Luděk Svoboda

* 1933

  • „My mum really longed to have a cottage in Šumava, at that time cottages cost around 2–300. So they went... We had the KDF car – historians know, what it´s like, it even had the masking colours. So with that kind I went to Šumava with my brother to get a cottage. But it was cold and foggy and we somehow crosse the borderline, we just did unintentionally. And we expected them to return in two or three days and then in fourteen days we got a dirty letter, that they´re ok with a stamp of the prison in Budějovice. (...) They claimed to have intended to cross the borders so that was hard to explain it was only to get a cottage. They considered it a bad joke, but finally let them go.“

  • „One morning a bell rang and I was just making my son a cocoa drink after school, and now there were some men dressed in jeans with a worn out Skoda car saying: Mr. Svoboda, we need to ask you something. So I said ok, come in please. – No, no, we´d take you to our office. (...) they asked us to report who was coming in. So I replied to them not to be crossed, as they didn’t know my leader, but listening to someone around the corner, she´d pull my hear and take me to the sales department. And second, I had no clue who´s who. I didn’t know anyone´s names. So they said, they could just pick up the phone and I´d get fired. So it ended without any deal, no cooperation, and I could not tell anyone. I was afraid and slept bad (...) For I didn’t know what´s ahead for me. At the time I could have been arrested for fifteen years of nothing at all. The funny thing was that I was at my brother´s at the Śumava mountains skiing and now I was visiting some guy who was so sympathetic, funny and all... And he was the one interrogating me. He even had skies from the holidays there. So I said: Actually we know each other, we went skiing together... Well, he was not chuffed at all...“

  • „When we bought books, we had to leave them on a shelf, the new ideological supervision came and said: You can do this and that... but that kind of supervision was some doctor Špicová and she told me: ‚Luděk, don’t be silly, you cannot do that...‘ And that was all. We had that infamous box, where we threw such stuff and when some of those people we knew about came there, we let them have a go and search it. Then some idiot, who heard of it, came and said: So you got a box of banned books. And five metres from him stood a secret policeman. And we said: You must be mad, there is no such thing here. And he said: Miss Přívorů informed me. Well that was really worse...“

  • Celé nahrávky
  • 1

    Praha, 28.02.2016

    délka: 02:40:11
    nahrávka pořízena v rámci projektu Stories of 20th Century
Celé nahrávky jsou k dispozici pouze pro přihlášené uživatele.

You can live fully in any time period

A soldier Ludek Svoboda
A soldier Ludek Svoboda
zdroj: archiv Luďka Svobody

Luděk Svoboda was born on May 13, 1933 in Prague. His worldview was strongly influenced by his Christian-oriented mother and intellectually based father Jan, a professional linguist. The witness apprenticed a bookseller and in 1952-1990 he worked in one of the most important Prague sedonhand bookshop in Dlážděná street no. 5, which gradually became a refuge of the communist regime opponents. After the Chart 77 Luděk Svoboda was interrogated by the secret police and they were persuading him to cooperate but he never agreed to it. In 1986 he left with his wife Dagmar for holidays to the Soviet Union. They experienced an explosion of the Černobyl nuclear power station, just when they were relaxing in the Estonian town of Narva, in the territory marginally affected by radioactive fallout. His wife then got seriously ill and died early in 1993. The doctors didn‘t exclude the radiation sickness. In 1999 the witness wrote a memory book Secondhand bookshop and me and four years later a sequel called Magic envelope: Secondhand bookshop and me II. He raised two children and lives with his girlfriend in Prague.