Jaroslava Suchá

* 1932  

  • “For me, freedom is the essential thing at any circumstances. As it is not just for me but for everyone. If I have freedom, everyone around me does. That´s because I love people, children, company, because I am cheerful. My husband says that I would even want to learn the ants to speak if I would have to live in a cabin in the woods.”

  • “Then as the war went on, my father would instruct us in many ways; all the residents would go down to the basement, everyone would bring some cold weather clothes and maybe a box of chocolate and so on, in case something would happen. And as dive bombers would begin the raid, my crazy father would sit behind the chimney with binoculars and he would run down telling us what the situation was.”

  • “When the Germans came, our director Knot gave a speech at school, which sounded like he had just memorised it, stating how great everything will be from now on and so on. Then I raised my hand, being just a little girl, and he asked me: 'What would you like to tell us, Jaruška?' And I said: 'That´s not true what you are saying, Mr. Director. My daddy said that our country was finished.' Mr. Director went on, and after he finally dismissed the class, he hurried to see my father and he told him everything. He said: 'Children, you know. The only thing they won´t tell is the thing they don´t know. Now they all bring their snacks wrapped in German newspapers.' After that, my father would make me sit in an armchair while he would sit down on a chair in front of me, and it would say: 'If they would pull out your hair, if they would stab something under your nails, from now on, not a single word on what´s happening at home!'”

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    Tábor, 27.07.2019

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Freedom not just for me, but for everyone

Jaroslava Suchá was born on March 20th of 1932 in Praha, her father was an officer. Her family moved a lot as her father has been posted to several garrisons; at the beginning of the World War II he was stationed in Tábor. The Czechoslovak army had been disbanded after the Protectorate had been establish, so the family stayed together and survived the war without serious consequences (apart from witlessness‘s older brother who died of grave disease). After February 1948, Jaroslava resented the fact that the power has been taken by the Communists. After graduating from gymnasium in Tábor, she wanted to study teaching at college but in the end, she began to work as an instructor at the Secondary technical boarding school. She was shocked by the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia in August 1968. On November 17th 1989, she has been visiting Praha and saw police sealing the Václavské Square and its surroundings.