JUDr. Jiří Bauer

* 1952  

  • “We lack humbleness and fundamental human decency to recognize right from wrong. You don't need to have a law, there are some things you do not do in a decent society. We are seeing the return of the stupid motto that was so widespread under the Bolsheviks: If you don’t steal, you are stealing from your family’s table. It’s important to do things for society without a financial reward and to advance important issues. Education is very important and it’s going down the drain unfortunately. Our parents went to the gymnasium in Sušice and they knew so many things that our generation did not. And the kids today learn even less than our generation. The level of education has gone down quite a bit. After the revolution the same teachers continued teaching…the Bolshevik curriculum for history is being taught even today. When I found this out, I went into deep shock. The gymnasium level curriculum ends in the year 1948. What a desperate state of affairs!”

  • “We got into contact with the Civic Forum in Prague and we went to the first meeting in Laterna. Míra Říha, one of the friends who was at the meeting underneath the linden tree in the town square, and I went to Prague for the meeting. More people joined us later: Marek Broža, Kamil Švelch and others. We ended up founding the local chapter of the Civic Forum. I remember a funny story from our visit to Prague. The Civic Forum statutes were being discussed and the following people were delegated to the commission: Honza Štern, Vavruška, the former Minister of Environment, may he rest in peace, and Karol Stom, a lawyer from Plzeň. Stom probably already lived in Prague at the time. I stood up and said: ‚Once again everyone (in the commission) is from Prague, where is rural representation?‘ Havel happened to be there and he said: ‚Ok, ok, where are you from?‘ ‚From Sušice,’ I replied. ‘Well, we have rural representation then.’ And that’s how Karel Stom and I were delegated to the statutes commission. Understandably, the statutes were already drafted. We put in few small changes; a few words here, a few sentences there and we passed the statutes. When I went back to Sušice, I was very excited of course. We kept going back there for about six months until the (first free) elections and the formation of the new government, which we were part of until 1996 or even later. Gradually, things began to come to light. Just like under the Bolsheviks, I found out who was who. It’s not about the name of the (political) party, but about individual people and what they are like.”

  • “And then November 1989 arrived. In Sušice no one knew what was happening. We woke up in the morning and we went to the pub in the evening. In the morning I woke up sometime between ten and eleven and I heard that something happened in Prague. My friends called so I said good grief that’s really something. Then the news started to come in. That was on Friday. On the following Wednesday, Jana Paulová (an actress) arrived in Sušice with some local Charter 77 members: Jirka Marek from Kolnice; Houňa – what was his name – we used to call him Houně and couple of others whose names I do not remember. There was a small crowd in front of the town hall where I had an office at the time. Plenty of people came considering that we were still afraid at this point in time. The atmosphere was intense and there was talk of a general strike. I climbed up next to Jana Paulová and shouted out that if any one had legal trouble because of the strike that I would provide legal assistance free of charge. There was loud applause and Kamil Švehla, who organized ProFolk, had an idea and approached me and couple of other friends and on Saturday November 22 we did a sit down, well actually a stand up meeting, underneath the linden tree in the Sušice town square. We had a mic, Karel Korec provided sound and we…it was a very happy occasion… shouted slogans and tried to help with the revolution. It was naïve and it was fun and people started to join us. Many people arrived. It was really nice. There was feeling of camaraderie. A beautiful feeling.”

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    Plzeň, 15.08.2019

    (audio)
    duration: 56:55
    media recorded in project Příběhy regionu - PLZ REG ED
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We lack humbleness and fundamental human decency to recognize right from wrong

Jiří Bauer
Jiří Bauer
photo: archiv pamětníka

Jiří Bauer was born on September 7, 1952 in Sušice. He graduated from a gymnasium and studied law at Charles University. After a period of time when lived and worked in Prague, Cheb and Domažlice he returned to Sušice where he worked as a lawyer. Bauer was opposed to the communist regime due to his personal experience as well as family upbringing. He met with members of the dissent movement. In July 1989 he signed the petition Několik vět (A Few Sentences) and distributed it in the town of Sušice. Several months later in November he joined several friends to organize demonstrations in Sušice. He became a founding member of the Civic Forum chapter in Sušice and was also member of a commission that helped to draft the Civic Forum statutes in Prague. In the first free elections of 1990, he was voted in to the Sušice town council and board and worked for the city until 1996. After that, Bauer returned to practicing law, which he does until this day. He lives in Sušice with his second wife. He has two children.