Mgr. Pavel Bártek

* 1954  

  • “People came to the Civic Forum Centre to discuss various issues and matters. There was a man who found out that at that time – most likely from November to December – the Secret Police men might be making a bonfire in Hodslavice, burning the documents. And he found some partly burnt fragments of the materials and he brought it to us. And we were saying: “What shall we do with this? Let´s bring it to the Ministry of the Interior. So we would put it in a bag and we would bring it to Praha in a Trabant car. Then two men came and they were inquiring where the documents had been. I told them we no longer had the documents. They were from the Secret Police and in the end, they reluctantly showed me their badges. They were quite unpleasant and threatened me with violence but in the end they did nothing. I was alone at that moment. They were afraid of what we have found and where it will get to. But in fact, there was nothing that could be of any use – it was all unreadable. But that wasn´t important.”

  • “The plenary meeting of the Communist party´s district committee took place. They got it all wrong as they booked us as an entertainment number. They had no idea they ordered an uninterrupted two-hour performance featuring a symphonic orchestra, a choir and a screening of a war film. They thought we would sing a few songs and off we would go so they could have lunch. However, that wasn´t the case. Five buses came. We built the scene; we screened the war film and for almost two hours we sang Russian war songs . And they just sat in the hall and waited for lunch. The climax came when they had realised they would not live to see the lunch, that the performance could not be interrupted by any means. So they were having lunch as we sang our bloodthirsty war songs. As a starter they had beef broth with dumplings. There were six hundred deputies, it was a party conference. As the main course there was a schnitzel and coffee for dessert. And we just sang along. It was quite an odd experience.”

  • “In front there were many glass doors and from the inside we glued all the documents we brought. We called people by phone urging them to come and read it, so people have been hanging around J-Club reading the leaflets, they were strolling around. And next to the club there was a police station. So after a while policemen were trying to storm in but we didn´t open. So these were the first steps. In the evening we went to the square where local revolutionaries were gathering since Monday. There was Mirek Urban, Vlastimil Šimík and others. They were there already so we just joined them. I wasn´t making speeches being no orator myself. But we shared information with them. My friend Ivan Junášek was braver than I was, so he invited the people gathered in the square to J-Club. I have to admit I was a bit afraid but he wasn´t so he said: “Let´s go, see you in J-Club next time.” And so we went. Next time there was a bigger gathering taking place in J-Club as in November it was cold outside. Two hundred people attended the event. Till that day people have been gathering in their tens in the square so in J-Club we were quite a crowd already. And somehow we managed to get a videotape with the recording of what happened at Národní třída on November 17th as people had no other means to watch it. And at that place the Civic Forum Committe was founded.”

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    v Ostravě, 16.08.2019

    (audio)
    duration: 02:33:50
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I would like to believe that things are going in the right direction as I had believed so in November 1989

Pavel Bártek in 1973
Pavel Bártek in 1973
photo: Archiv Pavla Bártka

Pavel Bártek was born on August 11th of 1954 in Nový Jičín. Both his parents were teachers. His father was a headmaster at a public school in Žilina near Nový Jičín. In 1970 the father was expelled from the communist pary and was forced to step down as the director. Pavel studied music and Czech language at University of Ostrava´s Faculty of Education. During his one-year mandatory military service he performed as a singer in the Vít Nejedlý Military Ensemble. In the late 70s and the early 80s he was the director of M-Club, Nový Jičín´s community centre, where so-called gray zone artists/musicians, who often saw their performances banned, could play. Between 1982 and 1988 he was a singer of the Ostrava State Theatre´s opera ensemble. In early November of 1989 he was appointed the director of J-Club in Nový Jičín where on November 25th 1989 the local Civic Forum Committee had been established. He was working closely with the coordination committee both on the city and the county level. Since 1991 he is the director of the Beskidské Theatre. He is a Green Party member and serves as a councilman in Nový Jičín´s city council.