Petra Erbanová

* 1948  

  • „Já si myslím, že vlastně ti kluci, kteří stříleli, to byli takoví mladíčci, i co jsme potom viděli ty fotografie všechny. Já si myslím, že oni nevěděli, kde jsou a co dělají. Protože když jim rozkázali střílejte, tak oni asi stříleli a nevěděli zřejmě proč. Protože potom se o tom hodně mluvilo a takhle nám to taky bylo řečeno. Když jsem viděla ty fotografie, jak ti kluci byli sami vyděšení, protože jsem těch fotografií viděla hodně, z novin, časopisů, potom od těch lidí, co to fotili, tak jsem si říkala, že ti kluci fakt nevěděli, kde jsou a co dělají, a proč to dělají.“ – „Takže k nim necítíte zášť?“ – „K těm hochům ani ne, ale k tomu zřízení určitě.“

  • “I know that in 1969 I personally took a flower for Eva Livečková, wh had worked in the health service. I think she was a nurse, I’m not sure which ward she worked in. She had a plaque installed on the post office because they’d shot her through the neck there. They took her straight to hospital. As a nurse, she knew what that meant - she was paralysed in practically her whole body. I think someone else also laid a flower there for her. I also laid my flower there, and I know that across the street, where there’s the travel agency now... these two blokes came out from the arcade, they came up to me, took the flower from where it lay, and threw it on to the road. A bus drove by and squashed it. I asked them: ‘What are you doing? I brought that flower to a health-service colleague of mine, a lady I worked with, who was shot here.’ Because she’d lived a few days and then died [she died on 23 August 1968 from injuries caused by a shot to the neck - ed.]. They said: ‘If you don’t want to end up at a police interrogation, you should get out of here fast!’ I stared at them and said: ‘Gentlemen, you’re in civvies, what’s your deal?’ They answered: ‘We’re in civvies, but we’re watching this spot. If you don’t any trouble, you’ll leg it nice and fast!’ I stood there for a moment, absolutely aghast... but then my heart started racing and I thought to myself: ‘Well, what’s this?! A year later and it’ll be just the same as in sixty-eight, except these are our own people?!’ I was totally aghast. I felt so terrible that I had absolutely no idea what to do. What I really wanted was to give someone a proper beating, but I couldn’t do that, could I?”

  • “To get back to the Liberec hospital. I admire that time, when - compared to all the medical equipment and options nowadays - people worked from scratch, so to say. It was so amazing, the teamwork, the willingness, that great community of all the doctors, nurses, assistant staff. That was something unforgettable. They treated us fantastically. They allowed friends and strangers to come visit us, to record interviews. They let us read articles, they brought us newspapers, cakes, flowers. Every behaved just wonderfully to us. The way doctors, nurses, and assistant hospital staff behaved back then should be set as an example for others - I don’t want to say who exactly - for how to behave today, because that was just spectacular. The conditions and circumstances and with what was going on, when they had practically nothing to work with, it was something wonderful, something amazing, unforgettable. I’d wish I could thank them year after year, even now, to thank them again and again. I want to thank them all again because that was really unforgettable.”

  • “At first I didn’t even pay any attention to it because I was trying to stand up, and my friend and I wanted to run and shelter in the dentistry [the dental practice where the witness worked - ed.], but suddenly I fell down again. I looked at my leg, because I felt something warm on it, and I saw the blood gushing out. And seeing that I later found out that they had shot through the primary nerve in my leg, that was why I didn’t feel much pain. Not until when they treated it, X-rayed it, stitched it up, that hurt a bit, of course, because all the secondary nerves were working, even though the primary one had been damaged. But during the X-ray in hospital I discovered... the doctors thought there wasn’t anything in the wound, so they just cleaned it and told me they’d send me for an X-ray. And there they found that the whole bullet was lodged in my knee. So they operated me later that night.”

  • Full recordings
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    v Liberci, 17.05.2017

    (audio)
    duration: 01:35:33
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
  • 2

    Liberec, 24.06.2021

    (audio)
    duration: 50:52
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
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My leg went slack like a rag when the bullet hit me

Petra Erbanová (secondary school graduation photo), 1966
Petra Erbanová (secondary school graduation photo), 1966
photo: archiv pamětnice

Petra Erbanová, née Šoršová, was born on 31 May 1948 in Liberec. She attended a secondary medical school in Ústí nad Labem, specialising as a dental assistant. On 21 August 1968 she set out to work despite the ongoing occupation. When nearing her workplace in the very centre of Liberec, she was shot in her right leg by a soldier of the occupying Warsaw Pact forces. She ended up in hospital in Liberec. It took her seven months to recover from the wound, and she still suffers the consequences. During the normalisation she was repeatedly subjected to the suspicious and insensitive approach of state officials and her employer. She was active in the streets during the Velvet Revolution in 1989. Since 1995 she has been working at the safe house Speramus in Liberec. She raised two sons. As of 2017 she lives in Liberec.