Jana Fajkošová

* 1943

  • "After the twenty-first of August, he got scared. Admittedly also because the amnesty he was released on in that sixtieth year, it was conditional, so it wasn't a revocation or erasure of his sentence, it was conditional. Because it was the Prague Spring, there were various activities connected with that, people were excited, people were just expecting communism to fall, so he maybe even got involved in the Club of Committed Non-Partisans and he was afraid he was going to go back to prison, so sometime in September '68 he went to Canada, but he came back. He came back in less than a year, sometime in June, July of the following year, he came back because on the one hand my mother stayed here and he couldn't get a job, he couldn't get a job there so that maybe she could come to see him. And I guess he didn't feel comfortable either, since he didn't really have anything to live on or have odd jobs there."

  • "My mom actually kept it from me for quite a long time, I don't know why. I actually felt quite bad or just didn't like it that she didn't tell me outright. And we actually only came to an agreement after that when I wrote, without her knowledge, I wrote a letter to the President asking him to release my dad, and I don't remember exactly what I wrote in there, but this. So, they didn't answer me, but they answered my mom, and they also invited her somewhere, I don't remember exactly where, on the carpet, where she got scolded for not forcing her child to do things like that, but she really didn't know about it, so after that, I actually made a deal with my mom, or she knew that I knew my dad was locked up."

  • "When my dad got arrested, I was at my grandmother's house. And my uncle came to get me, which was weird enough, and when I got home, my mom wouldn't tell me. She told me my dad had gone away on a part-time job, some part-time job. Because actually, sometime after the war, I was born, I mean, in forty-three, the war ended in forty-five, and after the war my dad was employed, employed by an American company - and he worked in Germany for a while, maybe a year and a half, so he commuted home. And I guess my mother wanted to follow up on that, because that's what I was used to, and she told me that my dad was on a temporary job."

  • Full recordings
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    Praha, 12.01.2019

    duration: 01:00:32
    media recorded in project The Stories of Our Neigbours
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I wrote to President Zapotocky to let my father go free

Jana in childhood
Jana in childhood
photo: Stories of our neighbours

Jana Fajkošová, née Čermáková, was born on 27 August 1943 in Prague. Her father Oldřich Čermák worked for an American company after the war. After 1948, the Communists tried to persuade her father to join the party, and when that failed, he was arrested in 1950. Oldřich Čermák was convicted of treason, imprisoned in the uranium mines in the Jáchymov region and then in the Vojna camp near Příbram. The witness recalls several visits to her father in prison. He was released in 1960 on amnesty. After graduating from high school, Jana had great difficulty finding a job because of her cadre report. She was refused a medical degree. It was not until 1964 that she was able to find a job at the Institute of Organic Chemistry for a longer period of time, where she worked until 1992. In 1968, her father Oldřich Čermák emigrated to Canada because he feared arrest for his involvement during the Prague Spring. However, he returned from emigration in 1969.