Zdeněk Buk

* 1960  

  • “I lived in all kinds of places there. In studios, at friend’s houses. And then... because a man from Ústí named Šálek... he got a flat in Nusle somehow or other. But in a very specific kind of way. That is – the flat was empty, no one was living in it, right, so... he drilled out the lock, broke the door in, put his own lock there, and settled in. Well, and next door there was another empty flat that no one had lived in for a long time. So we got a heads up about it, and we did the same thing. And we lived for a number of years like that. For free.”

  • “I emigrated in eighty-nine. We psyched ourselves up with a friend in the pub, of course. Awful nonsense. He hadn’t signed the Charter yet, so I enabled him to do so. Back then he signed it in Ječná Street at Dana Němcová’s. Back then the Charter spokesman was Radim Palouš, and he said: I hope that friend of mine... Milan Reloch, Žanka we called him... I hope he isn’t signing it for the purpose of misusing it, that you’re leaving the country. Of course, we said: No, no, no. Well, we psyched ourselves up and did a runner together.”

  • “Of course, those people, the dandies, the undergrounders, my contemporaries, friends... they didn’t like it. That I had changed. That I was someone completely different. What’s this nonsense that I’m doing now. I’m no being myself. I guess they were right, I don’t know. The way I took it was that I believed in it. So I took that path.”

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    Hříškov, 04.01.2018

    (audio)
    duration: 01:18:24
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
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There will always be people who want to manipulate us

buk_2.JPG (historic)
Zdeněk Buk
photo: archiv Zdeňka Buka / Jakub Zvoníček

Zdeněk Buk was born on 21 June 1960 in Louny. At the age of 13, he was expelled from the Pioneers - apparently, his conduct was less than exemplary. When he was 18, he was baptised and he signed Charter 77. This led to several interrogations and minor persecution. He and his friends rented an old parish house in Robeč near Štětí, where Zdeněk lived in a community for one year. In 1979 he found employment as a stonemason in Prague-Smíchov and attended private prayer services led by František Hochman. He was unable to acquire official accommodation in Prague, and so he lived illegally in a squatter flat for several years. In May 1989 he emigrated to Austria. He returned a year later and became an entrepreneur.