Jana Dvorská

* 1960  †︎ 2023

  • „They brought one hundred militiamen. I had had a condition that they wouldn’t be armed, so they of course were. I only got to know this later. And the gathering started, but it was already after November 17. I wonder if it was that Monday or the next Monday, but either way it was after November 17. So, no one really cared about demonstrations in Teplice and about ecology anymore. Although it had still looked like they did. There were questions. Someone talked about something and two microphones went around, and people asked questions, already about the release of political prisoners and such. After which the technician turned the microphone off. So, we began to realize that it couldn’t end up anyhow. I don’t want to say well, because it did end up well. Then a student who had participated in the Prague November 17 demonstration made and appearance. He took the microphone and started to talk. They turned the microphone off. That’s how the gathering ended. People came out and a procession walked through Teplice, but it was after November 17 and no one really cared about ecology from then on. Then there was the Civic Forum…”

  • „How old were we? I was twenty-nine, doctor Veselovský is five years older than me. We were more or less twenty-five to thirty-five. They probably thought of us as being the young and cheeky ones who dare too much. The president of the National Committee had been awaiting us, as well as the so-called experts, who kept telling us how ecology had been done well – all that because we came with a petition and wanted to improve the environment. And they told us that the environment was great, how many sunny days there had been and what were the air concentrations. Well, it was over in fifteen minutes. The debate was absolutely pointless which was evident right from the beginning, but it hadn’t dawned on us. The president of the National Committee then started yelling at us about all that communists had done for us and how we would be lost without them…”

  • „I couldn’t go right at 4 p.m., so I told myself I would wait until they had gone around. On the first day we had set out from the fountain, walked around the city and then it had ended somewhere there. So, I told myself that I would wait until they had gone around and would join them in front of our house. I had a perfect view from there. So, I went there but the situation had changed. A reinforcement had come, so they wanted to end it. When people had gone to the station, they let them through and closed the way with armed men and dogs. There were dogs and policemen down there, then people trapped in the street and up there were policemen and a water cannon. And I had lived on the square, so I walked from above, wanting to join the people going from down below and I saw the whole situation. I didn’t know what to do. I saw students of our gymnasium standing in the front row. The first thing I thought of was to negotiate with the policemen to let the cordon free. I felt like in a dream, not in reality. But surprisingly enough they talked with me and said they would let the cordon go. But that I must tell them to disperse.”

  • „Later, when I had seen posters for the ecological demonstration, my friend and I decided to go there. I wasn’t expecting a great turnout, that it could be something similar to the events in Prague, that someone could actually lead it. I actually thought no one would come. And so, we went and joined the November 11 procession and we walked through Teplice with satisfaction and excitement. We held hands and shouted: ‘We want clear air; we want healthy children!’ And we had a good time at the demonstration from about 4 p.m. to 5 or 6 p.m. I had a good feeling that maybe something could actually start happening. But we didn’t believe at all in a regime change. Rather that something might improve there, in Teplice.”

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    Olomouc, 22.10.2019

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    nahrávka pořízena v rámci projektu Stories of the region - Central Moravia
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It was the first time in twenty years that the power held talks with the street

Jana Dvorská during her time working at the Gymnasium in Teplice
Jana Dvorská during her time working at the Gymnasium in Teplice
zdroj: archiv pamětnice

Jana Dvorská, née Pilařová, was born May 31, 1960 in Olomouc. She grew up in Šumperk in a family of economist Alexandr Pilař and chemist Ludmila, née Číhalová. Shortly after the Warsaw Pact Invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968 her father was expelled from the Communist Party, demoted from director of the Czechoslovak State Bank in Šumperk to ordinary office worker and placed on the list of so-called reactionaries. As a consequence, Jana and her two siblings lost the chance of freely choosing their high school and university education. Although Jana had dreamt of veterinary medicine, in the end she graduated from a technical school in Šumperk and continued her studies at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Czech Technical University in Prague. There she met her future husband whom she married in 1986. Together they moved to Teplice where Jana, a teacher at the local gymnasium, actively participated in the demonstrations that took place between November 11 and November 13, 1989. The protesters demanded a change of approach towards the environment, state of which had been especially alarming in North Bohemia. Even though she wasn’t the first one to call the demonstration together, she became its most prominent mover. Less than one week prior to November 17, 1989 she and other protesters set up a petition requesting a dialogue with the city administration. Together they contributed to a unique meeting between the discontented public and the officials of the Local committee and the Communist Party that took place in a sports hall on November 20th, 1989. However, due to the events in Prague ecological topics were drowned out by the political topics and issues. Later on, Jana joined a group establishing the Ecoforum of the Basin Areas. She did not get involved in politics following the year 1989 though. After the Velvet Revolution she completed her qualification for teached English and lived in Šumperk again. Jana passed away on 11th June 2023.