Olga Ďurišová

* 1947

  • “When one of my bosses tempted me to join the Party, I told him: 'No, no, no. Because I think that they should not imprison because of politics.' 'What?' I said: 'Well, my father was imprisoned in Siberia because of politics, and he died there.' 'I do not know that.' So, he found information on it and apologized to me the following day. I said: 'I do not care. I cannot affect it. But people should not do it.' Well, he did not know it, he was a convinced Communist, I mean my boss by that, and we got on really well, so I understand it. But I understood that he did not know that something like that existed. He did not know about it at all. How could he know it, where would he get to know about it? However, I think people should behave in such a way they do not have to apologize later. It is everybody's business, is not it."

  • “Otherwise, I am glad I saw him and that I was there because I arranged it as I mentioned. He was on a hunger strike for six weeks in the hospital when he found out in Tyumen that I was in the country. And we met, I was glad, and I want to say that I arranged it. I made it happen. And did he treat me right or did he not? He mentioned me once. Several books were written about him. I have all of them at home, they are written in modern Greek, so I do not understand them. But in one of the books, on the other side of the cover, it is written that he apologizes to the Greeks and to Olga. Well, he apologized to me there.”

  • “He had a small house and I stayed in that house. It was a semi-detached house and it had cladding and there were central heating pipes. And he could not say anything. There were central heating pipes in his small house. However, those pipes ended behind the house, and they were cut off. That is why chilly wind and snow could blow through the pipes. However, he could not say anything. He had central heating, right? It was horrible.”

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    Praha, 08.06.2022

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People should not be imprisoned because of political opinions

Olga Ďurišová, née Zachariadisová was born on 20 March 1947 in Prague to Czech mother Marie Zachariadisová and Greek father Nikos Zachariadis. Witness´s parents met at the end of the 1920s in Moscow where an international congress was held. Nikos Zachariadis was General Secretary of the Communist Party of Greece since the 1930s. However, in 1956 he was expelled from his post due to the destalinization process and internal party clashes, he was later expelled from the party and interned in Siberia. At that time, Olga Ďurišová lived only with her mother and she knew her father only from stories. She graduated from the Secondary general school and after it, she worked as a secretary for many years. In 1971, she fulfilled her long-time wish and saw her father Nikos Zachariadis for the first time. She spent a fortnight in Siberia, and she had the opportunity to talk to her father for the first time but also got to know the conditions the former powerful politician lived in. She did not have another opportunity to meet her father because he died two years later. Olga´s mother Marie Zachariadisová died in 1981. After the Velvet Revolution Olga still worked in administration or on the helpline and took care of her two children. Even though she was raised in Czech background, she claimed Greek nationality during the census. She lived in Prague in 2022.