Pavel Dobrovolný

* 1934  

  • "The freedom we have gained… The ability to decide for myself what I want to be, what I want to do is something that bothered me all my life, that it was not. That I always have to submit to something. The fear that I'll lose something again. It was a breakthrough. Not the year it happened, it took several years for a person to find or discover it for himself. And then he began to realize what it has come to. That I am a free owner on my property today, I decide everything I do. I don't have to worry about telling you what I think. That's a great thing, and we were missing it for 40 years. "

  • "At the end of the sixth semester, I was called to the dean's office. The dean of the faculty and the cadre head of the Czech Technical University are sat there. I went in. ‘Sit down.’ So I sat down and they said to me, we have found out your class background. You do not fit the class composition at university. You do not guarantee that you will be a good engineer who will serve socialist society. That's why we expel you from college with immediate effect ‘That was for me… I was getting over my mother's death and other problems, but this was the kind of thing that made me so disgusted with everything. Well, there was nothing you could do. "Give back the index immediately." So I gave back the index. "

  • "In 1939 or 1940, representatives of the German army came. They created a so-called forced administration and made an inventory of all assets. They prescribed certain supplies to dad, which they took directly for the army. A certain number of dairy units was prescribed, and father had to fill a number of those units with eggs, pork or beef, or cereals. In short, during the war, there were these dairy units. "

  • Full recordings
  • 1

    Praha, 04.03.2019

    (audio)
    duration: 01:53:24
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
Full recordings are available only for logged users.

The regime went after me all my life

Pavel Dobrovolný, 2019
Pavel Dobrovolný, 2019
photo: Paměť národa

Pavel Dobrovolný was born on July 6, 1934 in Ratibořice near Třebíč. He grew up with two siblings on a family homestead. During the Second World War, there was a forced administration of the farm, and at the end of the war the Soviet army passed through here. Euphoria after the war was replaced by the rise of the Communists to power in 1948, and the family was soon affected by the confiscation of property. The witness’s mother died in 1950, a year later his father Emil Dobrovolný was arrested and imprisoned for half a year. After his release, the family had to leave the farm. The father lived in the nearby village of Petrůvky, the siblings split up - the witness lived with his mother’s uncle in Prague. There he graduated from high school and enrolled at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering of the Czech Technical University in the programme of Radio, Film and Television. After six semesters, he was expelled due to an unsatisfactory cadre profile. After military service spent with technical battalions in Šumava, he started working for Tesla, then he joined the Czechoslovak Television. In 1963 he joined CTU again - this time he was able to complete his studies. He married twice, and lives with his second wife to this day. After 1989, their family property was returned to them. He and his wife founded a goat farm in Ratibořice.