Zdeněk Hrubý

* 1951  

  • “It was already kind of joyful. That is up until January 23, 1990 when Albert Černý, then deputy, and Stanislav Devátý, later boss of the Security Information Service, called a meeting of the South-Eastern Moravian branches of the Civic Forum to Uherské Hradiště. They shocked us right after our arrival by the announcement that based on their three trustworthy sources – one of them was supposed to be the West German intelligence – that the State Security and the militia would attempt a putsch that night. And they basically gave us a task. To get home, get ready to be arrested, establish a new leadership that would immediately go underground and to inform the strike committees in companies so they would be prepared to announce a national strike. Well, it was shocking, we went home full of fear but ensured everything was ready till the morning and then we had a clear conscience.”

  • “Companies went there, like they used to go on May Day. In the parade, with banners, people also had these manifestation banners. And that’s where the only incident that I know of happened. One of the participants came to me and said: ‘Zdeněk, I’m sorry, but I couldn’t stand it.’ As the people from one company joined the parade, they were led by a man who had once hurt him and had fired him from his job. ‘When I saw him leading the parade, I just had to go and punch him in the damn face. I’m sorry, I just couldn’t hold it in.’ So, that was pretty much the only incident that I know of that happened in Břeclav. Otherwise it was peaceful.”

  • “Even though the Austrian county representative insisted that we couldn’t cross the border, neither us nor the Austrians obeyed and they took all our people and brought them to their homes, to the cellars and pubs. Overall, about one thousand people crossed the border near Reinthal based on a picture. And later we got their fire truck and megaphones and we were driving through Reinthal, that cellar village, and were urging people to return home. It took us a while before we drove through it thoroughly and before people began returning home. And then when we were driving back, we, in turn, met the Austrians who had been walking home from the pub in Poštorné, slightly unsteadily.”

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    Brno, 31.10.2019

    délka: 57:24
    nahrávka pořízena v rámci projektu Příběhy regionu - JMK REG ED
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When I look back I’m proud I managed to resist the regime within the bounds of possibility

Zdeněk Hrubý during a hop-picking voluntary work in 1967
Zdeněk Hrubý during a hop-picking voluntary work in 1967
zdroj: Osobní archiv pamětníka

Zdeněk Hrubý was born March 10, 1951. In 1968 he joined the then newly established Union of the Czech-Moravian Countryside Youth ‘Juvena’. Members of the group managed to interfere the meeting of diehard communists with Soviet generals in October 1968 in Břeclav or to ridicule the May Day decorations in 1969. In 1972 he was on trial for allegedly threatening the local communists with death but eventually got away with a suspended sentence that was subsequently cancelled in 1974. The State Security kept a file on him since he was eighteen, labeling him an enemy of the state. He signed the Charter 77 declaration in January 1989 via the Charter’s then spokesperson Tomáš Hradílek. He later got in touch with other dissidents, mainly with Jaroslav Šabata. He brought the ‘Několiv vět’ petition to Břeclav in the summer of 1989. He learned about the November 17 events from foreign media outlets. Afterwards he joined the demonstrations in Brno and in Břeclav. After consulting Jaroslav Šabata he also initiated the establishment of a local cell of the Civic Forum. He also helped organize the happening ‘Hands of Europe’ – a human chain several kilometers long that went to the Austrian border, where people then crossed the former Iron Curtain en masse. Zdeněk Hrubý remained active in politics, he was at the birth of the Czechoslovak Social Democratic Party. He had been a member of the ČSSD party until 1999.