Mgr. Daniela Fischerová

* 1948

  • "And then something strange happened. The theatre was led by actor Zdeněk Buchvaldek, of course, a true party man, someone who wasn't in the party couldn't be a director of the theatre at that time, he was a popular actor from the TV series Man at the Town Hall. And this Zdenek Buchvaldek did something for which he deserves to wear a halo. Nobody believed it - he jumped over his own shadow and, despite the order from the Communist Party Central Committee, he said that he would do the premiere and three reruns [of the play The Hour Between the Dog and the Wolf] and, judging by the reaction of the audience, that he would go ahead. So there was a premiere, there were reruns, and at the time Prague, or the Czech Republic even, was famous for the fact that everything gets leaked out here. Everybody knew that the Czechs couldn't keep any secrets. When this obscure situation arose, when word got out that the play had been banned by the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia itself, and yet it was going to be performed, the Prague people flocked there, the theatre was as full as an afternoon bus, and the three reruns took place. At the fourth performance, the police were already standing around the theatre, holding a fireman's chain, people were only allowed in with a valid ticket, and that was the end of it. They said enough fun was enough and the play was off the schedule. In a way, all the main participants, that is me, Pistorius, and Buchvaldek, were hurt by it a bit. I can't describe exactly how, but we didn't regret it and I consider the whole rehearsal period and the four nights of reruns one of the happiest and most beautiful times of my life."

  • "We were there to experience the moment when the shield bearers ran out of patience and really mingled with the crowd and beat people with batons as they pleased. Cars were taking various people away, we didn't know where. Jindřich and I somehow managed to wade through the side streets, escape the commotion, and walk home. It was evening, in fact, the night was beginning, and I remember it as one of the moments of the greatest fear and greatest terror I have ever experienced because we had no idea where our tiny fifteen-year-old child was. And again, from the distance... nothing happened. At the moment it was a real terror, we didn't know if she was being beaten with a baton somewhere if she was put in some car and in custody or... which was supposedly a good trick of the time, that the police, the Public Security, would put all these various wrongdoers and enemies of the people in a car, drive them maybe 100 kilometers outside of Prague, drop them off in the night forest and drive off and let these people fend for themselves. And at that moment there was nowhere to call to ask where our daughter was. Thank God, she made it home on her own. And I remember such a powerful moment when we came together and met in the hallway, still dressed in our winter coats and winter boots, Jindřich, Johanka and I hugged and held each other for a long time."

  • "During that conversation [with Václav Havel] I told him this idea, that apparently in Japanese martial arts gyms, which are called dojos, there are three rules, and a person who enters the gym, the training room, that dojo, must never again say these three sentences: 'I am afraid. It hurts. I can't do it.' And I told him in that conversation, 'Václav, you have been in the dojo for years. You must never say those three sentences again.' And at that moment I saw this embarrassed, caught smile cross his face, and he just shrugged his shoulders, because someone who is in the dojo can't even agree to that anymore. And then when he died, someone asked me to write a short piece about his death, and the piece ends like this: 'As I write these lines, your coffin is being carried through Prague and the walls of the dojo have already parted. Thousands of people are standing outside in the cold December, even the TV newsreels are in black for the third day, and a great wave of sadness is sweeping the countryside. I grieve for you too, very much. We didn't write that joint play about the state of the world. But your character might say, "Truth and love didn't win again, did they?" and mine would say, "You know they didn't, don't be silly! But they didn't lose. They're not done yet. And that's what the drama is all about."

  • "I was taken to a rehabilitation institute in Kladruby. There, as in all medical institutions - God knows why, it's some kind of legacy of the Austro-Hungarian Empire - they wake up very early, so before 6 a.m. the nurses in our room put on a radio by wire, and I heard excited voices saying: 'Tanks on the left, tanks on the right, soldiers are coming, run! There's shooting!' And my first thought was dramatic. I was a drama major, and the dramaturgical idea was, 'This is some kind of adventure play for young people. And what idiot thought of putting it on the broadcast schedule at six o'clock in the morning, who's going to listen to it?' And I went out into the hallway, there are long wide hallways in Kladruby, and in the gloom of the morning there were people in wheelchairs, people on crutches, people with one leg, people without legs, and all of them or many of them were crying and we were going down to the TV room to find out what happened. And there it really looked like the first day, those first days, that World War III was starting and we had five powers standing against us, including the giant of the Soviet Union, and that we didn't stand a chance."

  • Full recordings
  • 1

    Praha, 29.09.2021

    duration: 01:55:29
    media recorded in project Stories of the 20th Century TV
  • 2

    Praha, 08.10.2021

    duration: 01:24:35
    media recorded in project Stories of the 20th Century TV
Full recordings are available only for logged users.

Truth and love didn’t win again, but we haven’t lost yet

Daniela Fischerová in 2001
Daniela Fischerová in 2001
photo: Daniela Fischerová’s personal archive

Daniela Fischerová was born on 13 February 1948 in Prague. She is the daughter of composer Jan Fischer and translator Olga Fischerová. Since childhood, she wanted to write and therefore chose to study screenwriting and dramaturgy at the Prague Film Academy of Performing Arts (FAMU). Before graduating, she completed a year’s internship in a therapeutic community at Lobeč Castle. In 1970 she worked at the Barrandov Film Studio, and from 1972 she worked as an editor at the Orbis publishing house. However, working under constant censorship did not satisfy her and she began to work on children’s books and colouring books. In 1979, the director Luboš Pistorius was attracted by her play The Hour Between the Dog and the Wolf about François Villon, which he staged for the Realist Theatre in Prague. Despite a ban by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia, four performances were staged, which had a negative impact on the work of all involved. Daniela Fischerová became part of the circle of dissidents, participated in flat seminars, and was linked by a close friendship with Václav Havel. Her life’s fulfillment is to create. She is the author of countless books for children and adults, many radio plays, and several film scripts. She taught creative writing at the Josef Škvorecký Literary Academy. She is a member of the committee of the Czech Centre of the International PEN Club, which has awarded her the Own Way award for lifetime achievements. At the time of filming, in 2021, she was living in Prague.