Jana Soukupová

* 1958

  • "The best memories I have are from when Hanka Holcner and I used to spray paint Brno. Dusan used to watch my kids, at home, and we used to climb over the walls from Jaselská Street to Veveří Street, over the houses, because across the street I had cameras and I had a wiretap. Like the apartment was probably pretty well bugged. That's what the guys who went from the dissent to the BIS said, that I was bugged everywhere. But somehow we managed to crawl with that Hanka to Veveří and there we sprayed around Brno "In China they are dying for us too", that was the Tiananmen Square, when the students were massacred there. So we wrote that or "Petr Cibulka, prisoner of conscience", because he was in prison at that time and he was facing 12 years for the economic paragraph. Really, in the centre of Brno, which was empty, deserted, grey, there were really only those police cars. There were cameras everywhere, because it was said that actually Brno was a perfectly policed city. So the cameras were there and we were spraying with Hanka. And now this police car was coming, so we ran into a passage. Well, Quick Arrows - Rag." Translated by DeepL

  • "That's when they just fired Dusan Skala. And these are my fond memories of us sitting in the kitchen, Dušan cooking, because he cooked well. Sometimes they sent some money from abroad, some vouchers. They used to send us currency, but that had to be converted into bills. So what to do with the vouchers. So I used to buy chocolates for the kids. Dusan would buy the better alcohols, like whiskey, so we'd drink it and we'd eat what he cooked and I was more of a doorman, sometimes I'd sit there, but I really didn't enjoy it very much, the political talk. Moreover, when Jaroslav Šabata took the floor, it was for three quarters of an hour. So I was really sitting in the kitchen drinking and chatting with Dusan. " Translated by DeepL

  • "I taught at Vranovská and it ended up that I was already pregnant and I told the lady who was with us in Syria. A grown-up lady. And we were going to the sauna with the kids and I said, 'Safriš, I don't know if I should go to the sauna when I'm pregnant. What do you think?' And somewhere over coffee, she had a word with the headmistress and the headmistress walked into the room where I was putting the children to sleep with a story and said, 'Comrade teacher, next time you get pregnant, I'm the headmistress here! I'm the first to know!' And I said something like, 'Yeah, next time I get laid, I'll tell you'. She slapped me, so I slapped her back. And she came running. She went crazy. She called the cops, the superintendent, the school... Now I'm sitting there, and these kids are like cuckoos, poor things, all scared. Now they're all running around, the inspectors. Really, within about twenty minutes they were there with the cops, because she said I assaulted her, and they were questioning these poor kids, three-year-olds, four-year-olds: 'The comrade teacher slapped our comrade teacher'. So, although I was acquitted, I didn't have to go to jail or I don't know what would have happened then. I didn't get fired, but the next day I went to another kindergarten. And it was the same thing there!" Translated by DeepL

  • “A car came for me to take me to Bohunice, and I escaped them, I ran around this park like Nopova, there is the church, and down the bus stop and I jumped on the bus and screamed: ´Close the door, the secret police is after me!´ He actually closed the door and we went to Stará osada, where I jumped off and hopped on a tram, I knew ran away from them and in the evening I was again in Svoboďák (translator´s note: Radio Free Europe). Well, and since Wednesday I moderated it. Then came Donutil. Here I also wrote it down, Dóňa as Miroslav Donutil, who like saying it everywhere, but he came in only when it was clear we would not get beaten up or arrested.”

  • “I was going out, there were the secret police, they have pulled me inside the car and brought me to Bohunice for questioning and now they said:´ Well, you'll see the boy when he's eighteen, if you're lucky. ´Well, then there was the interrogation and I was already instructed, so I never said a word, never told them anything at all. There was always a blank paper, they wanted to sign it, so I was too reluctant, but in the end I signed the blank paper. Then they drove me to Jaselská street to a huge apartment, and there I had... about fourteen hours on the home search, and Cibulka had an archive in one of those rooms, so they cut the lock off and took it all, about four trucks of material. Well, then I went to the interrogations every fortnight. Then they had their own methods, like threatening they would take away my children...”

  • “And when the 21 August 1968 came, the Russian occupation, so we were in Syria, and all the families that were there, they were not very many there, there were ten or fifteen, so basically almost all of them got away, they all just emigrated, because it seemed as if war had been starting here. So we had mainly Western media and they really... well I do not know, I was not here, but the occupation happened, the tanks were driving around here and the people, because they were paid as foreign experts in the foreign exchange, so they had the local currency and it really the best way was to run away. And there was not much control over it, so the families that were there with us ended up in Canada, America or Australia. And only my mother, who simply loved Czechoslovakia to bits, so we probably had it all prepared, I do not know exactly, I would have to ask her, my mom is still alive, but I feel that we already bought our tickets to Toronto or whereabouts and at night my mum cracked and said it was like we had to go back and so we came back.”

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If they had touched my children, I would have signed anything

Jana Soukupová with her daughter Lucie, 1982
Jana Soukupová with her daughter Lucie, 1982
zdroj: web

Jana Soukupová was born in 1958 in Brno. Her family was strongly anti-communist. She spent the year 1968 in Syria, where her father was building a factory. The family was considering emigration, but finally returned back home. The witness taught in the kindergarden and then worked in manual professions. Since 1985 she contributed to the samizdat magazine called „Guest“, where she prepared an interview with the dissident, Mr. Petr Cibulka. But he got arrested and Jana Soukupová taken for interrogations. Following a home search, during which a large Cibulka archive was confiscated, she had to attend interrogations regularly. She had two small children. In November 1989 she played an important role during the Velvet revolution in Brno. She negotiated with the major Pernica and moderated demonstrations. In 1990s she was the chief-editor of the Moravian express and later a director of the publishing house Petrov. At the moment she works in Mladá fronta Dnes.