Miloslava Smolařová

* 1951  

  • We smuggled everything. Especially when I had Matěj the little one, there were such nice shoes in East Germany and my dad was so strict, he wouldn't allow me. So my mother and I went there and we always said that we were only going to buy some groceries, that was possible. And so that Dad didn't know, so we put a small boot up his sleeve, we put a little jacket here, that he took it off in the car and we went to Cheb, because his parents lived there. And then we arrived at the border and the customs officers told us to get out and inspect our car. And now Dad wanted the jacket, but we didn't want to give it to him, because we knew that if he wore it, the shoes would fall out. So I went with him: "No, it's warm." "No, it's very cold, give me the jacket!" No, it's warm, you'd sweat, and then you'd be sick here in that car." Well, Dad ripped it off me, and now he put his hand in it and one of the boots fell out, he put his other hand out, the jacket fell out. It was like that now because I was crying there, now Dad was terribly upset, it looked like he was going to kill us at the border. And the customs officers were, we were very lucky, because they saw there as a torn young lady and now Dad went completely crazy, he really didn't act up, he was really pretty mad. "You told me you wouldn't buy the kind of shit you bought, they'd lock us up here!" Eventhough they took all the shopping from us, but let us go without any further consequences.

  • "I've read a lot since I was a child. But again, there were very few books available. But I got to read quality literature only at high school and in a kind of a non-official way. As the books I enjoyed reading were not published here at all. So I got to Heller's Head XXII, for example, I don't know if it means anything for you; it's such a very wonderful book that also was not published here. Or then, all sorts of samizdat literature."

  • "However, everyone, absolutely everyone, every first Monday of the month we were at school until the evening and we had so-called political teacher training all afternoon. Where we were trained by a janitor who could count to about ten, and I don't know if he did not sign the crosses. He was such a primitive type of man who infused us with such histories of Marxism-Leninism, but nevermind he told us, we had to be quiet, he shouted at us why we were having fun. And then he always examined us at the end of the year and asked us questions. It was humiliating, it was awful, just terrible."

  • Full recordings
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    Praha, 13.12.2021

    duration: 01:03:28
    media recorded in project The Stories of Our Neigbours
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Life is a fight, but a beautiful one

Miloslava Smolařová in 2021
Miloslava Smolařová in 2021
photo: žákovský tým

Miloslava Smolařová was born on February 18, 1951 in Cheb, where she also lived in her youth and experienced an invasion in August 1968. She went to university to study in Prague and thanks to that she also got samizdat literature and interesting films. As a teacher, she constantly had to face pressure to join the Communist Party and attend mandatory political training. Like many others, she traveled to East Germany and secretly imported children’s clothing. On one such trip, the customs officers at the border found out, fortunately it had no consequences for Miloslava. In 1995, she fulfilled her dream and founded the private elementary school Univerzum, which still operates in Prague 9 (2021).