Jiří Fic

* 1949

  • "Censorship is always where there is an authoritarian regime. He will not release information that would be against him. Something always gets suppressed. Something has to be hidden when there is a dictatorship, because it would all sound bad, and Chernobyl was a prime example. In Ukraine, a nuclear power plant went off and there was cheering here and no one officially knew anything. It was May Day and we were going to May Day and arrangements had been made in Western Europe for a week. Somewhere bigger, somewhere smaller, but here it was simply hidden until the very end. This is a clear example of that censorship. The fact that something like that had happened was, of course, later found out on foreign radio."

  • "When Yuri Gagarin flew, that day is so etched in my head. We were very excited. It was April 14, 1961, we were sitting like this in school and a teacher was giving us a lecture and suddenly on the radio, in every class there was such a big radio, suddenly someone, whether it was the principal or some teacher, it was announced that the first cosmonaut had flown into space Yuri Gagarin and our teacher, who happened to be there, started to rejoice so incredibly and flew to the principal's office. And we didn't really know what was going on, but we did not know much what was going on. But only after that, the next day, the big pictures came out, photos of Gagarin."

  • "By the way, I was at Palach's funeral in Prague. There were five of us and we drove behind the school, carrying a wreath. I know that we came to Prague and wanted to go to the center where the coffin was, but they didn't let us in there. There were so many people there. The university students just stood there, holding hands like this and acting like barriers and said: 'Not here.' That was not even possible for so many people."

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    duration: 39:10
    media recorded in project The Stories of Our Neigbours
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Nobody officially knew Nobody officially knew anything. It was May Day and we went to celebrate.

Jiří Fic at the Dolní Smrčná camp (1958)
Jiří Fic at the Dolní Smrčná camp (1958)
photo: Archiv Jiřího Fice

Jiří Fic was born on February 19, 1949 in Velké Meziříčí. He remembers the war based on the memories of his parents. His own begin with the first years of the rigid communist regime. He recalls the first space flight and the cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, using the example of the Chernobyl accident to describe censorship. In January 1969, accompanied by his classmates, he went to Prague to attend the funeral of Jan Palach. He worked as a designer in Žďárské strojírny and foundries, then in a forest technology plant. In 1991, he joined the Labor Office, first in Žďár, later in Velké Meziříčí. In 2021, he lived in Velké Meziříčí.