We lived and breathed Sokol and nationalism
Jiří Fabinger was born on 5 January 1930. His father Josef František Fabinger repaired refrigerating units, and his mother Jiřina Marie, née Slámová, was an assistant clerk and later looked after her son and kept the household. The family lived in Neklanova Street in Prague-Vyšehrad. All three of them were active in the sports organisation of Sokol; his parents were in a theatre troupe, and the witness did sports. He graduated from a grammar school in Vyšehrad in 1950. In his final, eighth year he refused to join the Union of Socialist Youth, and in connection with his Sokol activities and his membership in the National Socialist Youth and the American Institute in Czechoslovakia under the YMCA, this brought about a lifelong ban on university studies. The witness did various manual jobs. In the 1960s he was a sports reporter for the daily newspaper Obrana lidu (The People’s Defence), Czechoslovak Radio, and Večerní Praha (Evening Prague). When the Soviet forces occupied Czechoslovakia on 21 August 1968 and when offices and printing shops were also taken, he and five other colleagues managed to set up a backup printer, and they printed Večerní Praha with news and photographs from what was happening in the streets until the end of the month. He was later fired from his job by a political profiling committee, and he was served a lifelong ban on journalism. He began working as a tennis coach and a tennis court administrator in Prague-Pankrác at what was called Na Slepičárně (now Na Topolce). He published in periodicals and wrote books using pseudonyms. After the Velvet Revolution he co-founded the weekly news magazine Týden (The Week). He became chief editor of the magazines Revue tenis a golf (Tennis and Golf Review) and later Stadion (The Stadium). Currently, he continues to coach and do associative work.