JUDr. PhDr. Oldřich Choděra

* 1948  

  • "I am a lawyer. Advocacy was once very nice, because those laws applied here. I keep repeating myself, I was not a member of the Communist Party, none of my family or my wife's family, but I believe that in 1989 the laws were better than they are today and they were clear. At the time, one knew... Or - two good lawyers had the same interpretation of the law. After November 17, it was said: 'Well, my lawyers have a different opinion, this is not yet regulated by the law.' Take the scam. It was a scam that someone got rich by misleading someone or taking advantage of someone's mistake. And that was it. All you had to do was use the borrowed money for something else, or you knew you wouldn't be able to pay it within the time limit, it was a scam. But then they said, 'We have insurance fraud. Whoever reports a fake event here or who takes a loan from a bank and does not repay it is said that it was not regulated by law.' Thus, insurance fraud and credit fraud were introduced into the law, and those who had borrowed money like this before said, 'But it was not in the law, it was not a criminal offense, so we will not return it and they cannot lock us up.' You have a similar situation here with how what is interpreted, what can be, cannot, so I claim that those laws applied."

  • "Already in 1967 after graduation I was able to go to Germany to Frankfurt am Main and I was there for about six Sundays and the following year and the following too. I was at the dining cars, so the first year I washed the dishes, the second I ran with a basket on the train selling beer and sausages and a third, I already served it in a dining car, and it had the advantage that I lived in Frankfurt, but the train had a final station somewhere… so in Emerich, it was on the Dutch border or on an island for example, in Austria, in Basel, even in Geneva, it was interesting that I did not have a visa, I only had a visa to Germany, and at the border with Austria, their passport controllers came, looked at my passport and saw that I don't have a visa, so they laughed and said, 'Well, you see, if you didn't break Austria, you wouldn't need a visa.' And they let me pass. And when they went to Geneva via Switzerland, they locked me in a closet at the border. Because otherwise the Swiss probably wouldn't let me go. So I visited a number of German cities."

  • "Because when I got accepted to the Law Facultry, I thought, 'Yes, I'll probably make a living that way.' Because it is very difficult to live from philosophy studies. After all, I wanted to study archeology. And I would probably get there, because during the holidays I dug with archaeologists in Envy, that's the hill near Zbraslav, and I would have a recommendation from them. But I probably wouldn't be able to support a family here. Professor Patočka was a phenomenologist and a student of Husserl, so these were (lectures) in the field of phenomenology. Until the times of Descartes, philosophers sought what was true. Then the so called Copernican turn was done, and it was no longer ascertained or sought what was true, but how to know the truth. And one of the directions that sought to clarify this was phenomenology. At that time, they lent books in the university library, which were thirty years old, only to the study room. So because I had relatively enough time, I went to the library and borrowed books there, which were not borrowed at home. Why? Because I wanted to know what they contained."

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    Praha, 01.11.2019

    duration: 55:57
    media recorded in project The Stories of Our Neigbours
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Life is short and one must fulfill it meaningfully

Oldřich Choděra at military service
Oldřich Choděra at military service
photo: archiv pamětníka

Oldřich Choděra was born on November 1, 1948 in Prague. He graduated from the Faculty of Arts and Law of Charles University in Prague. He witnessed events after the entry of Warsaw Pact troops and changes at the faculties. He graduated from university in 1973, and two years later received his doctorate from both faculties. He has been working in advocacy since 1975, in 1990 he founded his own law firm. After 1980, he became involved in municipal politics as a member of the Czechoslovak People’s Party. He then ran for the party in the municipal elections and after 1998 he was a representative of the City District of Prague 10 in two parliamentary terms. He later resigned from KDU-ČSL and became a member of the ODS. Since 2000, the witness has been an arbitrator at the Arbitration Court at the Economic Chamber of the Czech Republic and the Agrarian Chamber of the Czech Republic. In April 2008, he became an advisor to the Minister of Finance of the Czech Republic Miroslav Kalousek on the issue of the Legislative Council of the Government and complex legal cases.