Bohuslav Hofman

* 1944

  • "The funny thing was that Ivan Dejmal, who worked for us in Dejvice at the Prašný most, and there were embassies there, an order came, again from the State Security to the manager, that Ivan Dejmal was not allowed to work there because he could share some information, so they put him to Vypich, where there was no embassy. But these are the paradoxes of thinking, he can pass it on at any time... But what I want to say was that when there was an anniversary, for example May Day, (it happened two or three times a year) that Ivan Dejmal was arrested for two days, precisely on that May Day because they expected him to do some so-called rioting. Well, the funny thing is that they arrested them (and that's what Ivan Dejmal always told me) around time so that they wouldn't get dinner, first of all, and secondly, that there were dissidents in that cell anyway, so they talked to each other, what's new. Maybe there was definitely eavesdropping, but that's Vis major.'

  • "And once they caught my brother on the street, threw him into a car and took him somewhere to an apartment, where they beat him up. He was almost fourteen years old at the time and they told him: 'If you get involved in politics, we will kill your brothers, parents and you too.' He came home back then, he was beaten, not saying anything to anyone at home. And I say: 'Please tell me which boys beat you up, I'll beat them up too.' And he said that some boys beat him up. Well, I was asking him questions, but no response. About a month later, he admitted to me that he was beaten up by adults, that he shouldn't get involved in politics and shouldn't oppose the class teacher. My brother Jiří was in Pionýr, by the way, he joined, I didn't. Well, we never told our parents. He told me not to tell anyone. And I felt, because a person felt it, that the time was really bad and that one had to hide something all their life. So, I never said it, and since then my brother has had, you might say, that manic depressive nature.'

  • "I want to say this: when in the eighth year, by the way, I had only A grades at the end, in the half term I had only two B grades, so the teacher gave me an envelope and said, 'Bohouši, promise me, you can't throw it away.' I took the envelope and I said, 'Well, teacher, I promise I won't throw it away.' I opened it at home and I saw that there was (I also have it with me here) the Czechoslovak Union of Youth ID, filled in with her [the teacher's] handwriting and signed by the teacher (my name, but she signed it) And I didn't throw it away, and when I came to the Agricultural and Technical school in Brandýs in September, I was suddenly taken aback - they were all in the Czechoslovak Union of Youth. Well, I gave the ID card that was given to me, because the teacher knew that they would not accept me to the school, that they would fire me from school, because everyone had to be in the Czechoslovak Union of Youth. So, I gave it to them and I paid some contributions."

  • Full recordings
  • 1

    Praha, 28.08.2021

    duration: 02:06:30
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
  • 2

    Praha, 18.09.2021

    duration: 50:51
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
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I wanted to be the best to embarrass the communists

Bohuslav Hofman as a 10 years old boy
Bohuslav Hofman as a 10 years old boy
photo: archive of the witness

Bohuslav Hofman was born on February 24, 1944 in Prague as the second of three sons of Augustin and Věra Hofman. As a one-year-old, he suffered an accident during the Allied bombing of Prague in 1945. After the raid began, his mother ran with her child in her arms to the nearest shelter on Charles Square, but before she could get there, she was hit by a pressure wave that bruised the child’s neck. However, the injury did not have serious consequences. Memories of the wave of arrests of the 1950s were deeply ingrained in the witness’s mind. Opposition to communist power of the witness was deepened by the fate of his older brother Jiří, who was brutally beaten by unknown men because he liked to ridicule the communists. His brother´s traumatic experience developed into serious mental problems, from which he never recovered. Although the witness achieved excellent study and work results, due to his attitude towards communism and his refusal to join the Communist Party, he worked in the working-class positions of the Prague incinerator plant and later the waterworks until his retirement. Personalities uncomfortable for the communist regime were often among his colleagues. Since his youth, the witness has been spiritually based. In the 1980s, he participated in the transcription of forbidden spiritual literature. After 1989, he became involved in the renovation of the Marian Column in Prague. He lived in Prague at the time of the filming of the interview (2021).