Mgr. Hana Jüptnerová
* 1952 †︎ 2019
“My first elections were some time at the beginning of the 1970s. At that time I lived with the family of my first love (boyfriend). Looking back from now, the whole episode was rather funny, but at the time it was no fun for me at all. I had prepared some blotting paper and walked across the room up to the screen (voting booth) that was miles away from the ballot box and the voting committee and nobody went there anyway, I mean behind the screen, naturally. So, I summoned up my courage and used the screen to insert the blotting paper into the envelope and throw it inside the box. My knees were shaking, of course. My boyfriend´s father was on the voting committee or counting committee, I have no idea, but he had a function there. Later, we were having lunch and he said imagine what happened to us today. Somebody put some blotting paper into the envelope. I was surprised that he didn´t ask me why I was so red. So, these were my first elections. I didn´t go to any others.“
“Once, when it was the election time, the weather was lovely, so I took a buggy and went to the pond or wherever with my boys. Suddenly a Trabant car appeared in front of me. It made a turn and I was thinking this was a one-way-street, it shouldn´t turn. A man I knew got out of the car. He was a Party member and took part in the election. He asked me: How come I hadn´t gone to vote and if I had any reason not to go and if this society didn´t treat me well? Well, I was sort of unprepared and could only jabber on that not to go was my right. He only swang his car chain and said well, well. Something in the sense that they would know how to manage people like me. Or something to this extent. It was not pleasant. The next election time they came to ring the doorbell with a ballot box and later in the next election time nobody came anymore. So, every so often, once it was this kind of adventure, sometimes a kind of interrogation. I think it was not even six weeks after the birth of my first child, we still lived in the old flat. Suddenly someone rang the doorbell and there were two man at the door saying: - We are from Brno. - They looked really friendly and I thought – Well, they must be friends of my friends. - Well, come in as you are from Brno. – They sat down at the table in the kitchen, brought out a typing machine and some documentation. Well, they were secret policemen. They kept questioning me and pressing me into talking. Naturally, they wanted to get at Luboš and now I feel seized with terror to think how stupid I was then, how I didn´t know what was what in the code of law. They kept searching about the loft and meddled in my boxes. All this without a house search warrant. It makes one´s hair stand on end what they were allowed to do. They stayed sitting in the kitchen while I went next door to breast feed my son. And then later on when it was completely silent at night I had a feeling that I can hear a clicking sound. They must have left a bug somewhere here. One was really going crazy.“
“Then a few months later they took my passport and in such a disgusting way. They came to my place. I was working in the pastry works. As I was washing the dishes, I was dressed in some really filthy working clothes, greasy from the creams. They put me into their car in these clothes, took me home and I had to bring them my passport. They produced a kind of document against which no appeal could be made. And this was really the worst for me to bear. That from now on I can´t get out, that I can´t cross the border and the way it was done was so humiliating. Of course, I was complaining to the Prague dissidents, a large group of them had arrived in connection with the funeral of Pavel Wonka. They were sitting in my place, smoking. Never had my flat been so full of smoke as then. I complained to them that I no longer had a passport. But they were only rolling about with laughter saying: - Do you think that anyone of us has got a passport? – I realized then and there how such a community can give you strength. And the story of my passport had an end, too. After the Revolution, naturally, I was waiting upon what would happen to my passport. The winter was over, the spring came and still no passport. Then a kind of card came summoning me to get to the office, without any information as to the reason. I said to myself: Well, this is about the passport. They want to give it back to me. Or maybe it was written there, I don´t know now. Everything got stuck in me. I was saying to myself: Should it really be me who should go there to pick the passport? In the end I sat down and wrote to them: I ask you kindly to return the passport in the same condition it was taken from me. No reaction. The summer was coming and I was saying to myself: Damn it, I still don´t have my passport. Again we´ll not be able to travel. In Germany I knew lots of people and had lots of friends, I used to go there every holidays. In the end, they did bring the passport, all the way up to my door. This was where they handed it over to me.“
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To do hard things it is what makes one happy
Hana Jüptnerová was born as Hana Špičková on 31st January 1952 in Trutnov. At the age of 18 she tragically lost all the family. She studied Czech and German at the Philosophical Faculty, Brno. She kept close contacts with her East German friends for years. Since the 1970s, she showed a lot of courage towards the regime, she refused to vote. Despite her difficult personal situation, she signed Charta in 1979. As a single mother, she was allowed to continue teaching at the Gymnasium. She got involved e.g. she delivered a funeral speech for Pavel Wonka, the dissident. She had to leave the Gymnasium then. Until the Revolution, she had to work manually. Apart from her two sons, she brought up three Roma girls in foster care.Jüptnerová