MUDr. Jan Stavěl

* 1952

  • "I used to hang out with Zdeněk Zapletal, who wrote books. Sometimes we would have discussions and he would defend the regime in a mock way so that we could argue. He knew Šabata, for example. And then they came to him to get him to sign a few sentences. He also told me to sign, so I signed. But that was no longer heroic. I was sure it was over. I knew I wouldn't have any problems. The signatories were read every day on Free Europe. I listened to it and they didn't read me. So I told Zdeněk and he told me that they got drunk somewhere and lost the petition sheets. I told my sister-in-law about it after 1990 and she said that they must have read me, that they asked her at work if it was me. So I just misheard it. But it really wasn't heroic."

  • "I remember August 21, 1968 as I remember it today. I was at home and still asleep when my father came running and shouted at me to get up, that the Russians were here. He opened the blinds and turned on the TV. Then my mother came from the collective farm, she worked in the livestock factory, and we sat down in front of the TV and listened to the news. At nine thirty my parents told me to go to the store to get pastry. When I got there, all the shelves were empty. I asked what was going on and they told me that people had been going there since the morning with two-wheelers and buying everything. We were sitting in front of the TV and people were already stocking up, saying there was going to be a war."

  • "It was a nice childhood for me, even though the year I was born was the year of most executions, as I read. It was the Stalin era, although Stalin died six months after I was born, so it was still reverberating. But a child sees it with his own eyes. I didn't realize that it was a difficult time until 1968, when I was scrounging in the attic where old papers and leaves had been thrown away. I found a letter in which our village secretary proposed that my father be declared a kulak. Although he didn't qualify with his eighteen hectares, he was raising pigs and growing clover for seed, so he should have been dismembered. I was reminded of this yesterday when I saw the film All the Good Folks. Fortunately, our village Communist Party chairman at the time was a friend of my father's. He [father] came to him and said that this time it could still be pulled off, but next time no one would stop it, and father had to join the cooperative."

  • Celé nahrávky
  • 1

    Zlín, 23.08.2023

    délka: 01:32:37
    nahrávka pořízena v rámci projektu Stories of the region - Central Moravia
Celé nahrávky jsou k dispozici pouze pro přihlášené uživatele.

He had a beautiful childhood. The horror he was born into, he only knew from a letter in the attic

Jan Stavěl in 2023
Jan Stavěl in 2023
zdroj: Memory of Nations Studio in Hradec Králové

Jan Stavěl was born to his parents Ladislav and Drahomíra as the middle son on 22 October 1952 in Hrubčice. The traditional farming family farmed 18 hectares until 1955, when they had to hand over the fields to a cooperative. The grandmother, who was from a poor family with no fields of her own, had her farm machinery taken away by the communists. The witness went to the municipal school in his native village and to the town school in Bedihost. All his life he was interested in history and poetry, he enjoyed Czech, but for practical reasons he entered dentistry after high school in Prostějov. During the relaxation in the sixties, he and his classmates from high school founded a club where they listened to big beat. During the normalisation period he did not get involved politically, which he nowadays evaluates negatively with distance. He worked as a dentist all his life in Holešov. In 1989 he signed the petition Several Sentences and after November 1989 he founded the Civic Forum. He briefly served on the city council. At the time of the filming in 2023, he lived and worked with his son in Holešov.