I’ve never written a biography because in some ways I live beyond time and also because I’ve never attached any great significance to my life. But I will try to present some basic information. Born 11 Sep 1932 in Prague. A happy childhood until 1938. Mobilization, occupation, elementary school. During the war we experienced obligatory blackouts, rationing, the assassination of Heydrich, which immediately cost the lives of 1500 Czechs because it provided an opportunity for the justified liquidation of people based on lists prepared by the Gestapo. After 1945 two years of naïve hopes. President Beneš famously returned from London, where he heroically and safely fought against the Nazis and let President Hácha, an old and honorable man who did everything humanly possible to prevent the Germans and their endeavours to liquidate and Germanize the Czechs, die in prison.
My mother inherited from her mother a glove sewing business. She had a lot of domestic workers in Dobříšek, and I delivered packages of cut and sewn gloves to the factory. I remember how funny that large package probably looked beneath which flashed my scrawny little boy’s legs. These two years after the war oriented toward the West were naïve and pleasant. Politicians were speechifying, and nobody noticed that beginning in 1945 Gottwald had been putting together the People’s Militia. After February everything changed. The Communist Party of Czechoslovakia conducted its first purge, which nobody talks about. Many prewar Communists, members of the resistance, and highly educated people who were dangerous to the new members were expelled from the Party. Then the glorious careers of the Young Red SS men began: Zdeněk Mlynář, Pavel Kohout and many others. They established Communist concentration camps, military work units for politically unreliable elements, and more than one survivor of Auschwitz ended up as a prisoner in the uranium mines because he did not want to surrender his dream of democracy.
Once near the end of seventh grade I devoted myself to competitive canoeing. My brother, who was much better physically equipped than I was and who longed for glory, had devoted himself to it longer and achieved an Olympic bronze medal and received from the minister a framed watch. Back then you could still talk of sports, today it’s just show business. My brother was later paralyzed and ended up in a wheelchair.
I studied architecture, but my political profile deprived me of any hope of getting a decent job in a design institute, and so I became a “freelancer” and supported myself in any way possible. A sort of sidestep for those who were not in step with the Party. Various artistic craftsmen implemented things that I had designed, but there wasn’t much of an honorarium, so when I got a place in Prague Zlíchov I began implementing them myself.