Iva Bejčková

* 1947  

  • “And one of those who lived with us, that lady, she had a phone. So Mr. Jiří Šrámek, husband of Zdena Šrámková, called the lady next door to call me to the phone and told me what happened, that the Russians annexed us, and that there is staff at the Radio so if they want, they had it relayed to me, that I rather not come to work because I was 21 and they were worried about me, so that I don’t need to come. I was curious and it didn‘t occur to me, I remember that I dressed very lightly, I had a thin pullover, skirt, sandals and a simple basket bag, and I walked from Letná where I lived to the Vinohradská street to the Radio. And there were tanks in the opposite direction, there were tanks on the bridge when I walked across the river, it was called Šverma bridge back then. So when I walked across the bridge, there was a tank. Then I kept encountering them and there were fires in front of the Radio and they did not let us through th emain entrance so I went to the back entrance and there were two of my colleagues who also did not manage to get inside. Meantime, others went elsewhere because the transmissions were going on at other places but us three from the manufacturing newsroom, Arnošt Marvan and František Hejný, we did not manage to get inside.”

  • “Then I remember, and my mom verified it, that since then, I hated the Christmas Eve from the bottom of my hear because I kept hoping that dad would return for the Christmas Eve. I spent the evening standing by the bedroom window and watched out for him to return. I must say, I still do it even in my old age, that I always go to look out of that window for a while.”

  • “He never wanted to talk about what happened there. Only later when my brother was already dead and I was an adult and he knew he was dying, he did tell me a few tidbits after all. And when I asked him what was the worst for him at that time, he said that probably the worst thing was not that he had to learn by heart the things he was expected to say at the court but that when he was in a solitary confinement in that custody, they let the water drip on purpose and day and night, day and night, there was only him and dripping water, it was destroying his nerves. Obviously, one cannot really imagine it, but even the interrogations, he never wanted to talk about it, he said, this is nothing for your ears.”

  • “When mom returned from the court hearing where he was sentenced on that eighteenth and nineteenth March of 1954, she came back home totally drained and she said, ‚that was not my husband at all, that was someone else. He not only looked like a stranger, he also talked such nonsense, things that never happened, that were not true. It was apparent that he had learned it by heart.’”

  • “The house search and the arrest, that was an awful drama. Not only that they stormed in the house, they also started throwing around all the things there where we slept. They started looking in the beds, they lifted the mattresses, and even today, I can hear mom’s ‘Quietly, please, so that my son doesn’t see it, I hid a hockey stick for my son, a Christmas gift.’ That was a big thing at that time, for a boy to get a hockey stick. And when they start digging in my pram for my dolls, it was me who started to shout: ‘Let go, they are mine. Leave my pram alone!’ Dad’s departure was dramatic as well. We couldn’t even say our goodbyes. They took him away and he only managed to say: ‘Don’t worry, I haven’t done anything, I will be back soon.’ Even though I am 73 nowadays, I can still see this in my mind. I still see this scene. These men were quite crude, I would say, they did not let mom use the bathroom, they went there with her. They took us to school, too. I was in the first grade at that time, and I remember, it was a beautiful and rare event when I came to school, the classes had already started and they knocked the door, my class teacher came, Mr. Rasocha, and he held me in his arms and carried me there and back in the hallway and kept reassuring me: ‘Don’t worry, don’t worry, everything will be fine again.’”

  • Full recordings
  • 1

    Chotěboř, 21.07.2020

    (audio)
    duration: 01:47:24
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
  • 2

    Chotěboř, 19.08.2020

    (audio)
    duration: 31:56
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
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Even today, I hate leather coats

Iva Bejčková in her last year of high school.
Iva Bejčková in her last year of high school.
photo: archiv pamětníka

Iva Bejčková, née Kořínková, was born on the 6th of May in 1947 in Havlíčkův Brod. Her family lived in Chotěboř where Iva went to the basic school and later to the high school. In his youth, Iva’s father Bohuslav Kořínek was a devoted scout, played in the local amateur theatre troupe and he was a member of the Czechoslovak National Socialist Party. On the 30th November 1953, the State Security stormed in the Kořínek house and arrested and imprisoned the father. Both his children were present during the arrest and the trauma they suffered damaged their health. In the show trial, the District Court in Pardubice pronounced fourteen court verdicts, Bohuslav Kořínek was sentenced to five years of imprisonment for grand treason. Allegedly, in 1949, he had attended at two meetings where damaging the interests of the Czechoslovak Republic was planned. After he got the sentence, he was placed to the prison in Ostrov in the Karlovy Vary area. The family was left penniless…. Bohuslav Kořínek was released on parole in 1956. In 1973, he died and only in 1990, he was fully rehabilitated. His son Miroslav could not pursue any higher education due to his family background and in 1971, he died of leukaemia, purportedly due to the toxic work environment. Iva left to study in Prague in 1965 and in 1967, she started to work in the Czechoslovak Radio where she witnessed the events of the occupation by the Warsaw Pact armies in August 1968. In 1973, she started working in the Aquacentrum company which belonged to the Central Council of Svazarm [Svaz pro spolupráci s armádou; Union for Cooperation with the Army]. In the 1980’s, she and her husband applied for adoption of a daughter but the social services office allegedly wanted Mr. Bejček to join the Communist party. After 2010, Mrs. and Mr. Bejček moved to Chotěboř where the witness lived at the time of recording (2020).