Zora Rysová

* 1947  

  • "Then it was 1968, everything looked great, censorship and all just cool. And even my friend set up a seasonal job of picking strawberries in England. So, I arrived in England, I was there, I left on August 7 and my mother told me, 'If something happens with the Russians, do not come back.' I said, "With the Russians, right? What could possibly happen? They're in Russia, we're here." It was the night of August 20th, I was returning, I arrived in London from the brigade and on the twenty-first I was to take a train to Bohemia, so I came to London on the twentieth, of course I had nowhere to sleep there was a train, so I was walking there at night, and in the morning, when there was light, I saw the newspaper sellers opening... and so it was written: 'Prague, Bohemia, tanks' and there were photos. I said, 'No, it cannot be true.' And I don't know. And there was the occupation and the invasion and the headlines. And I said, 'No, no, no, I'm going home and I'll tell my mom I didn't know anything.' Suddenly it was clear to me, because she told me what to do and I didn't want to, I wanted to go home. I got on that train, I met a girl there, we went through the whole train and we were the only ones. Two Czechs taking that very train, and she told me that the border with Germany was closed and we would reach the German border, and that we would wait there for two or three days or we didn't know how long before we could continue. But that the Germans are kind, that they would feed us, that I don't have to be afraid, so I said, 'No, no, no, I really do not want to stay in Germany; We were very anti-German, at the end of the war propaganda, Germany was really bad for us. So I got out, so did she, and I came back and stayed in England for a year more."

  • "When I finished ninth grade in 1962, I wanted to go - or my parents wanted me - to go to a high school here in Dobříš like a grammar school, then it was SVVŠ. So I applied and they invited me to a job interview. A lot of people was accepted straight away and others were checked on. And I went for an interview, I managed everything quite well. And then they showed met a piece of paper and the commission stated: ´Well, your marks are sufficient, your replies are good too.´ But despite this, across the report it was written in red from the National Committee: 'Not recommended for studies.' So my Dad received the negative reply stating that it I was not accepted to the high school, and had to go to the field of agriculture, because my grandfather was a kulak. My two older sisters managed to escape having to work hard in the field; it was a rather hard work in the sun, handicrafting back then. So they were looking for people and chasing them in. That is why my dad went to the doctor, who wrote him a confirmation that I was a sick child and that farming would not be suitable for me yet. So I was postponed and could go to the secondary school under the condition that I´d study agriculture later or I'd go to work in a collective farm in three years. After the three years, meaning in 1965, everything was quite different. No one mentioned that I should go to agriculture. I applied to the Faculty of Constructions and got accepted without any problem at all."

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    Dobříš, 25.03.2019

    (audio)
    duration: 02:31:16
    media recorded in project The Stories of Our Neigbours
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A kulak child who signed the Charter 77

Growing up
Growing up
photo: Archiv Zory Rysové

Zora Rysová was born on October 9, 1947, and lived with her family in Dobříš. Despite the non-recommended report, she graduated from high school and then applied to study at the Faculty of Civil Engineering. At the beginning of August 1968 she took a seasonal job to England. She was to return on the day of the occupation, eventually remaining in the country for another year. While her sister remained in England, Zora returned home and could not travel again until 1986. She did not finish college, earning a living as a restorer. She participated in a meeting of dissidents and people from the underground in the house of Viktor Parkán in Řepčice near Litoměřice. She signed the Charter 77. In November 1989, she took part in the Velvet Revolution.