Jiří Hradecký

* 1944

  • “It was greatly downplayed by management. I just remember that some construction committee of the Communist Party of the Czech Republic was meeting at that time and it was said that the people, the workers, would be informed that nothing was happening, that the cloud was not a great danger. The then head of the Chemont company came among us. Chemont was the main assembly organization. He was a good person, as a worker, but he was an obedient member of the leadership, the political leadership. And he told us: 'No worries, we are in no danger here.' The First of May was approaching and we were told that we were with the time distance, we were even ashamed of that we went to the parade on the First of May in Příbram.”

  • “We were on vacation in Yugoslavia in 1968. We spent August there. August 21 came and we demonstrated and protested, but we did not know when we would return and how we would return. Suddenly everything was torn apart. Our vacation was extended by a fortnight. There Yugoslavs, that was still Yugoslavia, that was Tito, so they fed us there. Then we went to Austria and in Austria... You know that was the decision. In Austria, they asked us right after the occupation: 'What do you want, where do you want to go?' In those first days, we were offered emigration. We could go to Australia, to Switzerland. That was in the early days.”

  • Full recordings
  • 1

    Příbram na Moravě, 30.03.2022

    duration: 01:28:41
    media recorded in project The Stories of Our Neigbours
  • 2

    Příbram na Moravě, 05.05.2022

    duration: 03:01
    media recorded in project The Stories of Our Neigbours
Full recordings are available only for logged users.

Return to the occupied homeland or emigrate?

Jiří Hradecký at elementary school, 1950s
Jiří Hradecký at elementary school, 1950s
photo: Archiv pamětníka

Jiří Hradecky was born on March 27, 1944 in Příbram in Moravia. The father was an electrician and the mother was a housewife. He had an older and a younger brother. The whole family lived on the farm of the maternal grandfather. They had a farm, two cows and domestic animals. Jiří Hradecký’s grandfather did not live to be collectivized and the family did not want to continue farming, so they got rid of the cattle after his death. They were not affected by the confiscation of property. In the 1950s, in the first grade of elementary school, Jiří was a member of the Pionýr, but at the same time he also went to church. After completing basic schooling, he went on to apprentice at the Královopolské strojíreny as a locksmith specializing in welding. He graduated from vocational school while employed. In August 1968, he and his fiancee Lída went on holiday to Poreč in the former Yugoslavia, where they were caught up in the news of the occupation of the homeland. He participated in an impromptu protest on the local pier. They considered emigrating, but ultimately decided to return to Czechoslovakia. In 1982, the witness went to the Soviet Union for a year on business. In the years 1985–2002, he was employed at the Dukovany Nuclear Power Plant. In the period 2002–2010, he held the position of mayor of his native village of Příbram in Moravia. In 2022 he lived in Příbram in Moravia.