Zdeněk Jelínek

* 1957  

  • “A communist will always be a communist, even if it rains cats and dogs. They simply have it in their blood and their soul. And the mentality… the opportunism, they have that in their mentality. And those who joined the party after 1968 never meant it. The only thing they thought about were the benefits it brought them.”

  • “About a year before the revolution the Movement for Civic Freedom was created. I helped organize events so the people could meet up. We knew the State Security was after us so I would drive around with my car to invite people, without paper invitations or phone calls – because of wiretaps. So I took their addresses and drove to the signatories all around the northern Bohemia region. But they still found out. So there was a State Security agent acting as a mole among the people. The meeting point was in Úštěk and the police was already waiting for us at the train station with vans.”

  • “In the morning, when I woke up, I saw a police car in front of the panel building. I thought to myself – that's obvious, they're waiting for me. So I told my wife to tell them I wasn't home when she left for work. I knew they outsmarted me. I couldn't escape from either side because one car was standing in front of the main entrance and one in front of the back entrance. My wife left for work, meanwhile they quickly got a home search warrant somehow. And suddenly – keys in the keyhole, and cops. I was sitting in my armchair and smoking a cigarette. So this State Security stormed in. “Get up, man!” I told him: “What the heck are you doing here? You're on a private property, this is my private apartment, what do you think you're doing here?” “Shut up!” And he slapped me so hard my cigarette flew out of my mouth. They threw me on the kitchen counter, cuffed me, tied me up, and there I was being driven away.”

  • Full recordings
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    Holany, 28.03.2017

    duration: 01:29:11
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
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The situation leads to solidarity

jelinek_dobové2.jpg (historic)
Zdeněk Jelínek
photo: dobové foto archiv Z. Jelínka / současné foto Jakub Zvoníček

Zdeněk Jelínek was born on the 19th of October 1957 in Česká Lípa. He joined the Junák organization in 1968 and with his unit he helped build a log cabin village near Hejnice which was consequently taken over by the Socialist Union of Youth. This was the start of his hatred for organizing and his need for freedom. He did not want to join the military – he went to a psychiatric institution several times and received his blue book, exempting him from being drafted, after 3 years. From late 1970s he organized illegal culture events in the Česká Lípa area. He published the samizdat magazine Šuplík and helped František “Čuňas” Stárek distribute illegal printed media. He signed Charter 77 in 1980. From 1981 to 1988 he organized unofficial art exhibitions in the Peklo natural reserve. In 1988 he became a signatory of Hnutí za občanskou svobodu (Movement for Civic Freedom) and organized meetings of its members in the northern Bohemia region. During the revolution he co-founded the Česká Lípa local Civic Forum and the Civic Democratic Party after the revolution. He was active in politics for two years but left due to disagreements over the opposition agreement (as he said, everyone was stealing, that’s no opposition). Today he owns a pub in Holany and organizes unofficial art exhibitions.