Mgr. Jiřina Kutláková

* 1939

  • “What happened was that I got in trouble. During a school inspection I taught the class about the Battle of Stalingrad, and the comrade inspector didn’t want to understand why I was teaching about Stalingrad when it was Volgograd. To explain to him that they had fought in Stalingrad at the time, not Volgograd, and that there hadn’t been even the slightest inkling about a personality cult back then, that was quite a problem. It was a big blot on my record. And an even bigger one was that I had talked of Masaryk when teaching about the founding of our republic. How to explain to someone who doesn’t want to understand that I can’t just say that our republic was founded and that it was headed by one unnamed university professor. Because they don’t like Masaryk... The result was that they put a knife to my throat - either I leave, stop teaching, or I stay in education, with that I take on the Pioneer group at the school were I taught.”

  • “The GOSR and similar celebrations were done on a regular basis. Well, and so it happened that I was tasked with checking the accounting, and one of the things that was marked as incorrect was: ‘Bouquet of flowers for Vladimir Ilyich Lenin - missing recipient’s signature.’ So I asked if I was supposed to go to Moscow to have him sign it, or how was I supposed to do it if I was missing the recipient’s signature. Such jollity speaks of the intelligence of the people who did it.”

  • “They didn’t take it seriously at all, they didn’t care about that at all in the mines. Other things were important. They could send anyone packing without the slightest problem. The only politically active people there were the bosses, and they didn’t dare try anything on the miners... A lot of things were trumped up there, the way records were made, because basically... they chose an section for extraction, a part of the mine. I’ve been through the whole Ostrava-Karviná mine system because I was down in four shafts. So, they chose a place where the mining went well, they switched them around in the workplace. They drove them there - say, my husband, he worked at Staříč, that’s pastFrýdek-Místek. Where it’s Paskov now, so there in No. 3 in Staříč, so they’d send a car for him, so he’d come to work on time because the bus would get him there late, and they took turns right on the spot. So they had all the necessary conditions to just go at it, to do nothing but mine. And there was your record; select miners went down - not the ones who’d done the work, but party members and the like. They went down under, smeared themselves, came up again, and the children would welcome them with flowers. We did that with posies, and there was a celebration. It was all a kind of scam, an act, you could say. Miners, most of them, wanted the money - to earn cash. They couldn’t care less for some kind of political games.”

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    Praha, 22.03.2016

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    nahrávka pořízena v rámci projektu Memory of nations (in co-production with Czech television)
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It’s always a matter of people

Kutláková Jiřina - graduation photo 1957
Kutláková Jiřina - graduation photo 1957
zdroj: archiv pamětnice

Jiřina Kutláková, née Řičánková, was born on 8 July 1939 in Horákov near Brno. She experienced World War II in Líšeň near Brno. She still has unpleasant memories of the frequent air raids and sleeping in shelters. In 1946 the Říčáneks moved to Šternberk, where Jiřina‘s father was posted as a financial clerk. The witness completed a secondary business academy in Olomouc in 1957. She did various jobs - at the financial office in Šternberk, at Karosa Hanušovice, at the Olomouc Regional Buy-Out Bureau. After several years of having her university applications turned down for having the same surname as the head doctor in Olomouc, Doctor Říčánek, whose son emigrated in 1948, she was finally accepted to the Faculty of Education of Palacký University in Olomouc. She was active in the students‘ theatre group Skumafka, together with the likes of Pavel Dostál or Karel Kryl. She met her future husband during her two years of teaching practice in Vidnava. The couple moved to Havířov in 1967, where they were assigned a flat when her husband signed a commitment to ten years of labour in the mines. They had three children. Jiřina Kutláková taught Czech and history at a primary school until she was criticised for teaching forbidden topics. She was given the choice of either leaving the school, or taking up the local Pioneers group. She decided that it didn‘t matter what colour of neckerchief the pupils wear, the important thing is that they grow up into decent people with a love for their homeland and their neighbourhood. The witness led the group in what is called a „tramping“ style in Czech (woodcraft, hiking, and camping with a Wild West flavour - trans.). She now lives in a nursing home in Říčany and devotes her time to preparing popularising history programmes for elderly people and the general public.