Jiří Imlauf

* 1966

  • “At that point, I told myself one shouldn’t do that. Because, even if you put one over on them and didn’t tell on anyone, the very fact of it makes you committed in some way. That was one of their most powerful weapons: the fear that someone at some point had seen me go there. And, I hadn’t been there more than ten times, at their station. Just the fact that it’s a mistake, that it’s wrong--I knew that--I’m laughing now. The school [I attended] was so stupid, and it’s so really dumb that I undertook something like that because of my studies, because they aren’t worth that much.”

  • “Then I received the summons to their office in Ústí. It started all over again. There were two of them by then. The one who’d spoken with me in Žatec was the so-called good guy and the other was the bad guy. He was nasty; he came at me with the idea that I might not go to school next year, and he started pressuring me, [saying] I could avoid that. There was no mention of collaboration, as a category, but that if I happened to know of anything going against the state, the regime--something in the works--if they find out about it from me, then they wouldn’t hurt anyone. The bad guy said this was my only chance. I don’t know how long it lasted. I know I thought to myself that I’d lead them on; that I’ve got friends, and, I mean, I can’t tell on them that they swore at this or that and read this or that, that I wouldn’t be no snitch, but that I could tell these blokes anything I wanted to. So, I said okay. After the Revolution, I found out they did the same with my friend. At the next meeting they wanted me to sign some piece of paper, so I signed it. And, that was it.”

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    Praha, 20.10.2015

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    nahrávka pořízena v rámci projektu Memory of nations (in co-production with Czech television)
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    Praha, 02.07.2016

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    nahrávka pořízena v rámci projektu Memory of nations (in co-production with Czech television)
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Looking back, I don’t understand how I could have signed up to collaboration with State Security

Jiří Imlauf was born on the 6th of September, 1966. His mother was a clerk and his father was a former pilot of the Czechoslovak People‘s Army. His father was among those who were forced to leave the military during normalisation because he did not voice his agreement with the Soviet occupation during ideological profiling. He would soon find another occupation and earned a living as a construction worker. Jiří Imlauf‘s hobby was music; he was a fan of the Beatles. While studying at the Faculty of Education in Ústí nad Labem, he attended a commemorative event at the John Lennon Wall in Prague in 1987. Because of this, Jiří was contacted by State Security and interrogated. When interrogated for a second time, and under the threat of being expelled from school, he signed a collaboration agreement. His task was to inform on students and people whom he met at cultural events and at restaurants. His collaboration with State Security was made public after 1989. Jiří Imlauf works as a primary school teacher, a songwriter, and a musician. Jiří Imlauf is currently the frontman of the rock band, Houpací koně (Rocking Horses).