Kateřina Spurná

* 1956  

  • "So in November we went to the demonstration with the children. There were really a lot of people, so we were surprised ourselves. Actually we went from Albertov (translator´s note: a part of Central Prague); we were at Albertov and from there we went to Vyšehrad. The children remembered that we shouted out the slogans: 'We want freedom!' and 'Havel to the Castle!' - It did not come to 'End of government!' or something like that yet. And the girls, my daughters said that they weren't screaming, that it felt awkward for them. The younger one understood it, that it was all right, that at least something was going on. And the older one, so we just went together with others, with acquaintances, and we were walking on... the route was kind of spinning from Vyšehrad, along the waterfront, we came to Národní třída, and we were... indeed, a lot of people from different streets were gathering there. It went changing somehow and then it kind of turned, and so on. And Jarda sent us home because the girls were still quite small, they attended the elementary school. Little Julia, how old was she? She was eight and Eva was eleven. So we wend down the subway at Narodni avenue and we went home. Or maybe at the Charles square already."

  • "We liked music, which originated in the years, the bands we listened to or went to concerts, it was more like that... but now I think of Mišík and Framus Five. Sometimes the bands still played in smaller cities, not only in Prague, so just like the Jazz Q, Kratochvíl, I remember Kratochvíl that we were, Radim Hladík, we attended their shows as long as we could. You're right, it was the 1960s; then in the 1970s it was so it turned over towards the underground, so several times we even saw the Plastics, for example, before they locked them upha. Tt was in the years 1975 - 1976. Yeah, and they closed Jarda, we also had a favorite one, who was Ivan Jirous; he had beautiful books. It was kind of adventurous. Because as they couldn't play, I actually attended their whatever they called it, weddings I believe, so I don't know if it was Magor's wedding back then, so when Jirous was getting married, I didn't even know him, so we were at their wedding. I don't even know how it all got to me anymore."

  • "Do you have any specific memories of the 1968 occupation?" - "I was twelve years old. I remember it from the radio, the speech about what was happening. We had holidays, we stayed at parents in Napajedla. And I know we were unhappy and surprised about it. And there we drew signs on the road with older children, the common matters: 'Ivan idi domoj!' and 'Svoboda.' The signposts that were like traffic signs were crossed out. And once it happened to us that the tanks passed right around our house and it was uncomfortable for my brother, who was four years younger, so he was eight. And the poor man climbed up a tree to look around, and then the tanks went down under, so it must have been horrible. Then I don't know, maybe six tanks drove past, or I don't know how many they were anymore, but I was terribly sorry for him, because he was afraid to come down that tree."

  • Full recordings
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    Praha, 09.12.2020

    (audio)
    duration: 58:04
    media recorded in project The Stories of Our Neigbours
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We knew it made sense

Kateřina Spurná (en)
Kateřina Spurná (en)
photo: žákovský tým

Kateřina Spurná was born on December 11, 1956 in Zlín, which at that time was named Gottwaldov. From an early age, she was raised in an anti-communist environment, which was only exacerbated by the August occupation of Czechoslovakia by Warsaw Pact troops. She left high school of her own accord before graduating. She and her husband Jaroslav Spurný became involved in dissident activities, first in Gottwaldov and since 1984 in Prague. Kateřina mainly rewrote samizdat literature. At the end of the 1980s, they used a powerful copier from abroad. She took part in a demonstration on November 17, 1989 in Prague and in the following days.