“If I remember correctly, I was copying some pamphlets and poems against that regime. People were doing things like that. Then, I don’t know how, it took a turn for the worse and the gentlemen came to see me.”
“I don’t know what he really thought. But I think all he cared about was that he would get his pay. He did not take it too seriously. None of us believed our lawyers were really defending us. At that time I felt he was rather just a character there. (…) But we no longer cared whether he would defend us or not, we already knew it would be worthless and that the trial would proceed no matter what. (…) He was no advocate for us.”
(Interviewer: “About the wardens, what kind of people were they? How would you describe them?”) “To describe them? There were a husband and wife – and one more stupid than the other. His wife… I don’t mean to be disrespectful, but she did not know anything at all, she was so stupid that every evening we made fun of her and laughed at what she said or did. It was terrible. Her husband was there as the head warden, he was the chief. We always joked how it was possible that a man could marry such a stupid woman. (...) What a couple of wardens. But she was terrible.”
(Interviewer: “What did you think about the penalties during the trial? Could you imagine that something like that was possible?”) “I still cannot imagine it even today. How could a sane person say those words, seeing a student in front of him…We were still children. How can someone say: ´You are sentenced to 25 years of imprisonment or death penalty?´ How come he did not realize how it sounded to us?”
“There were about ten of us. Before the trial took place. It was terrible. I don’t remember how many beds there were. We were lying one next to the other, pressed and squeezed. If you wanted to turn around, you had to stand up. (…) While in Pardubice, they made a selection, and transferred some of us to Chrudim. We were put among political prisoners… Horrible, you can’t even repeat how they talked at nights, how they bothered us. It was terrible, when I think of it; one cannot even imagine one would go through something like that, like we did.”
“You could say I hate communism from time immemorial...”
Dagmar Chlebounová was born February 8th 1932 in Litomyšl. After going through her elementary schooling (including one year of vocational training), she applied to the Higher School of Social Work in Litomyšl, which she attended for two years. After the closing down of the school, she transferred to another Higher school of Social Work and Nursing, this time in Pardubice, where she finished her third and last year before she was arrested. While still in Litomyšl, she was a member of a Girl Scouts group, and among her friends there were also students of Litomyšl grammar school. These students formed a group called Hvězda (Star), centered around Miroslav Kohout, and their aim was organizing students in activities against the official Czechoslovak Union of Youth and its commanding tendencies. Dagmar Chlebounová came to several of their meetings and expressed her support for the cause. However, the group did not even launch its activities, and following an unfortunate incident in the school, when two students tore portraits of president Gottwald and general Stalin and flushed them into a toilet, it was disbanded. One of the students who did it, Jan Pech, was Dagmar´s boyfriend. Although she spent the school year 1949-1950 out of Litomyšl, investigation was underway, and soon she became drawn into it as well. After several preliminary interrogations she was arrested on September 16th 1950 and a month later tried in a case against an alleged anti-state group centered around F.A. Stříteský, head of the piarist dormitory in Litomyšl. As a minor, she was sentenced to two years of imprisonment for high treason. She spent 13 months in prisons in Chrudim, Hradec Králové and in Institute for young female delinquents in Lnáře.