Jiří Langer

* 1936  

  • “Soon after the founding of the Orava Gallery, we received an inspection from the Federal Ministry of the Interior. Two gentlemen arrived who were engaged in culture. They were to check if the gallery even existed and what we were doing there. They looked through our first collections, said nothing, and left. But three weeks later, the Chief of the District Administration of the Public Security called me to Dolný Kubín and was very angry. They were ordered to secure the chapels against theft throughout the district. The statues of the saints were lost in bulk, and I pointed it out to the gentlemen. 'In Šumava we used chapels to shoot from the chapels and here are we supposed to protect them? ' the chief was replying with fury."

  • “I must say that it was not the same in Orava as here. I was startled when I came to Rožnov. That was something terrible. The chairman of the party's town committee looked like a Gestapo member wearing a leather coat. I experienced the occupation. So I associate a leather coat with fear. I saw SS men with badges in leather jacket flaps. Everyone was afraid of them. Not the SS, but the Gestapo. That was the worst thing I experienced in Rožnov. And since I was a member of the party, I had to attend meetings, which included the city's national committee. There were also two very dangerous people there and I had to survive. Later, however, the Beskydy Protected Landscape Area was established. We immediately joined them in one party organization, and after that it was something completely different.”

  • “I was working at the Orava Castle when the siren began to hoot. Fire alarm! We ran to the patio and the cleaning woman called to the fire department that there was fire. "Dlhá is on fire!" The firefighters shouted. I turned to see a huge mushroom cloud of smoke over the landscape, just like an atomic bomb. I picked up the first bike I saw and rove it to Dlhá in fear of my wife. She taught there at school. I got to the edge of the village, dropped the wheel, ran into the smoke, and looked for Jarka.”

  • Full recordings
  • 1

    Zlín, 17.10.2018

    duration: 03:14:45
  • 2

    Zlín, 22.10.2018

    duration: 02:41:21
  • 3

    Ostrava, 20.11.2018

    duration: 02:24:20
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I am convinced that every historical period has its own logical order

Jiří Langer / počátek 60. let
Jiří Langer / počátek 60. let
photo: archiv Jiřího Langra

Jiří Langer was born on April 27, 1936 in Brno. The family lived in Adamov, his father worked as a developer of Brno Zbrojovka. After Munich, the management of Zbrojovka moved to Prague, where the Langer family also went. Jiří Langer witnessed the Prague Uprising and the liberation of Prague. He has been drawing since childhood. He wanted to study graphics and illustrate books. However, he was repeatedly not admitted to the Academy. He studied history at the Faculty of Arts of Charles University. During his studies, he started hiking from South Moravia to the Orava region. He became interested in rural architecture, traditional farming and sacral arts. After graduation he moved to Orava and founded the Orava Gallery. He was fundamentally involved in the establishment of the Orava Village Museum in Zuberec. In the early 1970s he moved to Rožnov pod Radhoštěm and became one of the main creators of the Wallachian Open Air Museum. In 2011 was awarded the prestigious European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage.