Václav Soukup

* 1941

  • "The cryptographers came to the school, so we could do these tests to see if we wanted to try encryption. And I did something well and they wanted me to go to the cryptographers at all costs. But it was military intelligence, I didn't know that. The code name was the Regional Veterinary Administration. And they used to go to my parents in Cheb and constantly persuade them to persuade me to stay in the army. And I didn't want to. I didn't like it. They tried all kinds of tricks on me. They sent this sly guy who told me that my mother was a German swine. I was on gate duty that day and I had a revolver. I pulled it out and I was going to shoot him. But the bullet jammed, and that saved me. Can you imagine the happiness? That will never happen."

  • "He [Gustav Nosek] was retired, but it was a poverty. Then I did his puppet exhibition, which was practically his last and only solo exhibition, otherwise he was always connected to Skupa. Skupa always had the main say there. And he [Gustav Nosek] wanted to give me this Hurvínek and Spejbl. And I knew that he was very anxious to get a TV set. So, I persuaded Iterská, the director of the museum at the time, to buy him a TV set and that I would donate Hurvínek and Spejbl to the museum. All my friends and my wives say I'm an idiot for doing that. I just wanted to make him happy, well."

  • "Even ten years after the war I was still afraid of the rumble. When a truck was driving down the street or something, it always evoked the air raids. You know how the Americans bombed Prague? Practically, Letná is across the river. So that kind of humming constantly stayed with me, I could still feel it ten years after the war."

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    Cheb, 12.06.2022

    duration: 01:42:18
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As a four-year-old, he was alone with his father. His German mother was afraid to come to Cheb after the war

Václav Soukup
Václav Soukup
photo: archiv pamětníka

Václav Soukup was born on 17 July 1941 in Prague. He spent his childhood in Letenské sady in Prague 7, but after the war he moved with his father to Cheb. His mother, a German orthodox Catholic, was very afraid of moving to the Sudetenland. Part of the family went into expulsion, she herself received a decree that allowed her to stay. Václav Soukup did not feel comfortable in war-stricken Cheb, but fortunately he found his life’s hobby here - puppetry. He belonged to the group around Gustav Nosek, who created the character of Hurvínek, and they often performed their shows around the region. His mother forbade him to study at the Academy of Performing Arts, so he continued in his father’s career, on the railway. In August 1968, he printed anti-occupation leaflets. He completed his compulsory military service in Pilsen, where a provocateur was deployed to discredit him so that Václav became a professional soldier. After the service, he returned to the railways, later becoming a train driver and organising exhibitions in his spare time. He realized the creation of the bust of Gustav Nosek in Cheb. In 2023 he lived in Cheb.