Jiřina Jedličková

* 1935  

  • “After the screenings they told Professor Ninger that he had to leave immediately. He was a world-class hepatologist, a liver specialist, so he thought that he was just trading places with the newly arrived boss. But this was obviously not the case. He was saved by Professor Švejda, who took him on at the oncological institute, but he wasn’t allowed to have patients, just work in the laboratory. And then the Vice Dean came to Professor Pojer to tell him that in two days he wouldn’t be allowed to come to work and that within three days he had to have his workspace cleared and that would be it. But they weren’t able to get rid of him because the church stood up for him, the Vatican, which the communists didn’t want to upset. It (totalitarianism) was a never-ending monitoring of every possible aspect of life, you know.”

  • “I actually did get into accepted into medicine, I had a report card full of the best marks, but I didn’t get permission from the healthcare service. They wrote me that I should not plan on being accepted into studying medicine. I don’t understand where, at only eighteen years old, I found the courage – back then the Ministry of Health was in Vinohrady, so I hurried over to track down Minister Plojhar. Well, you know, the naïveté of an eighteen-year-old girl – of course I couldn’t get to him. But I got to his departmental boss, which happened to be from Brno. And I told him what an injustice it was that I was active in the ROH (Revolutionary Trade Union Movement) and they won’t accept me, and this other girl, who was just in the SSM (Czechoslovak Socialist Union of Youth) and didn’t even take the tests got in and had permission and so on. He looked at me in astonishment and led me to the central personnel agent of the Ministry of Health and three days before the October registration I received my permission too.”

  • “For me, my father was the person who guided me toward a moral life. When he could, he went on a walk with me every evening and we talked together. We lived on Grohová Street and right around the corner on Údolní (Street) there was a house where Docent Peler lived, where we also went together. I played with my classmate and my father always talked together with Mr. Peler. When I found a small pistol in 1945 which he had in his nightstand, where I was strictly forbidden from going around, I realized that he was obviously passing on some messages from his brother-in-law, which was a head of the partisans at Novoměstsko. And when during the occupation a car would stop at our house in the night, my mother always ran to the window and looked out to see if it wasn’t the SS men. It was clear to me that if they happened to come to our house, that they would shoot my father, along with Mr. Löw Beer or Mr. Neumark, the honorary British consulate, because he hated physical pain and it would have definitely been like that. Thus my peace-loving Dad’s pistol.”

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    Brno, 01.04.2020

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Normalization wiped out the medical elite

Jiřina Jedličková, period photograph
Jiřina Jedličková, period photograph
photo: archiv pamětníka

Jiřina Jedličková, née Kargerová, was born on 25 July 1935 in Brno to the family of the well known attorney JUDr. Vlastislav Karger and his wife Jiřina. After 1948 the regime made her father take up manual labor for not being a party-man, and even though in time he would return to his original profession, it was in a position which received the lowest possible salary. The consequences of the bad personal review of her father were bore by the witness herself as well. Despite her excellent school marks, the regime made it impossible for her to study at lyceum and, later, would go on to also complicate her long-yearned-for path to studying medicine. In 1968, together with her husband, she considered emigrating. In the end, she stayed in Czechoslovakia and she became the unhappy witness of the effects of Normalization on the medical elite at St. Anne’s University Hospital in Brno. The witness dealt with being a subject of interest for the StB. She performed medicine until 2019.