Zdeněk Uhlíř

* 1946  

  • “My father knew Lieutenant Colonel Kolář, who had served as an officer of the Czechoslovak army before the war and had been in command of the Milovice air base. And when the war began, he ended up in hospital in Vinohrady, and because the Kolařs came from Hostín, they had known my father from his childhood. Because the Gestapo knew that my father was acquainted with him, they presumed that he might participate in the resistance, so they didn’t just interrogate Lieutenant Colonel Kolář, who was in hospital, but my father as well. But no one told anything on anyone, so they couldn’t prove they were participating in any kind of resistance, and my father was released based on that. But Lieutenant Colonel Kolář never made it out of that hospital.”

  • “We travelled with the Youth Travel Agency to the youth camp, where representatives of the youths from Socialist countries were gathered. We played football, went to parties, there were various competitions, football, volleyball, tennis, but there were also art contests, one of which made a special impression on me. We were supposed to make a model of something out of sand, whatever we wanted to, and we were already slightly infected by the democracy in the press, and we knew that the Soviet forces weren’t willing to pull out of the Czech Republic after the [military] exercise. And so we built a model of Prague Castle by the sea and we planted a Czechoslovak flag there and built sand tanks around it. When the organisers of the competition arrived, they immediately stopped the contest and kicked everything to bits. That was an indication that something was going to happen and that anger and hatred against what was going at home was fermenting in the Soviet nations.”

  • “When we were at the draft, I remember perfectly that they asked if I was the son of a self-employed man, because in those days the word self-employed was something of a hostile term. Self-employed people earned their own living, but it was no easy time for them. They even noted that into my military record.”

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    Byšice, 03.05.2016

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    duration: 01:25:20
    media recorded in project The Stories of Our Neigbours
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In those days the word “self-employed” was something of a hostile term

 Uhlíř Zdeněk
Uhlíř Zdeněk
photo: natáčení PNS 2016

Zdeněk Uhlíř was born on 5 April 1946 into a shopkeeper family, which owned a house on the square in Byšice and ran a general store there. Before Zdeněk started school, their shop was incorporated into the Svépomoc (Self-Help) cooperative, which later became Jednota (Union). The family received rent for running the shop, but after deducting all taxes and fees, the sum was hardly one fifth. After joining the Communist party, Zdeněk’s father was allowed to stay in the shop in the position of manager, and he maintained this job until his retirement, even though he was later expelled from the party. Zdeněk decided to dedicate himself to the study of construction engineering. After graduating from secondary school he was drafted into compulsory military service, which he spent with the Border Guards and the Road Corps. After his release from the army he worked first at Průmstav Mladá Boleslav and then at SBD Mělník and at the building committee of the local national committee (municipal administration) in Byšice. In 1990-1994 he served as a deputy mayor of Byšice, and in 1992 he succeeded in re-opening his family’s shop, which continues to prosper on the square in Byšice even today.