Miroslav Fleischman

* 1969  

  • "So the bad guy was Milan Janoušek. Although, of course, I no longer experienced what some dissidents experienced in the 1970s or early 1980s. I was never beaten. So it was quite interesting that the evil man threatened me in such a way that he said, 'Look, we're not going to make you another kind of Havel. Do not think that we will lock you up for any of your political activities. We're already over that. The moment we lock you up, as young as Havel you will be reported about on Free Europe, on the Voice of America. They will make you a martyr and make us the bad guys. You work at the gas station and we send an economic criminal police to get you and play something at you. And we will lock you up for economic malbehaviour and not a single soul will notice.‘ In this way, they threatened. Then it was interesting how funny they humiliated Havel or Kantůrková. He tried to point out how those people get money for what they do, and I've never got anything for it while Havel drowns in money and drives a Mercedes. So I tried to explain that Havel, of course, drives a Mercedes, that at first I tried to explain that I don't really care, and that he thinks he's writing books and playing his games in the West. That it's just money he normally earned. So that's how the first interrogation went. Interestingly, when I went there, I was not afraid at all. Even though I thought that when I went there for the first time, or if I went there for the first time, that I would piss myself with fear, pardon my language, I was not afraid at all. I do not know why."

  • "We made a bulletin board in the classroom, where we put various clippings, just specfically what we wanted. So we put Kainar's poems there. At that time, we took photos from the new film How the World Looses Poets or How Poets Lose Illusions. We also had to destroy the notice board; it was not approved for us. And the second thing is the board we had for graduation. We had that at U Smetanů, which is a former clothing store in Karla IV. Street, today I think there is a bank there. And the board looked like two pegs with a cord between them. And on that cord hung our graduation photos on pegs, under it was sand, shells, like it was a beach, that was it. And there was an umbrella and there was a crumpled box of cigarettes. The box of cigarettes was from Marlboro and the umbrella was Coca-Cola. And the board lasted a week and then we had to destroy it. We couldn't even remove those things and the board had to be taken down and we couldn't keep it."

  • "Here they suddenly emerged from the side streets, seemingly disorganized, and ran among us and tried to disperse us. So they seemed to scatter us, on that first demonstration, and we kind of got back together and went on again. But more or less the procession was getting thinner, thinner, and I think they even managed to disperse it."- "Did you see that someone would be beaten there more? "I saw that passers-by were also beaten, who absolutely didn't know what was going on, and basically, they just got involved in the demonstration. I saw that they beat old people too. A beautiful example, for example, was, and it's a little funny, that one older gentleman who went supported by a stick, was beaten too. The gentleman was not lazy, and about two or three times he beat the policeman with the stick. He was so surprised that the elderly man left normally, and the policeman remained surprised just staring." - "And how did you feel at the time you saw it? You heard it from the Voice of America, you had that awareness, but what is it like to see it live for the first time in your life?” - “It's awful. It's actually humiliation of the man and despair. What is happening here that it is not possible to meet freely and express any opinion? You feel kind of weird.”

  • Full recordings
  • 1

    České Budějovice, 26.11.2019

    (audio)
    duration: 01:09:07
  • 2

    České Budějovice, 03.03.2020

    (audio)
    duration: 27:47
Full recordings are available only for logged users.

During interrogation, the policemen told me: We will not make you another Havel

Miroslav Fleischman at the age of two years
Miroslav Fleischman at the age of two years
photo: Archiv pamětníka

Miroslav Fleischman was born on May 12, 1969 in Český Krumlov. He grew up in České Budějovice. After graduating from high school in Jírovcova Street in 1987, he got a job at the state-owned company Benzina and operated gas stations in southern Bohemia. From the age of eighteen, he took part in anti-government demonstrations in Prague, sought signatures on the Declaration of Several Sentences, founded the Democratic Initiative in the South Bohemian Region and became its spokesman. His involvement in dissent did not escape the attention State Security. The policemen watched, interrogated, and threatened him. During the Velvet Revolution in 1989, he was in charge of public relations in the Civic Forum in České Budějovice. He worked in the civic commission at the South Bohemian Regional Police Directorate. In the early 1990s, he became chairman of the South Bohemian Regional Committee of the Liberal Democratic Party. After its demise, he left politics. From 1997 to 2017, he was a sales representative for a fishing tackle shop, from where he moved to the same position in a composting plant in Týn nad Vltavou. In 2013, he became a member of the committee of the Club for the Defense of Democracy. In 2020, Miroslav Fleischman lived in České Budějovice.