Irena Vyslyšelová

* 1933

  • “I and my husband, we made a good team, as he was a sports person as well. When we went out, it didn’t take long for us to be surrounded by kids. Be it in the winter or in the summer. We would organize sports activities all year round. In the winter, we organized a skiing championship and in the summer, it was all about running. We made sure that there was a playing ground there. I arranged the gym to be properly equipped. I just felt that if I was to teach these kids, I needed proper equipment in the gym and not just a mat and a Swedish box.”

  • “However, there came the year 1968. The whole nation felt outraged and subdued by the incursion of the Russians. We organized rallies and happenings, even planting a linden in front of the school building. I remember that in Prostějov, the Russian soldiers shot a number of women. The situation was pretty charged in Olomouc as well, as there was a garrison stationed there. We would refuse them – the Russian soldiers would come to our happenings. In those days, I made a reputation for my anti-communist and anti-Soviet opinions. That was the reason for my later reprimand. I was invited to come to the district national committee. There was an inspector, her name was Kvasnicová and she was the dominant figure there. Even before I could sit down, she started yelling at me as if I was a little girl, accusing me of betraying our ideals! She told me I had no right to teach and made the proposal I should quit teaching. This was very painful for me. I was quite battered at that time.”

  • “On Sunday morning, we went to the church for service… Near the end of the prayer, there is a spot where it says ‘Lord have mercy on us’ and you strike your chest three times. By that time, I and my dad would already be backing out of the door, as that was about the time when the handball game was beginning at a nearby field. After the game, we would go home for lunch that my mother made. At one o’clock, there was the football match at Ander’s stadium, where my dad would regularly take me. I was keenly interested in all of this. I could sit there for hours. I had my own spot on the stand. The juniors played, followed by the first reserve and the league then played the fourth, the last match. I knew every single player, I can still recall their names today. I enjoyed it enormously.”

  • “At that time, they came overnight and the next morning, they were here! Olomouc, which had a garrison, was teeming with Russian soldiers! We were straight with the kids, telling them what was going on. Later, I once met one of my former pupils, by then already a women. She told me she remembered what I had told them in the days of the occupation: ‘Girls, remember that who comes at night is an occupier and who shoots at mothers and children, like they did in Prostějov, is a killer!’ She also told me that I had added the remark that I chose to tell them this now since I may later not have the chance to do so anymore.”

  • “I made a good choice because I was well suited for volleyball. There were two of from Olomouc in the national team. I still keep a newspaper article that was written after the championship in Paris saying that Špelinová and Vyslyšelová were the best ones in the whole national team.”

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    Olomouc, 08.08.2013

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Who comes at night is an occupier and who shoots at mothers and children is a killer

vyslyselova orez.jpg (historic)
Irena Vyslyšelová

Irena Vyslyšelová, née Dudíková, was born in 1933 in Olomouc. She was greatly influenced by her father, a fan and an official of the sports club Olomouc. At an early age, he sparked her interest in sport, which became her lifelong hobby. From the fourth grade of elementary school onwards, she played handball. Later on, she played volleyball for the second division of the Slavia sports club in Olomouc. Between the years 1952 – 1955, she studied at the Pedagogic Faculty of the Palackého University in Olomouc, the fields of Czech language and physical education. She played volleyball actively while studying at the college. As a representative of the Czechoslovak national team, she won the 1957 silver medal at the World Academic Games in Paris. She quit playing volleyball at a top level because of her husband, but still plays tennis today. Since 1955 until her retirement in 1983, she taught at several elementary schools. A major breakthrough for her was the year 1968. Together with her colleagues, they staged a rally in protest against the August invasion and subsequently discussed the situation with their pupils. When the screenings of 1970 came, she received a very negative assessment. Subsequently, she was stripped of her post of director and also the role of a district-level expert for education methodology. A year later, together with eleven other teachers of the same school, she was reprimanded for her politically incorrect attitudes and beliefs in 1968-69. In 1974, she applied for a job of an expert in methodological training of apprentices in the Civil Engineering Construction enterprise Olomouc. Her initially positive assessment at the district National Committee was in turn changed to a negative assessment, which effectively prevented her transfer to the new job. She was allowed to continue to teach, but she was continually moved from one school to another and she was denied any career advancement. Eventually, she gave up on teaching and in 1983, she began working as an instructor at a boarding school in Prague-Modřany. In the early 1990s, she unsuccessfully sought to be rehabilitated.