Martina Hošková

* 1956

  • "Of course, when it happened, the people immediately got together and went to demonstrate. But it was a moment, when nobody knew, if there would be shooting, really, when it could all go wrong. But my man told me: 'I have to go there.' And I remember, that I made him a little cross on his forehead and we both knew, that we might never see each other again or that we don't know, how it would end. And that was very powerful. And then following day or right after two days there was demonstration declared to take place in the Old Town Square for families or for mothers, for women and for children, and I remember that, that I was gathering all the children, I put the little one on my neck, I hand crafted myself a Czech flag, I glued it to a cooking spoon and he kind of waved it around. To this day he tells me, he tells me, that he remembers it, that he of course had no idea, what was happening, but that he did remember it. And there it was all led by Miss Rut Kolínská. She jumped up on Hus's memorial and gave some sort of speech there, the people came and now waited to find out what was going to happen."

  • "I know due to that announcement (the decade of the nation's spiritual renewal) there was a big mass in the cathedral, in March it had to be done somehow. And back then people knew, that people were getting ready to come there and the entry roads were blocked, that simply the police was scared or something. I know that we went on foot to the cathedral and for me it was this kind of remarkable thing, that I will leave the children at home and make my own personal inner pilgrimage to the cathedral. And then I saw the guarding members of the VB [police], who were stopping cars and I told myself: 'Nothing is going to stop me.' And I think, that it was this kind of premonition that the nation had in some way awoken. I know that we had organized everything beforehand, that we would spontaneously begin singing one song specifically, one song from Taizé, which then had Czech words. I think it went: 'Every day the Lord gives me strength, my Lord has song, when I am walking with him, I have nothing to fear.' I think that those words had in that situation and at that time also some deeper meaning: 'When I am walking with him, I have nothing to fear.'"

  • "And I remember specifically, that that August, because it was summer, we were wont to sleeping over on the terrace, it was super fun for us, we had these recliners there, that's how me and my sister slept over there. And I always thought, that there was this little hum, but we were only children, and so we slept. And suddenly in the night I see father in his pyjamas, how he's on the terrace looking up at the sky and is kind of troubled and I said: 'Dad, what's happening, that you're not sleeping?' And he only sighed and said: 'Well, little girl, if only there wasn't a war.' And that was simply, that at three in the morning a friend from the quarter called, the cellist Mirous Juna, and said: ' Please, Jirka, the Russians are here.' And that was this moment in the night and immediately early in the morning father sent us out, so that we'd go to the shops now, because people were immediately starting to buy everything out. The people actually still remembered, what it means to be at war and be hungry. And so that time we already had seven children and father was burdened by the thought of what would happen if things got actually really bad."

  • “Nevertheless, even before Charter 77 appeared, my parents with their way of life and their lack of fear and their knowledge of foreign languages… people simply knew that if somebody from the West arrived and wanted to speak with some Christians, the priests or those who had the contacts would always tell them: ‘Go to the Kaplan family, because they will be able to communicate with you and they are not afraid.’ And my mom was the type of a person who had lots of energy and who was a skilled organizer. And she was not scared, because she used to say: ‘What can they do to me...? I am a mother of many children. And if they come to me and ask how come, Mrs. Kaplanová, that you got some many people in here, I will tell them: So what, my kids have birthday, and so they invited their friends, and well, there are many of us.’”

  • “It happened in September 1979, and all of a sudden the state police rings the door bell and there is a house search. And they came with certainty, because they already knew and they had already somehow investigated that dad was involved in this. And it started – they checked everything, they confiscated many books. My mom was covertly quickly taking some photocopied documents out of the house and my brother was burning them down there in the stove as fuel. It was like that, kind of a dramatic scene, as if from some detective novel. But it was not pleasant, because it probably lasted the whole day. Then they arrested daddy and they went to the office with him, and then they imprisoned him and we had no idea for how long and what could happen and so on.”

  • “It was simply a childhood which was amazing for what one perceives around oneself. Today I am already able to judge it, and I see that it was actually wonderful, but at that time we regarded it as nothing special. You are simply growing up somewhere and you think of the place as your home. But when you grow up and you find out that other children are growing up in confined spaces of apartment housing blocks and you realize that your home was something completely different. That was my first impression, that I am aware of, that we had a lot of space, a large garden, and many beautiful things around. Since my mom came from a family of a business man, and before grandfather emigrated, he had provided for her a dowry in the form of antique furniture, a large piano, and beautiful things and paintings. And we had all this at home, and it was our home. But to make it short… what was interesting about my childhood was that since the villa was a large building and it had a basement, too, and since the original owner was no longer able to live in the whole building alone… one of the large rooms in the basement thus belonged to Mr. Jan Koblasa, a painter, who was a student at the Academy of Fine Arts at that time.”

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Our parents taught us not to be afraid to step out of the line

Martina Hošková
Martina Hošková

Martina Hošková was born on November 21, 1956. She spent her childhood in Villa Pellé where her parents and her nine siblings lived together with the original owners - the Rieger family - and the artist Jan Koblasa, who had his studio in the basement. Her parents, Marie and Jiří Kaplan, were Christians and they raised their children in Christian faith. They were also very active in the Catholic dissent movement, they were translating books and organizing home seminars. Martina‘s father was arrested for disseminating banned books in 1979, but thanks to the support from abroad he was released three months later. Martina graduated from a conservatory and with her husband they had seven children. After spending twenty years at home and raising their children, she completed a study at the Catholic Faculty of Theology at Charles University. In 2017 she received the certificate of participants in the anti-communist resistance movement on behalf of her parents.