Mojmír Kyselka

* 1933  

  • “I was a left-leaning person from the outset. When they abolished the Scouts, I led a special Pioneer troop, and the geographical society exists even today, seventy years later. And then it started to collapse; the first blow to my left-wing opinions was my visit to the Soviet Union when I was twenty-two, where I saw what accommodation people had there, and they didn’t live in decrepit residential houses, but I saw some kind of metal-plated structure, which the people crawled out of in the morning to go to work, and I saw one-legged war veterans begging opposite Lenin’s mausoleum, and I saw the horrendous poverty and the fatalism and apathy of the Russians.”

  • “My mum was a pretty tough lady. She had been toughened up by the governesses in her youth, by her life with my father, and by nature, and I saw her cry twice, when the execution salvos rang out from the Kounice Halls, during the shooting after the Heydrich rampage, they made it loud on purpose to frighten people. Then she cried a second time when she saw those old Germans in socks in early June 1945, when they chased them out and sent them on that death march. Where over seven hundred of them fell and never got up again. So I saw her cry then. So you can see that she didn’t care who perpetrated the injustice, she was sorry for the people.”

  • “Even our back-of-nowhere street was visited by Jerries in their green pelerines, and more importantly, I started attending school after the occupation, and my parents stuck a little pennant made out of beads into my autumn coat, a Czechoslovak pennant, some patriotic gesture I guess, and I was on my way home passing by the brewers’ houses and a young German woman saw me. And when she saw the pennant, she called to me: ‘Komm hier!’ So I came up to her and she gave a proper few slaps, threw the pennant into the gutter, and I legged it home in tears, knowing my parents were threatened by the Gestapo. Then the streets started filling with the green of German soldiers and officers, but things were quiet otherwise. There were raids on Jews, Mum experienced that, but it was really quiet otherwise.”

  • Full recordings
  • 1

    Brno, 03.10.2018

    duration: 04:55:55
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
  • 2

    Brno, 25.10.2019

    duration: 02:09:24
    media recorded in project Příběhy regionu - JMK REG ED
Full recordings are available only for logged users.

After visiting Russia I completely abandoned my left-wing ideas

authentic foto
authentic foto
photo: vlastní

Mojmír Kyselka was born on 15 June 1933 in Brno. His father was a prominent Brno architect, his mother was from humble origins. During the war the family was in danger because one distant relative, a great grandfather, was a coal merchant of Jewish descent. During World War II the family had to move out of their house due to frequent air raids and take shelter with relatives in Vysočina. Mojmír Kyselka followed in his father’s footsteps to graduate from architecture; he gained his first experience in Ostrava. In 1957 he was unexpectedly arrested by the police and placed in custody. He discovered he was suspected of distributing anonymous anti-Communists leaflets. He was threatened with ten years in prison in a show trial. The witness was expelled from the Architects’ Union. He found a new job at Mendel University, where he specialised in urbanism and garden architecture. Although a pensioner now, he continues to take an interest in his field and to lecture on architecture.