Gabriel Janoušek

* 1940

  • "It sounds silly, but I was ashamed of it then, because everyone said to me, 'Your parents are locked up!' And at the age of ten, I felt I had to be ashamed of it. Because of shutting someone down, I imagined he was a thief, a murderer, a robber or whatever. But unfortunately, the parents took a completely different side. And I came... only after graduating from the Pilsen school, when there was an educator named Heim, I remember that to this day, who made me aware of it every day. 'You are the son of criminals!' So there I realized that it was not true at all that my parents were fighting for something that was worth it."

  • "I still had high ambitions. To express my defiance at least in some way, I wanted to be the best at something. I did all kinds of sports, from skiing to canoeing. In canoeing, specifically in water slalom, I got into the national team, with which I won several world championships, including the Olympics in Munich. It was such a satisfaction of mine that I was able to do it, even though I was trampled into the dirt, so that I was not able to move on."

  • Full recordings
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    Praha 2, 12.12.2019

    (audio)
    duration: 40:19
    media recorded in project The Stories of Our Neigbours
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Don’t get humiliated

Going down the river in 1972
Going down the river in 1972
photo: archiv pamětníka

Curriculum vitae Gabriel Janoušek was born on November 29, 1940 in Turnov. His father Gabriel Janoušek Sr. spent much of the war as a prisoner of a Nazi concentration camp. After February 1948, his father did not accept the established communist regime, in 1952 he planned to emigrate. He was arrested again and convicted of trying to cross the state border. He was released in the early 1960s. The witness’s mother Božena also spent five years in prison. After the arrest of their parents, the witness and the older sister were left alone at home, and in the end, they ended up staying separately with their Prague relatives. He graduated from the electrical engineering school in Pilsen and joined a factory in Prague, graduating from high school in the evening for eleven years for workers. After completing compulsory military service, despite the poor staff profile, the authorities allowed him to study at CTU. He was professionally involved in canoeing, in 1965 together with Ludmila Sirotková they won a gold medal at the World Championships in Spittal, Austria. He competed with Milan Horyna at the Olympics in Munich in 1972. After graduating, he joined the Faculty of Civil Engineering of the Czech Technical University at the Department of Hydraulics and Hydrology. After the Velvet Revolution, he taught at CTU and retired in 2011.