Jana Čipáková

* 1941

  • “It was hard to find work. My husband had also been fired. I myself made the rounds of twenty-six job offers, but they didn’t take me anywhere because I made no secret of the baggage I was bringing with me. Until I found a place at a bookshop thanks to some connections through my mum, and I stayed there for a good many years. It wasn’t a favourable environment economically, but it suited my people- and book-oriented disposition.”

  • “We stayed in the underground studio, and they couldn’t find us because it was cable radio, and you can’t pinpoint that. We saw a car with an antenna, rotating, searching, but you can’t locate a cable. We stayed in the studio even after the radio in Beethoven Street stopped broadcasting. So we made friends with the reporters there, and they started visiting us and bringing us news, and we broadcast them. Not just by cable, but also in the streets via loudspeakers.”

  • “We received a whole heap of petitions and reactions to our broadcast, and we even got a whole bag of rabbit from our listeners because we were stuck inside the whole time. We got a two-tiered cake from the old sweet shop. And someone brought us sixty roses. The poor things had to endure the whole week with us.”

  • Full recordings
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    Brno, 08.03.2016

    duration: 02:56:06
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
Full recordings are available only for logged users.

They couldn’t pinpoint the cable radio broadcasts during the occupation

Jana Čipáková
Jana Čipáková
photo: Sběračka Lucie Hostačná

Jana Čipáková, née Bilavčíková, was born on 16 April 1941 in Brno. She graduated from the Faculty of Arts and taught at a village school in Velké Němčice for two years. She then found employment as a journalist at the Brno cable radio. She and her husband and a technician from the radio bravely started a resistance radio broadcast during the Soviet occupation on 21 August 1968. She informed the inhabitants of Brno of events in the city from an underground studio in the town hall cellar non-stop for a whole week. The fact that it was a cable radio meant that the Russians could not locate it and disrupt the broadcast, and although people knew where the cable radio was broadcasting from, no one informed the Russians of their whereabouts. In the early years of the normalisation, in 1970, Jana Čipáková was fired by the management of the Brno branch of Czechoslovak Radio; her husband also lost his job and their daughter was denied her application to university. The witness worked as a shop assistant at a bookshop, then as a clerk, and finally at a museum. After the Velvet Revolution in 1989 she returned to the cable radio, where she remained until 2002, when the cable broadcast was finally terminated. One of her lifelong devotions is to folklore, which has taken her all around Europe. She takes an interest in the history of Brno, and she has also created short biographies of 205 half-forgotten yet important figures from Brno.