Petr Kadaník

* 1943  

  • “My father certainly wasn’t what you’d call an ardent Communist. My father really was [in the Party - trans.] for these pragmatic reasons, which I had to acknowledge. And I can say, something of a life experience... They say that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, but I’d say that examples lead. But examples also lead in the negative sense of the word, when you have an example in a person you respect who had to - I’ll use the word - betray his beliefs just to sacrifice himself for his children, then I reckon that that’s a kind of example, or anti-example, that leads in such a way that from that time whenever someone told me... or when the topic was the Communist Party, I had a very clear and unambiguous opinion, which I’d never change.”

  • “If you want the car to have a natural feel to the driving, you have to set the suspension to match this frequency. That’s no problem because it’s an ordinary equation, spring resistance and weight, and that gives you the frequency, which is a constant. So that’s no problem, that can be done, although you do have to count with the fact that if you want a racing car and you need it to be low down, you can’t have long springs because you’d touch the ground, so you have to adapt it in those cases. That’s why I say that, for instance, the Renault is a good car for life, that it’s made to do what it needs to. So that’s one thing, and the other is the damping; it’s hard to measure, but you can feel it in the car when you’re driving. In some cars when you go over a bump, it jumps with you like this and then this. But if you were in a Citroën, for instance, a DS 19 - we had one in the test shop as well - you don’t feel anything, the car stays like this. And that’s hydropneumatic suspension.”

  • “We were tasked with persuading the members of the city national committee [city council - trans.] to resign from their functions. And that would then further mean that when they resign, the law allows the seats to be filled using what is called co-option, and we could simply propose the people we want to have there. That’s a so-called co-opted body. Well, and there I’d say, there’s where the decisions were made. It wasn’t out in the streets, it was there, it was calm like this, but I’d see that as more tense, because one after the other we spoke to those impassive faces, so much so that they seemed like poker faces, so to say. Just completely lethargic, utterly. And they made no move when we told them that the situation is such and such, that it was necessary to solve it somehow, and so on - it was like throwing gravel at a wall. Well, and there was this tension there for about an hour, we all tried to outdo ourselves, we who sat up there on the stage. Until suddenly - I guess the people in the plenum felt it get awkward, or just too long or boring - and one hand was raised, another hand over there, and another, and suddenly there was a whole sea of hands raised up, so this body practically dissolved itself.”

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    Praha, 29.03.2017

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    Praha, 05.04.2017

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At least I’ll be my own master, and doubt anyone would take my spade

Petr Kadaník
Petr Kadaník
photo: Sbírka pamětníka, Archiv Post Bellum

Petr Kadaník was born on 19 September 1943 in Náchod. He attended grammar school in Trutnov and Liberec and later graduated from the University of Textile and Mechanics in Liberec (now Liberec Technical University). Already as a child he took an eager interest in gliders and automobiles. After graduation he found a job at the Mladá Boleslav branch of Škoda in 1968; after some time he was transferred to the R&D department. In August 1968 he protested against the invasion of Czechoslovakia by Warsaw Pact forces, for which he was later forced to quit his job at Škoda. He worked the next sixteen years as a driver and a coalman at the Mladá Boleslav Coal Depot. He joined the Czechoslovak Socialist Party and made his way up into its central committee. In November 1989 he was one of the founding members of the Civic Forum in Mladá Boleslav, he participated in negotiations regarding the surrender of power and the departure of the Soviet soldiers garrisoned in the city. He also served as the vice chairman of the city committee, as a member of the privatisation committee, as the deputy mayor of Mladá Boleslav, and as a board member of the Mladá Boleslav Transport Company.