“In 68 I wanted to amend the faults that were perpetrated against my father. So they kicked me out of university in 69 in the fifth year. I was active in the newspapers and the radio in 68, and they wanted me to say I was talked into doing it by the Party secretary Comrade Tariančik. So they could persecute him and lock him up. And I told them: ‘But that’s not true.’”
“We had our ‘personal Communist’, Comrade Fulajtar, who used to visit us in that cellar flat, and he’d come in, put his feet on the table, he had this long leather coat, and he’d say: ‘Comrade Brocková, where did you hide that wagon full of Persian carpets? If you don’t tell us, we’ll lock you up and your children will be sent to an institution. My brother and I broke into tears. That was a kind of folklore. After a time we got used to the fact that they didn’t lock Mum up, they didn’t send us to an institution, so we didn’t cry any more, but we were glad whenever Fulajtar was gone. Though, for example, he’d take something with him - my father had white shirts, so Fulajtar took the shirts. My mum was always witty and ironic, so when she gave him the shirts, she said I hope you don’t mind they have my dead husband’s monogram on them...”
“The normalisation was terrible in that respect. You couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. It was as if it was plugged with concrete. I went on strike in 81. I just refused to do various things. For instance... one small rebellion was that I refused to print invitations to Party meetings of the chairwoman of one Party organisation. If they’re so clever, let them do it themselves. Or, I didn’t procure sandwiches for the Party chairman Valter Šenkár for one Party soirée, and the chairman called me: ‘Mira, why didn’t you... it wasn’t a Party meeting, he wanted sandwiches.’ And I told him he can fill out an order form and I’ll procure it for him. To which the chairman replied: ‘But you know he’s an idiot and he couldn’t fill out an order for the life of him. Mira, don’t fuck around, do it.’ So I did those kind of little rebellions. But then I realised that - that was in 81 - that what I’m doing is going too far. Why am I there... You said it exactly, it was a long evening.”
I couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel during the normalisation
Miroslav Brocko was born on 5 August 1946 in Bratislava into the family of the lawyer JUDr. Karol Brocko and Professor Anna Brocková. He had a brother, Dušan. During World War II, the witness’s father Karol took part in the Slovak National Uprising, for which he was awarded a medal. However, his father’s opinions were radically opposed to the ideology of the Communist regime, and as a high-standing civil servant, he was accused of high treason. During Operation B the family was deported to Piešťany, where they had to share a flat with several tenants. In 1969 Miroslav Brocko was expelled from the University of Transportation for newspaper articles criticising the Communists. He continued to work as a journalist, publishing under pseudonyms. To avoid being declared a “freeloader” (a punishable offence - trans.), he had to be officially employed. He regards the eight years spent as a culture and social officer at a cooperative as his greatest act of collaboration with the regime. He left the cooperative in 1981 and took up a job as head of production at Studio S, a theatre studio. He promoted Czech avant-garde theatres, such as Ypsilonka. In the early 1990s he moved to Prague, took part in the “coupon privatisation” and began a business.