Jiří Matoušek

* 1961  

  • “Two or Three Renda’s nails were severely bruised and I, a little boy, asked him: ‘Bro, what’s wrong with your nails?’ And obviously, the warden was with us in the room, and so my brother just smiled and said: ‘I accidentally slammed the door on my hands.’ And I, although I was just a kid, I was probably smart, and so I asked: ‘And in prison, you close the door behind yourself by yourself? You have a door handle inside so that you accidentally slammed the door on your fingers?’ And he just smiled and said: ‘Don’t be so smart.’ Only later, when they released him, I found out, although it seems almost incredible, that sadistic female wardens took him aside and they tied him to a chair and sprayed a tear gas into his eyes, and they were probably women who had had some bad experience with guys, and among other, they slammed his fingers into the door.”

  • “For many years, Renda was working as a tram driver, and basically, again, it became apparent, that he was totally… I would have never done it, and you probably would not either, and few people would. Although he knew what it meant, he still did it, and as I mentioned Karel Kryl, well, the sound system in trams was very bad, just like now you hear what the next stop would be. And his conductor, Mr. Bumba, who now owns the automobile museum in Liberec and who had worked as a tram conductor with him, wrote about it to me about two years ago. Renda, who was a tram driver, allegedly brought with him his tape player into the tram and he plugged it into the sound system, and the audio system in the tram. And as he was driving on the tram line between Jablonec and Liberec, he was playing the songs by Karel Kryl over the speakers to the people. Including Kryl’s protest songs against the Russian occupation and so on. And one third of the people were so scared that they rather got off the tram, and another third was disgusted that he played an anti-state singer, and the last third was excited and happy. And Bumba said: ‘Renda, they can get you for that...’ - ‘But why? I am just playing music, it’s a nice music.’ But obviously he did know what he was playing. I am absolutely surprised that nothing happened at that time, or at least I don’t know about anything.”

  • “Then there were guests like that… They sat on the bench behind us, and they wore the typical clothing of the time for young StB men, leather coats and small briefcases. And when the female judge said what I will just explain in a moment, they would just move closer in between my mom and me. And my mom was really a tiny woman, and she nearly suffered a nervous breakdown. And they bent toward us and said: ‘What a Bolshevik bitch she is, isn’t she? How she tramples on him. What a bitch. What do you think of that?’ And my mom thought that they were some of our supporters, and she was just drawing her breath to answer. And I said: ‘Mom, they are no fans of us. They are from the StB. You just open your month, and we are all in it together with him.’ I told them: ‘Be quiet!’ But they said enthusiastically: ‘What a communist bitch she is, right? How she gets him.’”

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It took away my brother

Jiří Matoušek
Jiří Matoušek
zdroj: Pamět národa - Archiv

Jiří Matoušek was born on April 20, 1961 in Ústí nad Labem and a great part of his life is intertwined with the life of his stepbrother. His stepbrother René Matoušek, who attempted to emigrate in 1969 and spent several months in prison as a result thereof, was later imprisoned for disseminating pamphlets in support of the Polish Solidarity and on 17th November 1989 he was tried for distributing the petition ‘A Few Sentences.‘ Jiří was visiting his brother in prison and he tried to support him as much as possible, such as by trying to get him a lawyer or supporting his family financially. Jiří himself faced troubles when searching for a job and he refused to join the Revolutionary Trade Union Movement (ROH) in spite of a career advancement promise if he did so. He signed Charter 77 in the 1980s and he maintained contacts with Prague dissidents.