Zdeněk Kousal

* 1960  

  • “Around five o'clock I was going back home from cleaning the houses and there were a lot of people in the square gathered around the fountain and I think Béďa Musilů was standing on the fountain. Whistling, screaming, and I said, 'And here it is.' It somehow it opened up in me, and I sensed that this was the beginning of something, just not get held back now. So we started to meet there. I took a warm coat, because it was getting cold. The candles were worn all the time, then I had a coat full of wax that it had to be washed, during which it shrunk down to a children size. Still, I think it's hanging in the cottage as a memory object.” - “On Tuesday, when you drove by, did you join?” - “Not that I drove by. I got there and immediately ran to the fountain and since then I have been there on a daily basis. But I was aware, and I heard from other people that just meeting will be not enough. At that time, a man, Dr. Pavel Svítil, began to appear, who was the most distinctive personality of the Civic Forum and here the beginnings, who went up the fountain, and wanted to establish the Civic Forum with the help of students and actors.”

  • “Of course, there was a lot of talk, and we thought the band should play there, we there will be more details. Such information took place there. Or that they have just shut down Magor, or Honza Litomiský that he was released from jail. The talks were there, but we basically did nothing anti-state. We lived for our music. They just banned the event. And those, who are a little stubborn in nature and a bit drunk, don't like cops, then there is always some shouting. I remember a girl named Ivana Svobodova, when her husband was drinking and they started pushing him into the car. So she went to defend her husband. I can still see the cop grabbing her by the beautiful blonde hair and slamming her down. Which the other friend could not bear, he ran and beat the cop as a guy would do. And he was running and running, constantly and fast, knowing that it would be real bad if they caught him. None of us told on him. Everyone denied knowing who he was. But they took revenge, three boys took it hard by a sentence in prison.”

  • “There was great caution on our part, because we didn't know what the army would do. In my opinion, there was a huge breakthrough was when the party chairman went to speak to CKD. He said that we would not let anything be dictated by children. Workers there began to shout, 'We are not children.' As they understood that it was really over. As long as they thought that it was just a couple of humourists, who had created something, students and artists, they were not afraid of us. But as they have seen that it was spreading much wider and that they cannot rely on those workers, only then they began bargaining. I don't remember it exactly day after day. I know that I was in the office by the evening, we received various leaflets, which we copied, improved and distributed. There were many tiny jobs and I was pretty overwhelmed. I was still working as a construction worker, studying and cleaning up to make money. At that time I had no time for anything else.”

  • Full recordings
  • 1

    Jihlava, 23.08.2019

    (audio)
    duration: 02:07:27
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
Full recordings are available only for logged users.

Until today I see a cop grabbing her by the hair and slamming her to the ground

Zdeněk Kousal in 2019
Zdeněk Kousal in 2019
photo: z produkce Post Bellum

Zdeněk Kousal was born on December 24, 1960 in Jihlava. He apprenticed as a toolmaker and worked in various blue-collar professions. After a crackdown by the communists against The Plastic People of the Universe, he became interested in the underground, attended concerts and various meetings in the area of independent culture. He himself has repeatedly experienced severe interventions by the National Security Corps against these actions. He became a practicing Protestant and became acquainted with dissident people in the Church. He has taken part in various initiatives to promote unjustly prosecuted people and freedom in society. He also became a member of the Civil Freedom Movement, collecting signatures under the Petition ´Enough!´ written down by Ivan Jirous. Because of these activities, he was questioned by the State Security several times. After November 17, 1989, he actively participated in the Civic Forum in Jihlava and informed the people in the Civic Forum office on current events and their demands on the communist government. After the fall of totalitarian power, he was further engaged in the Civic Forum. He graduated from a secondary school of economics, pursued his business in accounting and in 1999 became a fundraiser at the Regional Charity of Jihlava, where he still works nowadays.