Suzanne Bartosek

* 1933

  • “It was all difficult back then, as when I was married, I got here to Bohemia on a tourist visa. I wished to stay and live here with my husband. And then I got pregnant and they kept asking for money, obviously. And they were only renewing my tourist visa; and kept pressuring me offering a chance to stay here if I took the Czechoslovak (state – editor´s note) nationality, which I didn’t feel like at all. I was born and wished to remain French. Back then it was impossible (double citizenship- editor´s note) to have a French and a Czech passport, as you can today. (To give up my French citizenship – editor´s note) I totally didn’t feel like doing.“

  • „They (morticians – editor´s note) has a really strong battery, and went around the flat searching for the dead person. Only then they found (the son) Ivan, who was fast asleep. He was around twenlve years old. So they woke him up and Ivan told them that was impossible dad would die as he only saw him a little while ago and he had to return back home in pain (stomach issues). Ivan was quite calm and went for Natashia. The morticians didn’t know what to do so they packed it all in together with the coffin.“

  • „(Václav Havel didn’t) have the same philosophy as my husband. In 1970s during normalisation, until 1983, we were not here anymore, and although we didn’t have the same philosophy, we belonged together. That was a big plus. As there was a large solidarity and we belonged together. The Catholics, like Hejda and Havel, or a Marxists, like my husband. Of course he was not a communist, but a Marxist. And so was our big friend, Karel Kosík. But we did belong together.“

  • Full recordings
  • 1

    Chrudimská 3, Praha 3, 22.11.2016

    duration: 01:47:08
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
Full recordings are available only for logged users.

I still enjoy life

Suzanne Bartosek
Suzanne Bartosek
photo: Jan Holík

Suzanne Bartosek was born on 13th July, 1933 in the French Brive La Gaillarde in a strongly left-wing oriented family. After finishing the first and second grade of the elementary school in Nespouls and Brive she studied the gymnasium in Saintes, where she graduated in 1951. During her stay at the Paris Sorbonna, where she studied geography and history, she met a Czech historian and philosopher Karel Bartošek. Back then he led the Czechoslovak delegation of students. In 1959 they married. After 1968 Bartošek had to face persecution in Czechoslovakia on part of the communist regime. The family situation dramatically worsened in 1977, when her husband signed the Chart 77. In 1982 the Bartošeks left to France and returned to Bohemia only after November 1989. The witness began to teach again in France. She retired in 1993 and currently lives in Paris. She likes coming back to the Czech Republic.