He apprenticed a plumber not to have to learn hateful Russian
Zdeněk Koukal was born on May 16, 1954 in Prague. He hated Russian and refused to learn it – he almost got expelled from primary school. To get rid of the hated language, he resigned from high school education and trained as a plumber. In Prague he experienced occupation in August 1968, he was at the radio station and he also experienced gunfire at the Libeň railway station, one of his friends even died there. In the early 1970’s, during political training, he objected to the official normalization interpretation of the Soviet occupation, and since then he has carried the label of politically unreliable in the cadre materials. He took part in anti-regime demonstrations in January 1989, known as Palach Week, and in November 1989, when he enthusiastically welcomed freedom.