“The doctors and nurses came in to sign a petition calling for doctor Lochman to retire. They also approached me with that petition, asking me to sign. I refused because he did no wrong to me, quite to the contrary. I explained them my reasons, saying that even as a communist, he treated me honorable, giving me a job while many others in his place wouldn’t. And that I wouldn’t do something against my will just because the others were up for it. In fact, I didn’t even know the man, I got employed there in December and the petition took place in January. I was not the one to judge, even though the others had arguments based on their own perspectives. Perhaps they were right but I simply didn’t want to join in and condemn a man who in fact did me no wrong. In short, I was of another opinion. The doctor then said that some of the signatories – nurses and doctors – approached him and reasoned their signature with just wanting to be left in peace, to avoid trouble with the instigators. The best part was that the instigators came to me and asked me whether I was afraid to sign it. I responded by saying that I had not feared the communists and that I would not simply change my stance now and sign their petition. Nevertheless, some of the people then avoided me and I didn’t have good standing there.”
“My father found it hard to get a job adequate to his education. He was convinced that his colleagues made sure that nobody would employ him. When he came to ‘Swings’ back then they told him that they could only give him a job with the gypsies at a courtyard squad. He was offended by that. For a while he worked in Tos in Hulín as a crane operator, then he served as a doorkeeper, worked as a laboratory technician… But he had to travel to work because his job was in Uherské Hradiště and later in Bedihošť. He also died there. He said goodbye to my mother on Sunday, left for work and on Tuesday we received a phone call that he passed away. When we arrived to the lodging house and saw the conditions in which he lived there, and in which he died alone, I had a bad feeling about it.”
“They told me that they knew about the document which I had with me and asked me to give it to them voluntarily. I responded by saying I had nothing. Later, a colleague from my office told me that they searched through my purse and desk without me knowing. He warned them that this was not allowed. But I had the ‘Několik vět’ petition signed by Mr. Bartoška with me in a coat so they didn’t get their hands on that. The secret police was obviously interested in Mr. Adámek who was hard to get to, and wanted me to give out something. I had just repeated time and time again that I had nothing on me. They interrogated me for two or three hours, I don’t know exactly. But it was long and repetitive. I only remember one of them asking whether I was single or married (to a woman). I told him that I weren’t. He wondered what was that supposed to mean. I told him that I was neither single, nor married (to a woman). So the other one then told him to ask me whether I was married to a man. He did and I told him that I was. This amused me at the moment which was not all that funny.”
“The boys would always bring in some video clip, probably from Hrádeček (Václav Havel’s cottage). We would acquire a projector and then have a bunch of like-minded people come to our place, have a party there and have them sleep over. During the night we would play those instructing videos providing us with information on how to act in the case of an arrest. Based on which provisions we should not give statements, should it come to it. Which came in handy to me later, even if I hadn’t been fully prepared.”
Irena Seifertová was born on 3 December 1964 in Ostrava. Her dad was a mining engineer and her mom worked as a teacher. However, their careers were constrained by unfavorable cadre assessments. The family thus moved around a lot, eventually acquiring a small family house in Holešov. Irena was naturally inclined towards the underground. She studied a chemistry school in Olomouc but after two years left and took up employment in PAL Magneton in Kroměříž as a worker. In 1983 she got married and founded a family. She underwent a distance training to become a car electrician. She and her husband participated in various anti-regime activities such as leaflet printing. Irena also took part in the collection of signatures under several petitions (Wonka, Havel, Několik vět). Following her maternity leave she initially worked as a technician. Soon after the Velvet Revolution, in December 1989, she got the job of a clerk at a local medical clinic. In the 1990s she was a distance student of marketing and PR and became a journalist, working for the Czech Radio. She and her husband established a local newspaper in Holešov. She also became engaged in local politics as a member of the Freedom Union. At present she is a social worker with the Holešov municipality.