JUDr. Věra Řeháková

* 1941

  • “Meanwhile, my daughter was born. That was an experience. When I was pregnant, I should have been sick. The review committee came. A doctor lived over there. I was almost before finishing my pregnancy and when he looked at me, he stabbed my fingers in and around my navel with his fingers. He said that pregnancy is not a disease. So they cancelled my sick pay. Yeah, but I got an umbilical hernia. But at that time, I would never judge anything. Because that was pure bodily harm. The doctor, she was the factory doctor of the Mining University, she took it very badly. In addition to the nerves that one experienced, my physical problem began. Then I met the doctor here once. I wanted to spit before him. But I kept walking with my head held high.”

  • “That was very difficult. I was fired, which was not even done to unwanted citizens when I was six months pregnant. So, that was one thing. And another one; when a daughter was born, they did not invite us to welcoming citizens as it was done. That was embarrassing. Well she survived without it. But the truth is that she had to have all grades in elementary school to get to high school, because at that time it was a law that with all the best marks, one could go there without having to pass exams. So, she went to high school without examinations. Yeah, but then getting to college was hard; for the first time she didn't. She applied to the Faculty of Law. She washed the dishes in the canteen of the Czech Technical University in Prague to prove that she had connection with the working class. She passed her second exam at the Faculty of Law, but it was not recognized until 1989 because of the revolution. In fact, she was rehabilitated and got to study.”

  • “When I studied law, in the second year they approached me from a party organization. I had results, I taught Gypsies literacy, so I expanded my social dimension. So, they approached me that they would like me to join the Communist Party. I was still under strong pressure from my mom, from the past. I went to college at the age of sixteen because the school took eleven years to study. I was very young. So, I wrote my mother a letter. For me it was something of an honour. My mother was very hardworking, people knew her because she was doing a lot for them. Well, I wrote a letter to my mother saying that I hadn't done anything for the society to deserve to be a member of the Communist Party. I was sixteen. For my mom, of course, it was something wonderful that I was asked to join in. And of course, I believed it all. But I wrote that letter, so I consulted her and said I haven't done anything yet, so how would I deserve it?”

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    Ostrava, 01.08.2019

    duration: 01:49:02
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
  • 2

    Ostrava, 22.08.2019

    duration: 27:55
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
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I left the Communist Party. But the Communists claimed to have expelled me

Portrait of Věra Řeháková in 1988
Portrait of Věra Řeháková in 1988
photo: archiv pamětnice

Věra Řeháková, nee Kávová, was born on March 11, 1941 in Ostrava. She spent her childhood in modest conditions in the workers’ colony of Hlubina. She was raised by her mother, her father abandoned them. Her mother was an active member of the Communist Party. Věra was very good at school and got to the Law Faculty of Charles University. She finished her studies in international law in 1963. Then she became a member of the Communist Party. She graduated in psychology and pedagogy from the Faculty of Education in Ostrava. Later she became a lecturer at the Technical University of Ostrava, where she became a co-founder of the Department of Sociology and Political Science. After the August occupation in 1968, she left the Communist Party because she disagreed with the behavior of some Communists and publicly criticized their methods of strengthening positions in society. Later she learned that the CPC had presented her performances in such a way that she was excluded. In 1969 she was to defend her candidate work at the Institute of Sociology of the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences. However, this was cancelled for political reasons and the witnesses were not allowed to defend themselves. In 1970, he was dismissed from the Mining College because she insisted that the occupation of Czechoslovakia by the Soviet troops was an actual occupation. From 1974 to 1992 she worked in the Ostravica department store. She worked her way up to become a sales leader. During that time, she was monitored and interrogated by the State Security. In 1993 she received rehabilitation and started to teach again at VŠB. She wrote a book called The Pearl of Ostrava regarding her work in the Ostravica department store.