“A door bell rang just as we were washing the floor with the girls. I had a bucket with water there and now I opened the door there was a bunch of men. One of my daughters moved back and spilled the basket; the hallway was full of water. I told them to wait until I clean it up. That was the kind of nice entrée. Then I told myself I didn’t care about them at all, so I said I got to make food for my kids. But they could not just walk around the flat on their own, so they kept waiting some more for me to finish making lunch. Then I poured myself red wine and asked them if they wanted to have a glass with me. Then I made a statement into the protocol, some terribly witty one and they left.”
“In our block of flats I went to a certain meeting of the communist women or whatever it was. It took part in the school canteen I used to go to and where my children used to go. I listened and then asked why they have no bread rolls in the self-catering already at 4 o´clock in the afternoon. What silliness and it was terrible. It looked like they were going to spank me like a little child, who´s just messing about with what´s none of her business. Then I went to a meeting again and they did not let me speak at all. They already supposed I was going to ask about issues. But what a silliness it was. Today it makes no sense asking why there are no bread rolls in a shop, but back then everything was centrally controlled. Probably no one ever said anything to doubt their attitude. And no one at all came to me to tell me anything; even though some people knew me from the place of residence or school.”
“I sometimes went to get something printed and they were sending the policemen right there pointing to the materials. So it was not really possible. Those were a kind of print faces in wooden frames with a text on the faces. You put black colour over it and then rolled a wall paint roller to make copies. I believe it is something totally strange for today´s society and still it was a primitively simple to work out. Then we issued a magazine in the framework of an Independent Peace Association, which was also multiplied that way. I think I never re-wrote anything in hand. My most important multiplied copy was a simple leaflet to make people come to the square of Freedom on the 17th November. That was my most significant home-made leaflet. But we already had a computer, so we used a modern technique.“
“We met as the three friends. We had a flywheel dancer and banner with label: ,No military toys.‘ We took our children carrying their whistles and rattles. We sent the flywheel dancer past the Czech street. Then they made us scatter. Well as it went on, we were letting the flywheel around and whistling and then we left. I also went around toy stores with the leaflet and talked to the shop assistants who agreed with me and neither liked selling tanks.“
"Tak jak to spoustě lidí připadalo nemožný, nesmyslný, nepochopitelný, neodvážný nebo příliš odvážný, naopak, tak já jsem naopak musela. Ten primární důvod opravdu byl, že lidi, kteří si myslí to, co já, tak za to jsou zavření. Přestala jsem chápat. Byla to úplně absurdní situace. Takže mě to nevyvedlo z žádné mé ochranné zóny, mně to naopak připadalo jako jediný možný dalšího života. Vlastně i pro děti. I kdyby se nedostaly na vysoké školy i kdyby ten režim zůstal. Tak pro mě bylo hrozně důležitý, aby si uvědomovaly, že to není svobodný život. Že sice ty mantinely umožňují každému, aby žil svobodně. Nikdo nikam nechodil se zbraní po domech a vlastně tu svobodu neomezoval. Ale osobní svoboda je širší než to, že máme hezký život doma, můžeme jezdit na výlety po Československu. Svoboda je pro mě mnohem hlubší a širší termín."
"Když jsem šli s Jaroslavem Šabatou do restaurace, že se blíž seznámíme, tak myslím si, že on brzy zjistil, že nejsme žádní práskači, konfidenti, že nás nikdo tam nenasadil. A poměrně rychle jsme se tam sblížili. Věřili jsme si. Ovšem on měl představu, že když ještě nejsme v tom disentu profláklí, tak že se budeme hodit na takovou (v uvozovkách) špionážní činnost. Dokonce navrhoval, že bychom měli vstoupit do komunistické strany a proměňovat ji zevnitř. Já jsem to naprosto odmítla. Já jsem říkala, že to není vůbec můj zájem. Že buď teda budu pomáhat tomu disentu a nebo nic. Takže jsme se celkem brzy shodli na tom, že budu pomáhat disentu a žádný nebo a nic nebude. On to nemyslel tak, že budu spolupracovat s komunistickou stranou. On to spíš myslel, že by vlastně lidi, podobně smýšlející jako on, byli infiltrovaní v nějakých oficiálních strukturách."
"Doma jsme poslouchali Hlas Ameriky a Svobodnou Evropu, což nebylo nic ojedinělého. To tehdy dělalo hodně lidí. A jednou jsem slyšela rozhovor Václava Havla s Pavlem Tigridem a na mě to tak mocně zapůsobilo, že jsem si říkala, že ty lidi musím za každou cenu podpořit. Že oni sedí ve vězení, nemůžou vydávat knížky a já se mám vlastně celkem relativně dobře, ale že s tím musím začít něco dělat. Musím se k nim přihlásit."
A mother on maternity leave fighting for freedom and democracy
Hana Holcnerová, née Ryšková, was born on 18th November, 1960 in Brno as the only child of the parents Arnošt and Zdenka Ryškovi. Shortly after graduating at the construction faculty VUT in Brno she married Petr Holcner in April 1984. The same year the husbands had a daughter Veronika and two and half years later another daughter named Eva. During maternity leave Hana Holcnerová was reading the samizdat literature and listening to radio broadcast of the Voice of America and the Free Europe. While listening to an interview of Pavel Tigrid and Václav Havel she decided to join the dissent and then became one of its most significant and followed characters of the dissent in Brno in the later 1980s. She signed the Chart 77, co-founded the Brno forum, printed and distributed samizdat, participated in demonstrations and as a reporter of the Eastern-European information agency (VIA) she was informing the foreigh press on violation of human rights in Czechoslovakia. Therefore she was persecuted by the state police, also had her telephone tapped and was arrested several times and then kept in custody for interrogation. In Brno she also actively participated in events related to demonstrations shortly after the 17th November, 1989 and co-founded the Civic Forum in the city. Following the revolution Hana Holcnerová had another son Jonáš. Then she worked for the Civic movement and in 1995-1996 as a press speaker of the successor party SD-LSNS and later the movement DUHA (“RAINBOW”) in the office of the public ombudsman and a reporter of the home newsroom of the internet daily called Referendum. In 2017 she lived with her second husband, Václav Pokorný in Jeseník.