František Chrzan

* 1955  

  • "The structures of the opposition, the fighters for the new society at the time, intermingled with those who maintained the status quo here, and so it happened in Bardejov that these structures gained strength through this intermingling and people's apathy was based on fear. There was no one to trust. Bardejov's conditions are special in that, since 1989, the Communist Party has been holding power in Bardejov to this day. Whatever it was called SDL, whatever it was called. The structures attached to them have been preserved. "

  • "I was a complete fool who took politics seriously, but it's Dr. Štefančík's fault. He became co-opted chairman of the district national committee. And he caused it, because he taught us, 'Boys, a new time must come. And that new era will be such that there will be no politics of men's hunting. Politics is a service to the people. He who goes into politics must endure all attacks on his person. He must allow them to scrutinize his family, his steps and decisions. Whoever goes into politics will constantly need to explain that they have no ulterior motives. ‘And I believed him."

  • "I didn't feel like a 'November face' at all. On the contrary. I was happy that those people were there and that we shared some common values. The energy of the crowd is amazing in that what you put into the effort to organize the sound system, or that you wanted those people to come and share with you and applaud what is being read there, that is, they agree with what is being read. That didn't put me in the position of a leader. There was no one to say what to do. There was a meeting and we talked about problems, and we found out that we have those problems in common. I never felt that I was exceptional in any way. I only realized the fear of what would happen if things went south. But I didn't realize it then. I did not feel at all that I had done something significant in Bardejov. I was one of many involved in spreading the energy of the crowd that was here. Without us, the revolution would have taken place, without Bardejov it would have taken place. We were just looking forward to participating in what is happening in Bratislava. But it wasn't about specific people. "

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    Bardejov, 18.07.2020

    duration: 01:35:27
    media recorded in project Stories of the 20th century
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“That we organized i? Someone had to do it,” recalls František Chrzan, co-organizer of the Velvet Revolution in Bardejov.

Preparation of the November 1989 meeting in Bardejov
Preparation of the November 1989 meeting in Bardejov
photo: Ján Hollý

František Chrzan was born on January 1, 1955. His father Ján worked as a manual laborer in the cooperative and his mother Anna, who came from the village of Brezov near Giraltovce, was a pig feeder. František and three siblings grew up in modest circumstances in a Christian family in Radvanovce (Vranov nad Topľou district). František started studying in a small class in Radvanovce, he finished the second stage of primary school in Hanušovce nad Topľou in 1970. From there he went to the secondary industrial school of chemistry in Banská Štiavnica. After graduating from high school, he got to the Faculty of Education at Pavel Jozef Šafárik University in Košice, where in 1979 he graduated as a teacher of physics and chemistry for secondary schools. After completing basic military service in Humenné, he began teaching at today’s Leonardo Stöckel Grammar School in Bardejov. During the revolutionary events of 1989, he became a member of the VPN coordination committee and co-organized the protests in Bardejov. In 1990, he even became the head of the ONV education department. After the election in 1991, he returned to school as a teacher. In 1996, he founded a transport company that still operates today.