Svatopluk Žamboch

* 1937  

  • “At school I learnt using the oral method, and at first I didn’t understand. Our first teacher, Dobeš, was good, he taught us to speak and I understood. Our teacher didn’t do sign language. Our basic duty was to speak. I don’t know, after about one year at school my dad came to visit the school and my teacher told me to show how I can speak. So I spoke and Dad was overjoyed. Mum was also overjoyed. She boasted that a deaf person can speak and write. That’s why I remember that we didn’t do signing at all, that we always spoke and we had to have our hands ‘hidden’, it was a duty to speak. And when our lessons ended, we used signing. The teachers couldn’t punish us, catch us. But at school we had to speak. I understand that it’s the mainstay. I think it’s good that I learnt how to speak.”

  • “In September, 5 September, we opened, but it was just as an open day. Then on 11 October we opened it officially for the public, and thus began the deaf café. There are four deaf waiters working here and a hearing married couple in the administration. They understand all the rules, and so they run the everyday business of the café.”

  • “I arrived at the main station, and there were soldiers and tanks everywhere. I gaped in surprise because the Soviet soldiers had the same uniforms as they did when they liberated our country after World War II. There was also one person there who was stripping off his clothes and shouting, swearing at the Soviet soldiers. One soldier turned to him and started making fun of him and pointing out what he was doing and that he didn’t have a weapon, whereas the soldier did. It was sad misfortune that we lost our freedom. I really couldn’t believe that if the soviets were our brothers and we were joined by a shared communism, even so, six countries of the Warsaw Pact invaded and occupied us. It was sad.”

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    Kavárna u Žambocha, Brno, 09.12.2013

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My dream was Brno

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Svatopluk Žamboch

Svatopluk Žamboch was born near Vsetín in 1937. He lived with his parents in the little village of Růždce. He was born with hearing, but when he was two and a half he turned deaf from meningitis. He attended a primary school for the deaf (at the time called deaf-mutes) in Valašské Meziříčí. A decree of the ministry of interior later forced him to switch to Ivančice. At that time he began taking an interest in sports. After completing primary school he moved to Brno and learnt upholstery (which was then a one-year vocation programme). At seventeen he began working at Dřevopodnik (Woodworks Company) in Brno. After some two years he changed his job and took up employment at an electrotechnical factory. After another two years he decided to take up new studies, and he became a mechanic. At the time his father bequeathed him a house in the Novojičín District, so he accepted his father‘s offer and moved there with his wife. However, he missed Brno, and so some two years later they returned. As he took up a job as a mechanic-repairman at Mosilana. He began participating in high-level sports - football, hockey, table tennis. He represented the country in football in the years 1956-1959. However, he gradually left high-level competitive sports and devoted himself to work in the board of FC Moravská Slavia. He managed the SVAZARM sports grounds in Řečkovice. He later accepted a position as mechanic at a company in Obřany, where he stayed until 1989, when the firm was dissolved. He found himself new employment in Nová (New) Mosilana in Černovice. Together with friends and other deaf people he founded AVZO - Deaf Club, which was a successor to the Řečkovice SVAZARM. He decided to establish one more organisation in 1991, named Czech Union of Deaf People in Brno (CUD), because of disagreements and litigations concerning the Vodova sports grounds. CUD moved its offices several times - five times in fact. Finally in 2014 Svatopluk Žamboch and his companions from CUD established a deaf café called Kavárna u Žambocha (Café Žamboch). He currently lives in Brno.