Václav Blabolil

* 1958

  • "Then I wanted to make a meeting with Havel right at his place in Hrádeček. So, when Olžina's birthday was there, I went there, he was already out of jail. So, we made an appointment, or he said, 'Let´s go to the study room.' we agreed on it there, he wrote it down, and I said, 'We're going to come here, in eastern Bohemia, all the signers of the Charter, and we're just going to make a meeting.' So, he wrote it down, we came and he had already forgotten it, so Olga was surprised, well, but we brought snacks, so she was excited that she didn't have to cook and so on... That was how we organized it, such a meeting." - "What was it like? What were you talking about there, were you having a discussion?" - "We discussed what is possible. Because we didn't know each other, or we knew each other, I was going there, but we didn't know about ourselves that we were the signers. So, in terms of materials, when anything comes out, or when there will be a signature event, to make the communication easier."

  • "Olga was strict. Olga was strict, but I had a good relationship with her. Because I was actually the only one who came there asking if she needs to help with anything. With the dog, Jula, I think her name was, so I went out with it, I was playing with it, so I was such ... such a little gray mouse aside, so no one even knew my name, and I didn't mind, but I was just absorbing the atmosphere, it was something amazing. As they were doing theater there, those scenes from history, live paintings, when they invented a scene from history and now everyone put something on himself/herself, they sewed it or something ... Actually, there was a canvas, in a meadow among the trees, and that canvas it unfolded and there was a scene where the figures were, and it was all supposed to depict a historical event. Or for example Trešňák, he gave her a picture, it was naive art. It was on a painting stand, and it was there in the middle of their yard. And now Magor came there, he was out of jail, he began to criticize and insult the picture as a critic, and Třešňák was defending it from behind the picture."

  • "So, he actually introduced me in Hrádeček and then I was going to Hrádeček regularly. I managed it, for example, by taking a tape player in my backpack, riding a bicycle to Hrádeček and recording records there. Because there was the audience from Havel, there were records, but he was already arrested, it was in the year 1980, I think, so he was already arrested for VONS (Committee for the Defense of the Unjustly Prosecuted), that was the process, and he had four and a half years or so. Olga was happy because I was actually guarding her cottage, she could go to the forest with her dog, and then I not only went there to record, but also to play ping pong, so I spent quite a bit of time in Hrádeček. Well, and I wanted to sign the Charter there, but Olga talked me out of it. She said that it would be better if I didn't stand out like that and that I could cooperate anyway, and she gave me a task. There was a member of the Jazz Section, Vlasta Matoušek, who was imprisoned, there was some trial with that Jazz Section. He was imprisoned as a political prisoner, so she gave me the job to process the documents, well, and I knew some of the people, so I visited people, including parents, I got the documents for VONS, and because he was arrested with Havel, they got it another way, but already back then I started working like this. I wanted to devote myself fully."

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    Hradec Králové, 07.02.2020

    duration: 02:36:05
    media recorded in project Příběhy regionu - HRK REG ED
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The charter united us, but now we are all somewhere else

Václav Blabolil with his family, circa 1959
Václav Blabolil with his family, circa 1959
photo: archive of the witness

Václav “Bahňous” Blabolil was born on March 7, 1958 in Broumov, but a year later he moved to Trutnov with his family. Although his father was a convinced communist, Václav himself had shown defiance of communist power since his childhood, which was even reinforced by the experience of the August 1968 occupation. He trained to be a car mechanic and moved away from his parents at the age of 17. He fell in love with rock music as a child and soon became close to the underground community in Eastern Bohemia. Due to illnesses and panic attacks, he managed to avoid compulsory military service. He travelled to the underground community in Nová Víska, distributed the samizdat magazine Vokno and met people from the dissent, including Mr and Mrs Havel, whom he visited at a cottage in Hrádeček. In 1985, he signed a declaration of Charter 77. He experienced interrogations and house searches several times. In 1989, he was at the birth of the Civic Forum in Chrudim.