. She settled in Vienna and married Eugen Brikcius, a writer. She had been working as translator and teacher. She curated many exhibitions. She has been living both in Vienna and Praha.