Mgr. Ivo Chocholáč

* 1961  

  • "I got into the conflict because I organized a concert at the dormitory apparently for the first time. It was a concert of the music band Plyn, later it was called Dibuk, today it is called Zuby Nehty, they already are ladies. Such a punk group. I was making a culture programme at the university dormitory. Just before the end of the concert, two Volhas and arrived some civilian people jumped out of it, they took me to a room, asked me if I knew who they were, I told them I didn't. I did not know that it was StB, until later. They wrote something and said they will talk to me again, and that I should stop the concert immediately. And I didn't realize it at all, because I still thought it was some strange visit. I said insolently that actually the concert was over and they started threatening me and then an older man came to me and said if I knew who they were. He was the caretaker of the dormitory and he was shaking a little bit and said that it was the state security. So, for the first time, I actually understood how state security behaved."

  • "And they (children editor´s note) will feel that we don't identify with it. Actually, I remember that, I admit it. The situation when a female student asked me in front of everyone, it was the year 87 or 88 I think. So, she basically asked me, sir, actually comrade, teacher, do you agree with Charter 77? And now you see that crowd of those kids, and now you agree with it. So, I said, well, our system denounces it and we can talk about it during the break. So, I went to the office during the break and told her that I agree with it. And she said to me: ' I'm sorry that I asked you like this in front of everyone, there are also people, that somebody could even... I was stupid, I apologize to you.' So, they sensed it. Because otherwise she wouldn't normally ask me like that."

  • "They caught me on the street, told me they would find me and then dragged me to a villa that was under the open-air cinema in Ústí nad Labem, it was the Passport and Visa Office, where I understood what was always said, there was the good one and the bad one. They had such a pressure talk with me there, the good one was good to me, the bad one was yelling at me. I'm not going to describe it, it doesn't matter. And basically, they had this conversation with me for about three hours in the living room, that was there. There I understood that it was a normal interrogation, that it was about names and they started threatening me that they would come to visit me to my parents in Liberec and that I like skiing, so that maybe he would come to me as a friend and that we can go skiing to the Jizera Mountains, so it was very interesting regarding the psyche."

  • “For me, it all started because I liked art. I liked reading, I liked a certain kind of music and besides that we were people and so were banding together. And then it led me, of course, gradually to samizdat and to the things like that. So, through my friends I got samizdat like Vokno and some hermetic things from D. Ž. Bora, I was interested in Hermeticism. That was how I got to it indirectly. I liked the poet Seifert, so I went to his funeral. And that was also wrong, when we arrived there in Markéta. So, it gradually formed the opposition from me. Because the things I was interested in, they were wrong. So, I found myself in the opposition basically like that, or among people who were somehow dissatisfied with the system. Gradually, I got Patočka's writings, and I got more writings. I read and devoured it, I saw that it was the right freedom. And they gradually placed me there."

  • Full recordings
  • 1

    Hořice, 11.01.2019

    duration: 24:54
    media recorded in project The Stories of Our Neigbours
  • 2

    Hradec Králové, 28.11.2019

    duration: 01:28:22
    media recorded in project The Stories of Our Neigbours
Full recordings are available only for logged users.

I wanted to live areal life

Ivo Chocholáč at the time of his studies
Ivo Chocholáč at the time of his studies
photo: Soukromý archiv pamětníka

Ivo Chocholáč was born on October 28, 1961 in Frýdlant in the Czech Republic. He grew up in Liberec, where as a small child he experienced the occupation of Warsaw Pact troops in August 1968. In 1981 he started to study at the Pedagogical Faculty in Ústí nad Labem. He participated in the organization of concerts and cultural events at a local student dormitory in Vaňov. During the concert of the girl punk group Plyn he experienced his first contact with members of the StB. He became a member of the half-legal (already at that time) Jazz section and thus he got to the forbidden literature. He also attended the funeral of the poet Jaroslav Seifert. At that time, he was still being watched and summoned for questioning several times. He graduated from the university in 1987 and became a teacher at the Secondary School of Economics in Liberec. This was followed by military service, from which he was later exempted due to health reasons. In 1989 he taught at the High School of Gastronomy in Nová Paka. The events in November 1989 brought him to Prague, together with others he founded a teaching branch of the Civic Forum and participated in the transportation of leaflets to the countryside. After the Velvet Revolution he left the education sector and became a specialist in the Museum of Nová Paka. He completed the postgraduate studies in Museology with a specialization in history, then he began to fulfill his dreams and travel. He published the book: “Vezměte mne s sebou, Cesty”. At the time of filming the interview he taught at the grammar school in Hořice and at the same time he worked as a museum specialist in Nová Paka.