Petr Klimeš

* 1967  

  • "Basically, the more remote the cottage or hut was, the more likely it was somehow revealed or betrayed. As is customary in Czechia, it was mostly at the behest of some good citizens, that there was a suspicious group of people who not only play football, but also go to church on Sunday or sing a religious song there. It was in a more secretive mode, there are several books about it, one is called Cottages (Chaloupky). “Secretive” is too strong of a word, it was done more to not provoke or spread the word. Which means that when we went from that cottage on Sunday to a mass at the village, it was in groups of three people, so that a group of thirty would not come in. Or only two people went shopping at a time. For us, of course, it was defiance, because at the start we were instructed that if any of us [were] detained — there were already attempts to bring someone out of the cottage for questioning — that we were minors, we could only speak with our parents present, we should not talk about who was organizing it, and so on. "

  • "The atmosphere was unreal more or less all over Prague. A classical liturgy was going on. What was absolutely great, was that everyone was waiting for cardinal Tomášek, who in that week, I remember that on Wednesday, was ridiculed by comrade Štěpán, who invited him to a meeting to calm the situation in Prague. They basically edited it all out, and he acted ridiculously there, like an old man. He was already very old and very sick, and in fact the whole nation, the whole cathedral was waiting for some statement. He took the floor at the end of the classical liturgical mass and declared that the Catholic Church and he personally were on the side of the nation. It was such a strong sentence for everyone there. Then I don't know how many, but certainly the vast majority of those people moved to Letná, where the largest demonstration in the history of Czechoslovakia took place that Saturday. "

  • "We toured various factories in that group and the Civic Forums were established there. In some places it went well, but for example at the meat processing plant, not at all. There we more or less had to come to the dining room during lunch, we didn't get any space there. There were also strong People's Militia, so it wasn't that simple, the establishment of the Civic Forum took place the way that we had a tribune in the Tyl Theater, a meeting of citizens, because who is the Civic Forum? So many people came! Someone ran sound, someone played guitar, someone helped put up posters or paint them by hand, there were no printers, there was nothing. The poster had to be painted with watercolors. So it was really hectic, unprepared, but it was nice So we said then that the Civic Forum is the group of people who managed to get on that stage in that theater and sign up for it and introduce themselves and say, 'I'm a spokesman for the Civic Forum here.' "

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    Polička, 02.10.2020

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    duration: 01:41:16
    media recorded in project Příběhy regionu - HRK REG ED
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As a corporal in reserve, he commanded the deportation of Soviet troops

Petr Klimeš in 2020
Petr Klimeš in 2020
photo: Fotografie z natáčení

Petr Klimeš was born on September 25, 1967 into the family of Pavel and Marie Klimeš. Over the years, four more siblings were born. From an early age, he was brought up in the Christian spirit and the family joined the Salesian movement. From the age of ten, the witness also went to Salesian camps called cottages. These often took place under the supervision of the State Security (StB), and therefore the organizers tried to keep them secret. Petr Klimeš also had problems at school due to his grandfather and family affiliation with the Salesians. He could not study in his region, so after finishing primary school he went to Brno, where he graduated from an industrial high school. After graduating, he enlisted in the army for air defense and, as part of his training with the unit, completed military exercises in was was then the Soviet Union, on the border of today’s Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. After the war, he joined the design office in Polička, where he also experienced the events of 1989. Starting in January that year, he regularly traveled to Prague for anti-regime demonstrations. He took part in Palach’s Week or the manifestation on May 1, 1989. The greatest milestone of the revolutionary year for him as a believer was the canonization of Agnes of Bohemia. Petr Klimeš also came to Prague for a celebratory mass, which took place on November 25, 1989, and after that he continued to the largest demonstration, which took place on Letná. After returning to his native Polička the next day, he informed the citizens about the events in Prague as a speaker, and that evening he also became one of the founding members of the local Civic Forum. As part of the co-optations, he took a seat in the Polička council, and in 1990 he became a member of a parliamentary commission whose task was to coordinate the removal of Soviet troops from Květná near Polička. In the 1990s, he started a business and opened a sausage shop. Over time, his business expanded to other cities. In 2020, he was still in business and lived with his girlfriend in Polička.