Petr Hanzlík

* 1945  †︎ 2020

  • “We were out of work. We didn’t have a thing. To top it all, in December ’81, around Christmas, they expelled the children from school, and they didn’t let the back. They banned my daughter and my older son from going to school, saying it was a Socialist school and that they didn’t want them there. Because they had summoned me up because my eldest son had praised [first Czechoslovak president] Masaryk when they were bad-mouthing him. He told them that Dad, Granddad, and everyone else had said that Masaryk was the best president ever, and that what they were saying wasn’t true. So they summoned me there, the chairman of the PTA was there, some lieutenant colonel, and the headmistress, and they thought they’d give me a roasting. But I gave them an earful. I said: ‘You know what, I send my children here for you to teach them reading, writing, and arithmetic, and I forbid you to talk with them about politics at all or tell them your political nonsense. I don’t want that.’ She told me that they had a Socialist curriculum and Socialist education, and that was how it was going to be. To which I responded: ‘Look here, dear lady, if there was another school here, they’d attend it. Not your Socialist one.’ Oh, that was trouble among the teaching staff. The whole district said: ‘What an awful parent they have at Masaryk School.”

  • “…The Central Committee of the Communist Party or a local party committee here in Prostějov – the secret policemen investigator named them all, telling me that they’d lost patience with me and that I should piss off to that West of mine where all is bright where there’s all the freedom and all. Now, he started threatening me with prison where I would rot. Perhaps I would have ended up the same way as Pavel Wonka. Or they’d send me to a psychiatric clinic. So, I went to see the doctor and had him write an assessment stating that I wasn’t crazy – a friend recommended me that. Then he even pointed his gun at me, saying: ‚You know, this can fire by accident, I will shoot you dead and that’s it…‘ This is the way he spoke. So I came home to my wife telling her we had to leave this country because there’d be no life for us here.”

  • “They started in ’76, saying it wasn’t Socialist. They gave me a script that I was to keep to. It was written there how many per cent of Socialist songs I was to play. I refused to agree with that, and I didn’t play a single such song. So they started complaining about me, and the discos were subjected to various checks. The district culture committee then held meetings and debated what to do about me and gave me bans. I didn’t heed any of that, I didn’t let them scare me. The committee was chaired by the post-November [1989] mayor of Prostějov, Zikmund.”

  • “When someone stopped to chat with me, they would lead them aside and scare them. Asking how we were connected and so on. I was visited by people from outside. The stetsecs [State Security officers] then pulled them in and squeezed them of all that we had spoken of. They had some distance bugging devices. We lived on Blahoslav Street. They stood outside at the crossroads and watched us the whole night. One time I managed to escape over the wall at the back and go to Prague. After that, to be sure, they spent the whole night on the landing. It was always full of cigarette butts and reeked of smoke. Whenever anyone came to visit me, they’d demand to see their ID cards. Petr Cibulka came to visit me regarding some gramophone records. They arrested him too.”

  • „I haven’t watched my mouth at all. Neither did I praise communism. I even criticised those pseudo-artists lackeying the regime – I was attacking them directly for playing this crap here… When Vondráčková and such people played here I criticized them.“ – „Even at the discos, you would say that on the microphone?“ – „Well, of course, they had records on me saying that I gave inapropriate speeches.“

  • “They hit at me financially because they knew I had three children. Then they fired me from the materials shop, and I wasn’t allowed to buy up animal skins any more. My wife and I were without a job for a year and a half. They didn’t even let my wife wash the dishes at the national [enterprise]. The moment they found out she was Hanzlíková, that was that, and the dishes had to be washed by the waiters after their shift. Back then it was a duty to work, and no one would employ me. They were a building sports hall here, so I got myself a temp job there. I was there for a month, and then they were ordered to fire me. The people who I’d worked with there and the site manager, they said State Security investigated them for several months - asking who had been to see me there, what I had done, what information they could give them.”

  • “Have you been in contact with the dissidents in or around Prostějov?” – “There were none there. I myself was a dissident and so all of them came after me, the whole apparatus… I was the No. 1 enemy out there; everything was on me. I was in contact with Mr. Velíšek who was originally from Prostějov but lived in Vienna; also with Petr Cibulka in Brno… But I was there all on my own, so to say. And they stood against me.“

  • “I think it was in May that Minister Kopecký was supposed to come. They had a stage ready in Lutín, and the auditorium was full of employees. A friend gave me some white powder in a jar. I tried it out, scattered a handful in the bus. Everyone cried there. Then I dumped it on the grandstand, and I cancelled their whole event. They took Kopecký to a doctor to check on his eyes. State Security closed it off. Someone told on me, and they nabbed me. It wasn’t till next day that my dad took me home from the police in Olomouc, where I’d been questioned. They’d thought it was an assassination attempt. It was a prank.”

  • Full recordings
  • 1

    Prostějov, 22.07.2015

    duration: 02:31:58
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
  • 2

    Šumperk, 04.07.2016

    duration: 02:07:26
Full recordings are available only for logged users.

Normalisation DJ

Petr Hanzlík
Petr Hanzlík
photo: archiv pamětníka

Petr Hanzlík was born on 24 March 1945 in Konice. In his youth he formed a strong inclination towards music, especially rock and roll. He spent time with people who were called “máničky, androši, vlasáči” (English equivalents: dandies, andros, hairies). In 1974 he tried to present his music in Plumlov for the first time. He was very successful, and so he began organising discos not just in Prostějov District, but also around Olomouc and Vyškov. He would play the newest worldwide hits, which were otherwise unavailable. His discos were regularly attended by hundreds of people, and Petr Hanzlík became one of the most popular figures of Prostějov. However, Communist functionaries were irritated by his activities, and they refused to give him permission to organise the events. All the same, he continued to hold discos, at which he publicly expressed his anti-regime opinions. Petr Hanzlík was also active off stage. In 1976, for example, he organised a petition in Prostějov to officially allow him to hold discos. He also organised petitions against the censure and banning of Western music, and he wrote several complaints to central governmental and Communist Party authorities. These actions were not without response. His house was raided several times, he was followed, arrested repeatedly and interrogated. Everything got even worse when Petr Hanzlík signed Charter 77 in 1981. Allegedly, as the only person in Prostějov. He was under constant surveillance, and his flat was watched by State Security officers day and night. Even before signing Charter 77, during the State Security operation “Asanace” (Decontamination), he was pressured to leave the country. Life in Czechoslovakia became unbearable for Petr Hanzlík, his wife Jindřiška, and their three children. His children were even expelled from primary school. In 1982 the family thus decided to emigrate to Austria; they did not return to Czechoslovakia until after the fall of the Communist regime. But even then, Petr Hanzlík continued to fight. In 1995 he was one of the initiators of the so-called Prostějov Appeal, which he sent to all the towns in the country and which was supposedly signed by representatives of 49 towns. He wanted to remove former State Security members from positions of public and governmental authority. He continues to live in Prostějov.