“I don’t like to think back on one teacher who forced me to present myself in the gymnasium in a white shirt where I was ostentatiously not given the Pioneers scarf. I think that they official reasons were that I wasn’t ‘behaved.’ I told my teacher: ‘But I don’t want to join this association.’ Then she told me in her most imperative voice: 'Veselý, but you will!’ What she really meant was: ‘So everyone can see how you’re a pariah from a bourgeois with both uncles as pilots for the West!’ Well, that’s I how I interpreted it then.”
“It was a really beautiful story. We woke up at about three thirty in the morning. I can remember exactly how the snow was falling. I had already prepared the paint, brushes, and a shovel. My daughter was already nineteen, my son fourteen. We went around Jičín and hung signs. We were heading toward an alley of lime trees. There was a kiosk with tobacco where we ended our route. Then I wrote a sign at the district offices ‘Enough, Miloš!’ We broke into three roles. One went first, the next with the paintbucket in the middle, and the third shoveled snow out of the way. A curious thing happened because my sister wrote ‘Dubček’ on the water tower by the pond in1968, and my daughter, all those years later, went and renewed it.”
“I also remember a situation when my son, still little schoolboy, once said in his little kid voice: ‘The Soviet Union is helping us.’ What they’d told him at school. With one glance to my wife it was decided, we took him over the side and said: ‘Sweetheart, Dan, the Soviet Union are occupiers, they are our enemies, they are not helping us. Your teacher at school is lying to you.’ It was a little brave from our side as parents, because, of course, children at a certain age are really talkative, but I felt that I had to do it.”
“I wanted to be a solider of course, and even though it was absurd, I went to go enlist myself into the army because I thought I was going to fight, although it was plain to see that it was impossible to fight against such enormous superiority. I went back home to my parents. Then I was living in a different part of the city. My sister and I painted posters in Russian, we hung them about, we wrote in Russian that they were occupiers, that they had even shot children. Later on, these posters ended up in an exhibition, and one of our posters from Bahno was featured in it. Just as we finished hanging them up, a convoy of soldiers with machine guns was approaching. I used a cuss word and said to my sister: ‘We’re f…d,’ and I thought they were going to shoot us. Luckily, they passed us by, but it’s true that they shot at people in other parts of Czechoslovakia. They even shot children, as I said before. They asked people for directions and people flocked to deface the traffic signs, they defaced signs, which my sister and I did also alongside many others, we did it at Letná, to be exact. We whited out the traffic signs with lime and wrote, with that same lime, different messages in Russian.”
The Communists hurt them, in 1989 they got it back.
Jaroslav Veselý was born on 29 January 1944 in Jičín to a family of lawyers. He spent his childhood in the part of the city called Nové Město, where he went to primary school. He was keen on sport and played football, hockey, and basketball. He graduated from high school and went on to study education in Hradec Králové. He worked as a high school teacher in Kopidlno and completed a distance study program in law. In 1976 he accepted an opening at the District Prosecutor’s Office in Jičín, where he specialized in the area of families and youth. His life was influenced by the fact that his two uncles from his father’s side Vlastimil and Erazim Veselý had served as pilots in England during the Second World War. This led him to being refused entry to the high school in Jičín and then university studies at the Faculty of Arts. 1968 was a decisive moment for him. He enlisted himself into the army, determined to defend Czechoslovakia. Along with his sister, he hung signs in Russian around Jičín and surroundings and defaced traffic signage so as to confuse the convoy of the occupying forces. His sister and two of his cousins emigrated. He told his children the truth about the occupation of the Soviet Union. The communists did not want to allow his daughters to study university. In 1989 he got involved in the events in Jičín, he brought his children along with him to hang signs in the city, he founded the Civic Forum at the courts, and helped organized the demonstration. He was chosen to be the vice chairman of the district authorities representing the Civic Forum and was in charge of matters related to the school system and culture. He co-founded the Jičín - Město Pohádky Festival and was behind the idea of the Valdštejnské Days in Jičín.