PhDr. Hana Junová, roz. Smržová

* 1937  

  • “It was the same when my husband was being fired. We didn’t know whether he would go to prison of would just be fired from his job. There were no clear rules as in this happens for that. Like if you’re a psychoanalyst, count on going to jail for a year. If you found KAN (the Club of Committed Non-Party Members), you get five years in jail. You just didn’t know that, and it made this… atmosphere that really governed the life here. Or how people felt and how scared they were. Not knowing what to expect and what not to expect.”

  • “Dubček had this paradoxical… He was kind of a sissy… I just think that the Dubčeks had swapped their roles: she was this energetic woman who could really be tough and sharp whereas he was more of an effeminate type, I’d say. So, he organized a volleyball match where we played against the cops for example. Experts against the cops. And he played with us. These kinds of things happened there. Or when a new cop arrived and his family was not there yet, Mrs. Dubčeková would invite him for lunch.”

  • “We would have a morning exercise and then occupational therapy. It was in the Lobeč castle, which had been partially a state castle, so we shared the courtyard with cows and horse dungs and with macaroni with tomato sauce and all that – the people from the collective farm cooked for us. And so, we would go to occupational therapy. And it wasn’t a game, we really worked there. Every time I went with them, I was glad to bring them back in good health. Because we used to go to the woods to cut branches for example. So I was worried sick about someone cutting himself because we didn’t have any doctors there. There was no doctor in Lobeč and none in the village either because he had always either had a broken car or was somewhere else with the car. It was simply illusory to think we could get help. Two social workers were there and some help from Prague, a psychologist or someone else from Prague. And that was it, that was all the crew for those thirty people. And we didn’t heat because there was no central heating system. We used heater and the patients – there were three in one room – used the heaters. There was one shared bathroom downstairs, it was huge – like a shower room.”

  • “We had quite a broad range – we had physics and then other subjects at the Psychiatric Clinic, where Dr. Wolf had taught, and he told us something about Freud. Not much though but at least he dared to say something. So we had some minor knowledge about it but really just minor. According to the Solnikovs it was a bourgeois pseudoscience. That was the official term for psychoanalysis, the dictionary term, ‘bourgeois pseudoscience’.“

  • “Grandma prayed but she never forced it on anyone else. She had a really nice prayer book that I liked a lot. It had one column in Hebrew and another one in Czech right next to it. I used to read in it, but I didn’t know any Hebrew of course. I read it in Czech and it was very nice. It even got so worn down that leaves started falling out and I had carried one of those leaves until… a couple years ago when my wallet was stolen and so I lost it. I had a little clipping from my grandma’s prayer book. Because I liked it so much! But I even had Catholic friends who would throw small roses and bring these awfully kitschy holy picture on the Feast of Corpus Christi – and I liked that so much too. And my parents just put up with it. They didn’t say: ‘Yuck, get rid of it!’ or something like that. I just had it at home, legally, and my grandma used to pray every Friday but she didn’t get me involved in it. It was simply very moderate.”

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    Praha, 12.08.2019

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    media recorded in project Stories of the 20th Century TV
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    Praha, 30.09.2019

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    media recorded in project Stories of the 20th Century TV
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    Praha, 11.02.2020

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    media recorded in project Stories of the 20th Century TV
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For communists, psychoanalysis was a “bourgeois pseudoscience”

PhD graduation ceremony, 1968
PhD graduation ceremony, 1968
photo: archiv pamětnice

Hana Junová was born July 11, 1937 into a family of film-maker Karel Smrž and child psychologist Anna, née Vohryzková, who was of Jewish origin. The mixed marriage protected the family from being deported to a concentration camp during the war; father’s work in Barrandov studios might have also played its role in it. The Nazi racial persecutions however did affect her mother’s relatives considerably. Hana studied psychology and completed a secret psychoanalytic training. From 1961 she worked at a secluded department of the VFN Psychiatric Clinic in Lobeč where group stays for neurotics took place as well as trainings for psychotherapists. The forbidden psychoanalysis was cultivated there, apart from other methods like psychogymnastics or psychodrama. From 1965 he attended a group therapy training in Lindau, West Germany, and the experience from there inspired the birth of a similar training in Czechoslovakia. In 1969 she went to Ankara with her family for a year – she befriended Alexandr Dubček there who had been moved aside to Turkey as an ambassador after the fall of the Prague Spring. During the Normalization period she worked in the Horní Palata daily sanatorium where she further developed methods similar to those in Lobeč. In 1989 the Independent Intelligentsia Circle, a community of academics critical of the regime that played a significant role during the Velvet Revolution, used to meet in her home.