In November 1989, everyone was afraid
Dagmar Helšusová née Gregorová was born on December 1st of 1950 in Kamenický Šenov. After she started her studies at the University of textile and engineering in Liberec in 1970, she had been allowed to go on a study visit to West Berlin. During her studies, she tried to get involved in organising the cultural and social life at school. However, she couldn´t handle the atmosphere of the ‚normalised‘ university and eventually she would drop out. At that time, she had been living with Zdeněk Sýkora, a famous Czech painter. Later, she would marry Václav Helšuš, an actor, with whom she would raise two daughters. During the period of ‚normalisation‘, the pair befriended people involved in the dissident movement. Because of that, Václav Helšuš´ acting career had suffered and the family had been under Secret police surveillance. In November and December of 1989, Dagmar Helšusová participated on the revolution and co-founded the Civic Forum (Občanské Fórum) organisation in Liberec. She had been helping to organise discussions at the local theatre and to spread the news to schools and factories. After 1990, she got involved in local politics and was elected as a representative of the Civic Forum (Občanské Fórum), the Civic Democratic Party (Svobodní demokraté) and later for the Party for the Open Society (Strana pro otevřenou společnost). She dedicated her life to librarianship. She founded the Young Reader Festival (Festival dětského čtenářství), later known as Children´s book fair (Veletrh dětské knihy).