Martin Ehrlich

* 1966

  • “Well, we knew we couldn't talk about some things in public. For example about all that was going on in that church, what was going on within the group. What was not entirely kosher, that was not in Pioneer's ideology. So the fact one had to watch his mouth, even among friends at school and among people you might trust. That was what influenced us and what is still has under our skin today. Although today the police, for example, are supposed to protect us, they are supposed to help us, so I, because at that time it was an instrument of the communists and all secret policemen, so when I see a policeman, it rings an alarm in me. And this is something that even though I have lived most of my life in freedom, as I just learned it as a child, I still have it in me. And even if I wanted to get rid of it, I just can't.”

  • “We followed the motto: Who, if not us, when, if not now. So we knew it was an either/or. That we can reverse the nonsense communist regime and turn it to freedom and democracy. Or that we just end up with this republic and just spend the rest of our lives in emigration. So we put everything into it. Back then we did not care, as at the time because we were young, whether we sleep or not, what we eat and wherever we go, because we knew it was really everything and that it was the future not only of ours but of our country as a whole. So this consciousness, I do not know whether to call it responsibility or historical inevitability or what, but that is what kept us alert, which helped us manage it all.”

  • "Were you afraid during the first days that it would turn out badly that troops would invade, police?" - "We didn't know for a long time if the army would intervene, because the army major commander, the general Vaclavik, said it was no problem and let it all scatter. So we all walked with our passport in our pocket and were ready to head towards the Austrian border at any time if something like that went wrong, because we were sure that the governing body would not forgive us, our activity and commitment. ”Until when did you have this concern? "-" In fact, until the end of November, until there was a signal that the new government would be formed."

  • Celé nahrávky
  • 1

    České Budějovice, 28.05.2019

    délka: 56:47
  • 2

    České Budějovice, 12.09.2019

    délka: 43:00
Celé nahrávky jsou k dispozici pouze pro přihlášené uživatele.

We knew it was an either/or situation

Martin Ehrlich´s first identity card (1981)
Martin Ehrlich´s first identity card (1981)
zdroj: Archiv pamětníka

Martin Ehrlich was born on November 23, 1966 in České Budějovice. He attended eight-year primary school Matice školská in České Budějovice. Since 1978 he went to the tourist (originally scout) group Čtveráci. At school, his parents also enrolled him in religious education, which made his admission to the grammar school more difficult. In 1981 - 1985 he studied at the Karel Šatal Grammar School in České Budějovice. At that time he led a secret group of ministrants. In 1980, a witness and his parents visited the Soviet Union. Martin dreamed of studying science and botany at the Charles University. However, because of his religious beliefs, to which he openly declared himself, he was afraid of not accepting. Since 1985 he studied at the Faculty of Agriculture in České Budějovice. In the spring of 1989, the witness was questioned by the State Security and was offered a cooperation, which he refused. On 12 November 1989 he took part in the canonization of St. Agnes of Bohemia in the Vatican. During the Velvet Revolution in November 1989, he was actively involved in the student strike committee and became its main coordinator within the České Budějovice faculties. In the spring of 1990, he sat in the commission to finish the work of the State Security in České Budějovice. In 1991 he completed his university studies. After school, he completed civilian service at the Salesian Youth Center. For the next three years he worked at the bishopric of České Budějovice as director of the diocesan center for youth. From the mid-1990s until the filming he worked in the IT field. From 2007 until the time of filming, he was an active mayor in Mokrý Lom, where he also lived. Martin has been married since 1990. He and his wife Ludmila have three adult children. At the time of filming, his wife was engaged in temporary fostering.