Miroslava Malecká-Svobodová

* 1923

  • We lived in a house where there was a small grocery called Včela [Honeybee]. There was an employee who worked in the store room, his name was Jaroslav Smutný. He lived next to us and he was trying to help people. He would give out small amounts of flour or sugar or food stamps, of which all there was a shortage. Someone snitched on him. One night, we were woken up by loud German shouts: 'Halt!, Halt!' [Stop/Freeze!]. Noise, stomping on the wooden stairs and barking of the dogs. The SS Kommando came to arrest Mr. Smutný. They dragged him out and took him away. There was his wife and ten-year-old son left. Our friend from the courtyard."

  • "My husband held Topol in great esteem, both for his personal attitude and the poetic depths of his works. He thus succesfully lobbied for his play Půlnoční vítr [Midnignt Wind] to be added to the repertoire but it was shown only twice and then it was withdrawn because it had a traitorous air. Comrade Svoboda was thus subjected to questioning his character, interrogations [pause]... and eventually, he was fired."

  • "[Towards the end of WWII] I got a labour assignment in the Waltrovka factory in Jinonice. I worked in the nut department and my task was to finish the bolts. Some time later, we attended a course to improve our skills. The tutor was a great guy, unfortunately, I don't remember his name any more. One day, he locked the door of the classroom and told me: 'So, recite something for us.' Then we talked about poetry and someone stood guard at the door. That was my help to the German army."

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    Praha, 23.06.2020

    duration: 01:41:06
    media recorded in project Stories of the 20th Century TV
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I wasn’t old enough to get it but I agreed with the oppressed working class.

Photograph of Miroslava Malecká-Svobodová from the second half of the 1930's.
Photograph of Miroslava Malecká-Svobodová from the second half of the 1930's.
photo: archiv pamětníka

Miroslava Malecká-Svobodová was born on the 9th September of 1923 in Zlíchov, today a part of Prague. Her father, a blacksmith, worked in Radotin where he also participated in the local amateur theatre group. Miroslava started to play there as well before WWII. She liked being on the… and became her major hobby which led her to taking private acting classes with the actor Rudolf Deyl the Younger. At the same time, she was conscripted to labour in the Waltrovka factory in Prague and played in the Obratník theatre group which resulted in her being offered a job in the Theatre of Young Pioneers after the war. In 1949, she got a job offer to the Zlín Theatre of the Workers where she spent the next decade and met her second husband, theatre director Jiří Svoboda. Together, they moved to the Oldřich Stibor Theatre in Olomouc. Her husband was kicked out of the theatre after 1968 for trying to work on a play by Josef Topol, [Midnignt Wind]. (*) Several years later, her son Elia Cmíral emigrated to Sweden and later he moved to the U. S.; he is a notable music composer. Miroslava kept her acting job in the Olomouc theatre and in 1977, she signed the Anti-Charter. She retired in 1981 and after the Velvet Revolution, she moved back to Prague where she got several short-time acting jobs. (*) Josef Topol was at odds with the ruling Communist regime