Bedřich Bárta

* 1952

  • “Marta Kubišová wanted to have her little daughter baptised. She was the same age as one of my nieces. And she wanted Václav Havel to be the godfather. But at that time, she was not able to find a priest who would baptise the girl. Eventually, there was one in Štoky, his name was probably Father Jakubec, and he was such a courageous guy, a football player, and he said: ‚I‘ll baptise her.‘ So they arranged the day of the baptism. Václav Havel came, I even have a photograph with Václav Havel, Marta Kubišová and our family. Allegedly, there were three cars full of secret police that accompanied Havel. When they found what was it about, that a baptism was planned, they left, or so I heard. People used to say that after the ceremony, Havel left for Southern Bohemia, that he had arranged some appointments with the Charter 77 folks there.“

  • “We started such a group, its name was Jihlavar, and we wanted to privatise [i. e. buy from the state] both the brewery and the lemonade factory. But there were more groups which wanted… We were, like, employees of the brewery and friends, people who could help in some way with the sale or otherwise. There were more of those groups, four or five. And we went to the ministries and such to do all the lobbing. I went to see Minister [of agriculture] Lux twice to explain why we can do it and how we would manage the brewery. However, as there were more of those groups, then, later, when Václav Klaus was the Prime Minister, at that time when he saw… Everyone was lobbing. He [the Prime Minister] later decided somehow that no, not this way, that it would go through the voucher privatisation, the Jihlava brewery. At that time, the brewery manager, Mr. Bouda and other businessmen started going to Zwettl to Austria, to the brewery to see Mr. Schwarz who then made plans with another businessman to buy out the voucher books, I don’t remember what price they offered, and then, based on the vouchers, the Schwarzes bought it in the voucher privatisation, the brewery.“

  • “[Our family] moved out of the distillery and into that mill in Nohavice. That’s where my younger sister lived, she married there. And they raised the mill building, which looked like that, by one floor when they got married. They wanted to have a flat there. They did have some sort of building permit. Out of the scope of the permit, they built an alcove in the wall and put a statuette of Virgin Mary there. It caused a bad uproar. That it was not permitted and it has to be removed. And they said that they were not going to remove anything because at that time, there was a dean, one Mr. Zeman, in Polná, he was such a rare charater, during the First Republic, he had moved to Belgium. He was a teacher. Then he returned to Czechoslovakia and he did not like the human toiling. He joined the seminary and studied to be a priest. In 1948, he was to be elected as a bishop in Hradec Králové, even. But then they put him behind the bars and he was in Želiv [where many priests and clerics were in internment]. Then he was in Polná and sister used to visit him and ask for advice. He told her: ‚Liduška, I wouldn‘t put Virgin Mary there.‘ Then there was the court hearing. If they got any money – state support for the construction – they had to return it all. And they were sentenced to a fine and their wages were seized. She told me that once, her husband brought only ten crowns in wages.“

  • Full recordings
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    Jihlava, 18.08.2022

    duration: 01:50:54
    media recorded in project Příběhy regionu - JMK REG ED
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Today, nobody bullies you for your worldview at work any more

Bedřich Bárta in 2022
Bedřich Bárta in 2022
photo: Post Bellum

Bedřich Bárta was born on the 3rd of May in 1952 in the village of Úsobí in the Vysočina region as the fourth child of Anna and Bedřich Bárta. His father had worked as an administrator in the Úsobí distillery since 1936. The family were practising Catholics and Bedřich’s father organised trips to various pilgrimage sites in the 1960’s. After finishing basic school, Bedřich started studying at secondary technical school focusing on food production in Pardubice. In 1973, he got married and moved to his wife’s to Česká Třebová. At the end of the 1970‘s, his parents signed the Charter 77; they got to know about it through Marta Kubišová who lived in the nearby Pohled u Havlíčkova Brodu. Despite his tainted dossier, Bedřich became a brewmaster in the Jihlava brewery. After the fall of the Communist régime, the brewery director delegated him to negotiate about privatisation at the concerned ministries. Despite his effort, the brewery went through the voucher privatisation and at the end, it was acquired by the Schwarz family of brewers from Zwettl in Lower Austria. The brewery did not do exactly well in the hands of the new owners so Bedřich quit and started a new job in the Krušovice brewery. Nowadays (2002), Bedřich works as a sales representative for several food companies, such as the ZON lemonade factory of Třebíč or the Moravia brewery.