“One day we went with my colleagues from the psychiatric hospital in Horní Beřkovice where I worked at that time to visit Sváta Karásek at the castle Houska where he worked as a castellan at that time. When we arrived there we noticed that policemen were there. They came for Sváťa and then they sentenced him and he was in prison for three or four years. We tried to ride away because they obviously noticed quickly that somebody was there. We were driving fast through pine forests and eventually we shook them off. Then we realized that they perhaps would be waiting for us in front of the psychiatric hospital, and so we left the car in the cemetery and we got back to the hospital through a hole in the fence. Well, and so we won, and they did not catch us.”
“In the 1980s I worked in the psychiatric ward in the present-day General University Hospital and every boiler-room that was there was associated with the name of some important person. There was Petr Pithart who was in charge of one boiler-room, and Petr Fidelius, a linguist, worked in another boiler-room, and outside there was the cardinal Miroslav Vlk, who was cleaning the window panes and Alfred Kocáb, the father of Michael Kocáb, also worked in one of the boiler rooms. So it was quite lively there.”
“So called “kecandas,” chat-sessions, consisted of various literary and philosophic seminars held at private homes, and it was nicknamed a household university. We were often meeting in the house that once belonged to the Čapek brothers in the Vinohrady neighbourhood where the painter Brázda with his wife lived. We were meeting in their place often. Literary seminars were frequently held in the boiler-rooms of the General University Hospital as well. So the atmosphere there was quite inspiring.”
People’s gathering was out of question, and so we gathered secretly
Kamil Kalina was born on July 5, 1945 in Prague. He grew up in the Dejvice neighbourhood in Prague and he considered the study of art history. Eventually, after reading a book by Sigmund Freud, he decided for the study of psychology, which he studied at the Faculty of Arts of Charles University in Prague. Apart from that he also graduated from medicine at the First Faculty of Medicine of Charles University and he became a psychiatrist. He focuses especially on helping the drug-addicted and in 2005 he was one of those who established addictology as a field of study. In the 1970s and 1980s he was going to banned concerts of the music band The Plastic People of the Universe and he maintained regular contacts with people of the Czech underground movement: Svatopluk Karásek, Jiří Němec or Václav Havel. After the Velvet Revolution he became a deputy to the Chamber of Nations in the Federal Assembly and later he worked as a deputy to the minister of health. At present he is active as a psychiatrist, psychotherapist and also as a lecturer at the First Faculty of Medicine at Charles University.