PhDr. Eva Jůzová

* 1943  

  • “I arrived there when there were émigrés from Prague and co. And people were escaping and coming there and they were Communists, and Jews who were afraid that it’s here again, and so on. I met Viola Fischerová after many years, she was a poet who married Pavel Buksa and they went to Basel, and Jiří Pištora went with them. They had one seat in their car. They tried to persuade me to join them. They knew, and it indeed happened, that in 1970’s, I had to leave the university. And they told me to think about it and then they called from Basel, I had sent Pavel’s suitcase to their Basel address there, he had his books in it, that had been published in Czechoslovakia. Well, at the end, I decided that no, nope. They had their own flat, Pavel had a job in theatre and I had elderly parents and my mother would be devastated.”

  • "From the sixth grade on, my class teacher was a devoted Communist, but her family had their own little businesses. I think that in a way, she was fair. She told me that she had helped me because I told the truth. In the history class, I said that Prague was liberated by General Vlasov’s army, it was a major blunder [the official history claimed that the whole Czechoslovakia was liberated by the Red Army]. Then we came back after the summer holidays and she asked where we went for the holidays. The children said that they were in Pionýr [Communist-led youth club] summer camps and I said I was in Sek. She did a bit of act and asked: in Seč? In that international Pionýr summer camp? Children, look at the star we have here.’ And I stood up and said that no, it is Union of Evangelical Courses [SEK = Sdružení evangelických kurzů]. The kids laughed and she looked at me sternly and asked whether we had prayed there. I said, pretty insolently: ‘So what…?’ Parents had to come to school. And it went on like this. I should go straight to work after finishing the eighth grade. And this teacher went to that secretary who was in charge of schools and she told him that I am the best pupil in the whole school, I also recited, sang in the choir, played the piano at all the performances for factory workers and wherever we went. And when the news spread that Rehova is not allowed to go to a high school, those workers grumbled: ‘What’s your problem with them, when there’re those shows and performances, she plays, sings, recites Neruda…’ And that’s the way I got to high school.”

  • "Our dads knew each other and they shared their stories. The Kryl family lived across the street to the side… we lived behind an abandoned plot where our garden was and across the crossing, there was a house where the Kryl family lived. Then they moved them to the Captain Jaroš Street where they had their printing shop. And they destroyed it in front of the whole family. The whole printing shop, the presses. It was a rare printing shop with priceless types. It was so cruel and moronic… allegedly it‘s what the People’s Militia did. I have to check it yet but I think that it was the People’s Militia and they just smashed it, with pickaxes, the presses. Karel Kryl witnessed this and he couldn’t forgive the Communists. He was a year younger than I was.”

  • “Dad cleaned up in the shop and they started arriving straight away to get their watches repaired. They had this many of them, up their elbows. But everyone was happy. I had my own Russian babysitter, a young Russian soldier who would take me out for strolls in a pram so that mom could be helping dad because everyone wanted to have their wristwatches fixed, they wanted to get them back soon and parents did what they could. And every soldier sat at dad’s table and waited until his wristwatch is repaired, then he would put it on and another one came and one more and one more… and parents were going mad. They were tired. Dad came up with an idea, he would put the repaired watch in the shop window with a name tag so that they would know that they can pick it. They did it but the next day, the window was broken and the watch was stolen. But they came, shouted ‘gimme my watch’ waving submachine guns. We had a stroke of luck, there was a Russian officer riding a horse, coming from Veltrusy. He was young and intelligent and when he saw it, everyone had to stand in attention, everything had to be written down, the shop window got fixed and the watches were shown but there was a guard. But dad said that it was tough, that they were really lucky.”

  • “I remember, and it was not only once. I arrived at Hostěradice, the housekeeper at the parsonage opened the door, I told her that I need to go to the church. She invited me in but she was somewhat upset. We sat down with a cup of coffee and she told me how the pastor was arrested and that he’s all alone here, that they made a box, he didn’t know anything about it but they set it up to make it look as if he knew it, and they put it in a pew in the church. Then the State Security came and found it. They took him away and she had no clue where he was and what was going on. So we were sitting at the parsonage… and this happened in several variants to me, that we actually trusted each other.”

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    Praha, 17.05.2019

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I never forgot the burial of capitalism

Portrait of Eva Jůzová
Portrait of Eva Jůzová
photo: pamětnice

Eva Jůzová, née Řehová, was born on the 8th of November in 1943 in Prague; she lived with her parents and her siblings Marie and Karel Řeha in Kralupy nad Vltavou. Her father was a watchmaker, his mother helped him around the shop, they were both practicing Protestants. After the end of WWII, they moved to Kroměříž where her father took over the shop of his master clockmaker Antonín Minář. In 1952, the Communists seized Karel Řeha‘s workshop and for the rest of his life, he worked as a repairman of fine machinery in a factory in Chropyně. Eva was talented in arts but as a daughter of a former business owner and a practicing Protestant, she couldn’t go neither to a high school nor pursue any further studies. She had excellent grades so after some pleading, she was allowed to enrol to a high school and in 1961, she got to the Faculty of Arts of the Jan Evangelista Purkyně University in Brno [Note: Nowadays, it’s the Masaryk University; university in Ústí nad Labem now bears the name of Jan Evangelista Purkyně] to study art history. She graduated in 1966. She got a job in the National Heritage Institute in Plzeň, a year later, she got a job at the department of art history at the Arts Faculty where she was preparing for her doctoral exams under the supervision of [the philosopher] Jan Patočka. When she was still a student, she published articles in the magazines Host do domu [Guest to the House, a renowned literary magazine] and Věda a Život [Life and Sciences] where she remained until its demise in early 11970’s. In the autumn of 1968, she was for a study stay in Vienna and her friends tried to persuade her to emigrate. She did not want to leave her aging parents so she returned to Czechoslovakia. In 1970, she had to leave the university for political reasons. She started working in the National Heritage Institute in Prague as an art historian and in 1975, she became a specialised editor in the Artia publishing house. She collaborated with the Charter 77, distributed their texts, attended private lectures at the Havel’s house and at others. In 1979, she married Michal Jůza, in 1986, Mrs. and Mr. Jůza got a permit to work on their own and they started to make and sell stoneware. After the 1989 revolution, they started a publishing house as well. They closed down both the publishing house and the stoneware shop in 2018. They raised two adopted children.