“All of us put tricolours in the lapels because they of course were at the cottage. And we were wearing the tricolours even when we got on the train. When I saw there were Russians with guns, I said: ‘Cover it with your jacket.‘ And Honzík, Honzík Beran said: ‘No, I am not ashamed of it.‘ And I told him: ‘No, Honza, you have to cover it because they could shoot you.‘ So we zipped up, we were wearing the tricolours, but we covered them by zipping up. And I was thinking: ‘For God’s sake, (I hope) the children will not say anything against them or will not move in a bad way. I am responsible for these children. It all turned out well. We took them to Teplice, where their parents came to get them. In short, this is the experience of 1968.”
“They should read a lot, (I mean) young people, they should be interested in our past. They should. It is a different time now, very different. So, some pieces of advice would be of no use because once one does not have their own experience, they will not take the advice. I wish they grew up into healthy, decent people. In this generation, there will surely be many capable young people who will not be ashamed of being Czechs. And who will be influenced, the way I am influenced by being Czech and I am proud of that. If only they felt the same way, felt it internally and, in short, did the best for our Republic both around the world and in our country.”
“No, it was not a good time. You know, I wish for young people not to have to live through it. It was despotism of all those totalitarian regimes. And the despotism of the totalitarian regime can do so much wrong, so much wrong that one does not deserve. The regime that is cruel and ruthless destroys lives, breaks families and morals in general perish. I simply cannot get over that and I would really wish for young people not to encounter this because it is something so horrible that I cannot even describe it. Let us hope it will not happen again. Unfortunately, it happens again all around the world. But I hope that we have come a long way, I mean our society that we will not let it happen. I would really like that. Let us hope that everything will be all right and good, and our children will hopefully live to see something better than what we have lived through, they will have different worries, things will be different, but hopefully they will say what they think, and hopefully they will do what they want to do."
“I remember only one sentence; I cannot remember much more because I was fairly frightened. I remember just one sentence, they were two or three of them there and one of them told me: ‘If you were eighteen, we would lock you for good.‘ I just remember this sentence, but I do not remember anything else they told me there. I did not get to know about my dad until many years later from my mum; my dad was no longer alive, my grandma told me they did not want to tell me, but they (State Security - trans.) were persuading my dad to inform on people. They told him: ‘You know all the people in Louny and so on.‘ If my dad had agreed on it, I would have been able to go back to school. Of course, I did not go back to school, and I was the way I was in agriculture for four whole years. I just look up to my dad."
A letter to my friend which the State Security took hold of completely changed my life
Věra Pázlerová, née Trávníčková was born on 6 March 1941 in Louny. The family was active in the Sokol Movement. In 1955, she started to study at Pedagogical school for the education of teachers of national schools in Teplice. In her second year of studies, in 1957, she was expelled from school for rude insults she had allegedly committed against the representatives of the Soviet Union. Consequently, she was forbidden to study at secondary schools all over Czechoslovakia. After the exclusion from school, she worked as an auxiliary worker at a geodetic company in Stalin factories in Záluží near Most. She worked as an auxiliary agriculture worker at the state farm Louny from 1958 to 1962. She was allowed to study as an extramural student at Secondary Agricultural Technical School in Roudnice nad Labem where she passed her secondary school-leaving exam from professional subjects in 1963. Subsequently in 1965, she passed her secondary school-leaving exam from general subjects as an extramural student in Litoměřice. In 1965, she worked as an administrative worker at the state farm in Libčeves from where she managed to get by a trick to the region of Čelákovice, where she was assigned as a methodologist at the Station of Young Biologists. She got married to an architect Milan Pázler in 1967 and they had two children. In 1971, she graduated from Agricultural College in Prague- Suchdol where she studied as an extramural student. She worked as a librarian in České Budějovice from 1975. Lifelong member of Sokol Věra Pázlerová lived in České Budějovice at the time of the interview (2020).