Zuzana Lejsková

* 1954  

  • "A girl, Veronika, she was just normally deployed like a bedbug. I came upon it totally by accident, when I went to the E, that was a building, and there was a medic at the bottom. I went to him there because of something, but not alone, something had to escort me there. And so here there was that Veronika and even with her girl friend Andy, and I said: 'I can't look at this anymore, everything makes me angry.' And she thought, that I meant it the same she does, she thought, that I was also there because of that [deployed]. And she snitched on one good guard who worked at clothes dispensing, and they later threw him out. Not from prison, but without that dispensing, that he couldn't be there anymore, only to meet there with an inmate. He gave girls cigarettes and so on. He was nice. I later told the girls that. One of them gave punched out her eye, but like, I mean that she had an eye prosthesis, not that she blew out a normal eye. It was Věra Gibová. And so they reassigned us all, I went from the laundry house to accommodations, but then my friend Mirka worked part time at that laundry house and one girl beat her up for me, some Livie Anjajová. She beat up that Veronika and they then had to put her in the hole, because the whole camp wanted to beat her up, and so she couldn't even go to the mess hall, she just couldn't go anywhere. Everyone gave her a kick, so to speak."

  • "The policemen there were dating the girls, they always befriended one of them. That was essentially the case on Wenceslas Square as well. And that was still in the nineties. That the girls could be prosecuted for social parasitism. For example a policeman picked out a girl, I don't know how to explain it, but basically that he and he only could lock her up, but none of the others could lock her up. That was his girl. When they got a hold of her somewhere, she just said, that for example Constable Kalhotka should come, and they would call him and he'd say: 'Leave that one be.' But in the end they always took her away anyway. Real colleagues. They couldn't let them run around for maybe half a year. They'd leave them be for maybe two, three months max. They simply got together with the girls this way."

  • "I was serving time with one girl, who acted perfectly normal. I never had a problem with people in any kind of environment; I always assimilated into it, be that positive or negative. It was like this: the girl who I was with, and I was still dumb at this point, said to me: 'Guard the horse. A horse will come into the window.' And that she's gonna stand by the door in the meantime, because there were only two of us there. I was looking at the window and said: 'Something's coming down, but it's not a horse, it's some sock on a string.' And she was writing with someone there.

  • Full recordings
  • 1

    Praha, 02.07.2021

    (audio)
    duration: 01:36:36
    media recorded in project Stories of the 20th Century TV
Full recordings are available only for logged users.

I spent eight years behind bars

Zuzana Lejsková in the year 2021
Zuzana Lejsková in the year 2021
photo: Photograph was taken during the filming in the year 2021

Zuzana Lejsková was born on the 4th of December 1954. She’s convinced that she came into the world in the prison in which they were holding her mother Věra. Zuzana and her younger sister Vladimíra were both raised by their grandmother from a very young age. They met with their mother only seldom even after her return from prison. Because she didn’t start studying or looking for work, she was sent to a juvenile correction facility in Černovice. She got her first run-in with the law shortly after being released. The regime back then prosecuted her for social parasitism and also for minor theft. Zuzana Lejsková, in an interview with Paměť národa, openly talked about how she lent her mother’s apartment for prostitutes to use in exchange for bribes and also about the conditions present in the Rytířská and Perlová streets of Prague, where prostitution flourished most. During the 70s and 80s Zuzana Lejsková spent a total of six years behind the bars of the Pardubice jail. The witness describes women’s prison in life in vivid, colorful detail. The relations between guards and prisoners, the secret prison post and the stories of individual women and girls, many of whom had been punished for not fulfilling the prescribed plans of work duties. After 2017 Zuzana Lejsková started to gravitate towards extremist leftist groups and got friends both virtual and not among pro-Russian activists, some of which are in the year 2021 serving sentences. At time of recording of the interview for Paměť národa she’s living with her son Jaroslav in Kasejovice in western Bohemia in an abandoned motor restaurant.