Miroslav Klepáček

* 1963  

  • "After 1989, we all thought in that enthusiasm that society would start to change and that there would finally be freedom. Little did we know that society was not changing, that all the communist bosses had privatized all the companies, that all the estébés had gathered, now we see where the directors are. In essence, mafias have been formed that are not politically but economically and powerfully trying to get into all positions and rule the state. Today we see where it leads. I think it's quite significant that we naively thought that the people longed for freedom. Of course, the people longed for freedom, but most of all they longed for material possessions because they saw that there was nothing here at all and everything was outside. The transition to capitalist society was with all its worst ailments. What is good in the West, volunteering, libraries, free museums, did not get here. But the biggest fraudsters and criminals got here, who suddenly got a huge space. "

  • "There was a cordon of police and now they were pushing us away. They always said about the demonstrations on TV: 'These are the bastards, the criminals.' So I went to the demonstration in a suit. I told Přemysl Rut: 'We should all come in a suit to show that it is a dignified and representative opposition.' He says, 'That would be very interesting.' I found myself against a cordon of police, I had a camera in my bag, and I thought that now we would be beaten and poured here. I say, 'Not like this.' I stepped against the cordon like this with that bag, in a suit, and I said, 'Gentlemen, will you excuse me?' And I walked behind their backs. I had no choice. I didn't want to be beaten or smashed or picked up because I had something filmed there. Suddenly I began to pretend to be a tourist. It was a little cowardly, but I took advantage of the moment of surprise. "

  • "Thanks to the Protestants, I met Milan Badal, who was later the Dominican and Secretary of Dominik Duka. He introduced me to the Brno environment because he worked in the state scientific library. I was interested in books and we started talking about what can be read, what cannot be read, what is available. As a bookbinding expert, I also tried printing - I said, 'If we can't read books freely, we'll start publishing freely.' It started in 1983 when I wasn't even twenty. I began to work systematically, to bind their library of the Dominicans. Milan secretly joined the order. It was more and more that we were meeting different people who were doing something. Whether we learned about Augustin Navrátil or through Milan Badal, I met Professor Stanislav Krátký, who was a secretly ordained bishop. At that time he was in Hrádek near Znojmo and all possible people went to see him, from Jiří Grygar to František Halas, who was later the ambassador to the Vatican. The personalities we met were already completely refined and unique. It was binding and formative for us to do something on our own. "

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    Brno, 25.02.2020

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When we can’t read books freely, we start publishing them freely

Miroslav Klepáček was born on December 27, 1963 in Nové Město na Moravě. He spent his childhood in nearby Křižánky in the heart of the Vysočina region. His parents passed on their evangelical faith to him from childhood, and in Christian communities, he met several people who opposed the totalitarian government of the communists. After primary school, he went to Brno, where he trained as a bookbinder in Drutěva, Brno. He met the secret Dominican Milan Badal, with whom he shared a passion for literature. Together they founded and secretly published Sursum, a samizdat journal for theology, philosophy and literature. Miroslav found a job in the Rudé práva printing house in Brno and later in the national company Tisk, while he also used both of these workplaces for his samizdat activities. He met many interesting people from the field of the hidden church, dissent, culture and science. He wanted to make similar meetings possible for other people, so he organized secret housing seminars at home, at which these personalities lectured. At the end of the 1980s, he took part in demonstrations in Prague and himself experienced severe interventions by the armed forces. After a brutal crackdown on demonstrators on Národní třída, he joined the demonstrations that called for an end to the Communist Party’s totalitarian rule and the establishment of a free democratic society. In the revolutionary months, he became the editor of the People’s Democracy to support the free dissemination of information. In 1991, he founded the Sursum publishing house, in which he has published 440 books to date.