Ing. Olga Čermáková

* 1935  

It is important to search for truth that is concrete, unadulterated.

photo: archiv pamětnice

Olga Čermáková, née Stehlíková, was born on March 16, 1935, into the family of a protestant parson. They lived at a parsonage in Prostějov, where, at the end of the war, they in the cellar bombing raids on a field hospital in the neighbouring school. The parsonage, too, was heavily damaged. Since 1950 she studied at Jiří Wolker’s Grammar Scholl. In 1953, she and her schoolmates laid a flower at the statue of T. G. Masaryk, thus subscribing to the legacy of the first republic. A month later a number of soldiers and secret police officers took away the statue, which provoked a wild demonstration. During investigation, Olga and her schoolmates were identified as the organisers of the demonstration, though none of them took part in it. The whole class, and some of the teachers, were expelled from the grammar school and they were not allowed to sit the school-leaving exam. Olga passed her school-leaving exam a year later but when she passed successfully the entrance exam to JAMU (Academy of Music) she was not accepted for political reasons. She studied agricultural technology at the Agricultural College in Brno and found a job at the breeding station in Hrubčice. In 1968 she was a member of a commission that investigated the demolition of Masaryk’s statue in Prostějov and persecution of people associated with the demonstration, but the commission was dissolved during normalization. At the time of the Warsaw Pact armies’ invasion to Czechoslovakia she and her husband were on holidays in Romania. They had no news about their children and had to undertake a dangerous way home. Her children were not accepted to grammar school and, therefore, left to study in Brno. Olga lived to see the freedom coming and in 1998 she and her classmates laid flowers at the unveiling of the new statue of T. G. Masaryk.