“Dad was great lover of Russian culture and Russia as such; Masaryk was our paragon. When we listened to the radio and the played the anthem, we had to put our cutlery down and stand up. We also sang the anthem at home, it was a sacred song to us. We had a great long flag, which we hung out for state holidays, especially for 28 October. I recently read that Ludvík Vaculík and Madla also sang the anthem at home with their children for 28 October.”
“When the edition of Charter 77 documents was published in 1997, we invited the Chartists and their supporters to Mánes, where we presented the three historical volumes. Václav Havel was there as well. [Q: I heard that you received a big ovation and that your work was appreciated...] Yes, I was even publicly thanked for my work by Václav Havel.”
“[Q: You were a convinced Communist, you went through a period of reformed communism... How is it with communism today? Is it at all relevant any more?] You’ll be surprised, but I’ve heard that lots of people have started reading Marx’s Capital again. [Q: Do you think that’s dangerous?] No, not at all. I still acknowledge the idea of communism, although it falters in practice...”
I still acknowledge the idea of communism, although it falters in practice
Blanka Císařovská was born on 10 May 1927 in Lenešice. In 1945 she and her whole family joined the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia. She graduated from the University of Politics and Society, in the years 1953 to 1960 she lectured on the history of the labour movement at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague. Her criticism of Stalin’s regime caused her to be relegated to editing the Tesla factory bulletin for half a year. From 1960 to 1968 she worked at the Encyplodaedic Institute of the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences (CAS); she was dismissed for criticising the invasion of Warsaw Pact armies. From the late 1960s and 1970s she lived alternately in Prague and in a cottage in Olešno. Together with her husband Josef Císařovský, she kept in close touch with Czech dissidents. During the normalisation period she was given a disability pension, she made some extra money selling wool and offering cleaning services. After 1989 she was active in the Institute of Contemporary History of CAS and in an international human rights organisation. She took part in the publication of the book Charta 77 očima současníků: Po dvaceti letech (Charter 77 As Seen By Contemporaries: Twenty Years Later).