MUDr. Tomáš Petrák

* 1947  

  • "We went there in the woods of Scotland, we picked mushrooms because the English are terribly afraid of mushrooms, they are poisonous. We collected a bag by the road. We were followed by such an age-old lady, and when we talked about who we were and said that we were from Czechoslovakia, she said: 'Something happened there yesterday. That may not be possible.´ It was August 22. So we arrived at the nearest youth hostel, where we ate mushrooms under the supervision of others who were watching to see if we died. We drove to Glasgow in the morning and to the London border in the afternoon. So, in the late afternoon of the 23rd, we took part in a big demonstration in front of the Soviet embassy."

  • "On the second, third day, on the nineteenth, rather the twentieth, I said something against the former regime. It already tightened my throat that I thought it would turn out badly. I was standing next to a friend, a surgical nurse who was sitting at the time in the 1970s for the least unfavourable deed. I told her, 'What's it like in a crime scene?' And she said, 'Terrible, you really don't want that.' Relatively soon, I was the protagonist, or one of the protagonists, so as not to do much better, the Civic Forum, which was established here very soon after that."

  • "My friend's parents called us not to drive. Mine called us to come back, they were old, and what they would do there. So we kept muddling and in a week we decided that we were not both able to live abroad. Of course, the parents needed us. We spent about four more days in Paris because we were like, 'Damn, isn't it crazy to go back to this?' But a lot of people were coming back at the time, so we arrived sometime in late October."

  • Full recordings
  • 1

    Roudnice nad Labem, 10.12.2021

    (audio)
    duration: 34:27
    media recorded in project The Stories of Our Neigbours
  • 2

    Roudnice nad Labem, 21.01.2022

    (audio)
    duration: 21:20
    media recorded in project The Stories of Our Neigbours
Full recordings are available only for logged users.

People are good

Tomáš Petrák in 1950s
Tomáš Petrák in 1950s
photo: Archiv pamětníka

Tomáš Petrák was born on February 12, 1947 in Prague-Bubeneč. He spent his childhood with his younger sister and parents in Všenory near Prague, where his father came from. Tomáš attended primary school in Dobřichovice. After graduating from high school, he entered the Faculty of Medicine in Prague. In the summer of 1968, after graduating from high school, Tomáš and his friend traveled to Western Europe. In Scotland, on August 22 he experienced by the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia. In London, he protested against the invasion in front of the Soviet embassy. He spent several weeks in Great Britain and France. Then he decided to return to occupied Czechoslovakia. After successfully completing his university studies, Tomáš moved to Jablonec nad Nisou, where he worked in the gynaecology and obstetrics department at the local hospital. He later worked at hospitals in Litoměřice and Roudnice nad Labem. During the Velvet Revolution, he was involved in the establishment of the local Civic Forum in Roudnice nad Labem. In 2022 he was a member of the Roudnice council and devoted himself to Sokol.