Lenka Kocourová

* 1950  

  • “We went to church all our lives, especially when the Bolsheviks didn't like it. Then I was married and I went to the church because there were two stoves and it was necessary to heat it up. I used to go to the church to at six in the morning. I was already married, my husband did not quite approve. But I have never come to terms with finding people who did not go there during the rule of the Bolshevik, they started going after the revolution. And they feel like real champions. And I can't go in there right now. I don't go there now. I didn't forgive them. It is my problem because one has to forgive. But when it was important, everyone who went there with the children, got on edge with the Bolsheviks. That God has existed since November 17, 1989? I don't understand that. And I don't feel good next to the people who didn't have the courage. Either I have the faith or I don't. Now there were people who used to be the pioneering leaders. I have to process this somehow.”

  • “They gathered us at work that we must condemn it, meaning the Charter. Once at noon: 'Don't go to lunch, there will be a meeting.' We didn't even know what. They wanted us to condemn the Charter. And I remember the architect Špaček saying: 'You want us to condemn something, but we don't know what. Well, read it to us! What is the Charter?' It wasn't said, people were not informed. But I already had the Charter from Zorka, so I know I secretly gave it to my colleagues to read; there was nothing wrong with what you couldn't sign. But as I heard what was happening, I had no courage at all. I'm going to say I'm a complete coward. I knew what they did to people ... Dana Němcová, how she got locked up. Children took care of themselves at home. I heard that kind of news.”

  • “When there was the currency in 1953 and food tickets were given, we, as tradesmen, had none at all, just the grandmother´s. We were two children and the whole family and we were very grateful - I am an evangelical and there is an evangelical church in Dobříš, so those people have supported us a lot. They knew we didn’t have any. And I remember that we went to the forest for mushrooms, blueberries, raspberries. I still can't eat mushrooms, because in my childhood I have eaten so many! And we had a garden, we had enough fruit, we had hens and rabbits. But the idea that I was not yet three years old, my brother was about five, and about three months we were not entitled, they gave us nothing. That way they were pushing dad to join the national enterprise and cease his to be the sole trader. They just wanted us to starve, to say it simply.”

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    Praha, 18.09.2019

    (audio)
    duration: 01:28:48
    media recorded in project Stories of the 20th Century TV
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God has only existed since November 1989? That I do not understand!

Lenka Kocourová with her family in 1985. Lenka quite right, Lenka´s mum quite left, second right her cousin, Zora Rysová.
Lenka Kocourová with her family in 1985. Lenka quite right, Lenka´s mum quite left, second right her cousin, Zora Rysová.
photo: archiv pamětnice

Lenka Kocourová was born as Lenka Potočková on 17 May 1950 in Dobříš in the family of a tradesman, a watchmaker Jan Potoček. The family was an active member of the Dobříš Evangelical congregation. She graduated from the Dobříš Secondary School of General Education (SVVŠ) and in 1968 she started to study at the Faculty of Civil Engineering of the Czech Technical University. Here she also spent the turbulent months following the occupation of Czechoslovakia in August 1968. In April of the following year, she witnessed riots on Wenceslas Square related to the hockey victory over the USSR. In 1969 she visited Great Britain but did not consider emigration. In 1972, her daughter Anna was born, so she did not finish school until 1976. She remained an active member of the Evangelical Church even as an adult. She was in contact with the signatories of Charter 77, such as her cousin Zora Rysová and a priest, Svatopluk Karásek. She worked at the construction office in Prague 5 and in glove factories in Dobříš; since 1986 she taught mathematics and physics at Dobříš elementary school. After November 1989 she was elected to the Dobříš municipal council. In 2001 she got back to working at the construction office.