Kristina Černá

* 1959  

  • "I will never forgive the Russians for when they occupied us on the 21st of August, because it was a day when I had arranged to go out with my parents.. We lived on the outskirt of Bratislava and beyond us were vineyards and the Small Carpathians, and such groves, and we were arranged, that we will go to roast sausages in those groves. I really looked forward to it... I got up from the bed and I ran into my parents bedroom, but they were not getting up. I told them: »What's going on? Why? We are going to«... But they told me »We are going nowhere Kristinka, it's bad, Russians came. « They had a small transistor radio and they were listening to it. And instead of roasting sausages I stood in queue for potatoes because the queues created almost immediately. People suffered to panic, they were creating stores and so on. At our street there was a long road, they called it Pekná cesta (mean Nice Road) and the housing development we called Krasňany (the Nice housing development). It was no Krasňany, all of those names were just literal translation from German, because the housing development was called Schönsdorf and that Pekná cesta was called Shönweg, of course. Beyond us, in those forests, where Pekná cesta ended there was a garrisoned ammunition depo. We didn't know about that, we only knew that there was a garrison, but then we say morning tanks. We thought, "so this is what the occupation is going to look like."

  • “We arrived; it was my first experience with capitalism, more likely with capitalistic country abroad. I was 10 or 9 years old, and now, when I arrived to Vienna and there was uncle Karel (Krautgartner), who was excellent musician, leader of jazz orchestra and I don’t know what else. I perceived him mainly as an uncle, a great one, who loved children and ice cream. I loved ice cream too. And the capitalism seemed for me unbelievably great, perfect, because he…as adult people…those times were exciting, all the people were discussing and so on...They had a dog, and with that dog, they went for a walk at midnight… and at the midnight in Vienna there was a place called ice-salon, it was a shop with ice cream and there at the midnight they had 20 flavours of ice cream, which they were selling. I had totally bulged eyes and Karel was telling me : »Come on lets have one, won’t we«“

  • “So I finally graduated the university, and when I did that, I went to work at psychiatric hospital in Kroměříž at a post of clinical psychologist. I worked there for two years, but I had to leave because they didn’t extend my contract and there was an incident, when the director of this hospital tried to beguile me into KSČ, and I refused to. He said to me: »Don’t refuse it so fast, think about it. You know, if you were in KSČ, there might be a chance to do something about that contract.«I got angry and I went to the director, who was in charge of the entire hospital. So I made a lot of complaints and I told him, about the extortion from the director of psychiatric hospital. It was like he turned to stone. "How do you think that?" he asked me. So I explained it all and he knitted his brows. So, it was a big mess around all the hospital, but I left through the centre. I had to leave, but the director of the psychiatric department got a bad reputation from party groups, “Not this way Comrade. We can’t motivate young this way” My colleagues liked me for that, because he was attracting all the young psychologists and psychiatrics that way.”

  • "However, I was employed, and those were wild years, 1996/7. Everything went wrong because the politics reflected into private lives. My husband and I were employed at a private school, where they were very content with us, and we were able to establish an annual program for the students of psychology. were having lots of fun, it was nice and the students were excited about it. About halfway through the school year, when I was pregnant, the manager owner of the school stopped paying salaries. He took from the school fund that was supposed to be for students, he didn't pay rent, and he took grants from the state and didn't pay anything to anybody. We were fortunately outside workers, but for those regular, he did not pay social and medical insurance for years. So they had huge debts and they didn’t know about them. There was nothing else we could do; we had to submit a collective action against him. We were so idealistic in it that we carried on with lecturing for free, at the end he owed us 100 thousands crowns, it was a lot of money in that times. I was close to childbirth. Nothing at all; that money was lost, squandered, even though it was money from the state, and we never saw them again. They jailed him for a while, but soon they freed him from pre-trial detention. He was a man who acted on Ministry of Education, worked in legislative; he was educated in law through founding those private schools so he knew exactly that he was imperceptible. That time, this stealing, refusing to pay taxes, social insurance etc., it was all legal, that time. That time, people made up lots of debts which they didn’t pay for, they weren’t persecuted for that, there were no executors. So he founded few more of these schools and he siphoned off funds them all off."

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    Praha, 09.07.2013

    (audio)
    duration: 02:26:26
    media recorded in project Portraits of Prague citizens
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I try to see life and the people around me as enthusiastically as I did in my childhood

Child photo of Kristina Cerna
Child photo of Kristina Cerna
photo: rodinný archiv pamětníka

Krintina Cerna, born Kristina Lukasova, is a sucessful psychologist with a long and colorful career. She was also a poet and translator, born on 14th July 1959 in Kromeriz, however, she spent half of her life in Bratislava. There, she experienced the biggest reversals in Czech history. In her life, she went through changes such as the occupation of CSR by Soviet forces, regime pressure from KSC, the revolution, and post revolutionary reactions.  She was significantly influenced by dissolution of Czechoslovakia in 1992, when she moved with her husband and little son to Prague. Now she still lives in Prague, she has 2 children and she goes on with translation, poetry and her employment in private psychological counselling.