PhDr. Vladimíra Hradecká

* 1949  

  • “Bašta came from Pilsen as he wanted to be a part of it. We were just getting dressed to go and have a look. In Bartolomějská water cannons were parked and such things, so we went to look around. Now people were gathering, there were plenty in the Národní avenue already. We knew where it happened and so on. Spontaneously they began to march through the Národní up to the Wenceslas square; at the front were young people. The older ones were peeking at them from the pavement and no one knew. We joined it from Bartolomějská in Perštýn and went at the tail. We were talking: ‚That is the end, they cannot fight against us anymore.‘ But we were also thinking: ‚Let’s hope nothing happens and they don’t rush in here again.‘ We also feared it. We hoped it would not happened at Gorbačov´s times, that it was not possible under those circumstances. We went up to three thirds of Wenceslas square and could not continue, there was the museum and St. Wenceslas statue. The march probably didn’t know what to do so it turned around and went back and we got up to the complete front, almost the first line. That was a terribly strong experience for me, as I suddenly realised that it was all due to students and there is a mass of young people behind us. Those boys, who were imprisoned as student leaders twenty years ago, went up in the first line yet again and those behind us don’t know them at all. They didn’t even know, who was who, what kind of middle-age generation men are marching in the first line. The feeling was terribly strong. I told Honza and he replied: ‚That is the magic of unwanted.‘ I told him: ‚Man, you didn’t probably see it that way, but I felt it very strongly.‘ How strange the history can be, the bitch. My man once said: ‚Getting in the history was no problem, it was almost a stupidity. But how to get out?‘ I will never forget that feeling; I was shaking with emotions and so proud at the same time, I was thinking I would never go anywhere else, I would stop being cautious! That was no longer necessary then but we didn’t know that right that moment. The water cannons were there, but they didn’t have the guts to use them. And I don’t know exactly why.“

  • „Ivan Dejmal once said: ‚Jan Frolík was a master of constipation.‘ So we simply conspired. And I quite liked it. He told me: ´You need to get out of this, I know you and won’t allow you sacrifice for me.‘ He was a real dude. I told him: ‚We can’t go on like this.‘ ‚No, we got to get out of this somehow.‘ And back then he suggested, and we also did it, that we so called drowned each other. I told them (secret police – editor´s note) that I changed my mind and my work is above everything and I cancel all contacts. That it was just a friendship anyway. And we used to meet so that they would not find out. We stopped meeting amongst other people as we didn’t know, who talked. We used to meet each time in a different pub and we agreed the next meeting and when anything changed there were several people who knew about it and phoned us by out cat´s names. We had two cats, Matýsek and Matylda. My friend called: ‚I met Matěj and Matylda and they said that the meeting´s changed to…‘ And she told me the new place. And we went separately. We spent two years like that.”

  • “When my husband was building the Archive of the ministry of interior, which is todays gro of the Security Forces Archive, a driver was taking him, who commented: ‚You know, Mr. director, I got to apologise to you. I´ve known you before, but didn’t know, what was going on. I was just a driver.‘ And Honza replied: ‚I know and I hold nothing against you; such was the times. You were somewhere and I was elsewhere. That´s how it was.‘ He said: ‚Back then I was ordered to follow you and your girlfriend…‘ They just knew my Traband car´s plate number and followed it all the way to the roadhouse above the crossroads in Kařízek. We stopped there for lunch and went outside past a cooling box, where they had blueberry pie or something with berries. I said: ‚Jesus, I could do with a coffee and a blueberry pie.‘ So we sat down to another table and ordered it. That is my version of the story and don’t know anything else. And what happened to them was that they went in front of us as they saw us getting up, waited in their Volha car at the parking lot and followed another Traband all the way to Holoubkov or somewhere, but then realised they were following the wrong car and we were not driving it. I ate my pie meanwhile and we turned to Hořovice at the crossroads simply going downhill. So at the time they returned we were gone. And he was laughed at by his colleagues for several years as they lost the Traband driving a much faster Volha. I was a big nuisance for him. He apologised to Frolík later as he thought we were kind of criminals, thieves or so. They never gave any reason. Apparently. I don’t know. Maybe. Maybe he was driving for secret police, but I didn’t think so. He would not pass the security checks. And it became my cute little story. Back then I didn’t know, but it makes me feel happy!“

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    Praha, domácnost pamětnice, 25.11.2016

    (audio)
    duration: 05:20:18
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
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I always found a man, who got me into more problems than I´d ever get to myself

Portrait photo of the witness; Prague around 1980
Portrait photo of the witness; Prague around 1980
photo: archiv pamětnice

Vladimíra Hradecká, née Hrubešová, was born on 1st April, 1949 in Ústí nad Labem to Vladimír and Dagmar Hrubeš. She studied archiving and auxiliary historical sciences at FF UK in Prague, but as her first husband, whose name she´s been carrying until today, had a bad cadre profile, she could not work in her field of expertize. After the divorce she got a job in SOA in Prague. Then she became a partner of Jan Frolík and moved in the grey zone around dissent, which caused her being monitored by the secret police and a number of interrogations. Following the velvet revolution she held a manager´s function in the State Regional Archive in Prague, was a member of the representation of the Czech Archive Society, was a founding member of the Association of Archive Societies at the International Archive Council and devoted herself to lecturing and awareness activities in the area of archiving. In 1999 she married Jan Frolík and in 2016 became a widow.