PaedDr. František Vízek

* 1940  

  • "At that time, I was elected a delegate to the Vysočany Congress. You may remember that when in August, when the army came here on August 21, a congress was held in Vysočany, Prague, on August 23. I was elected a delegate for culture and education there. Of the six, I suspect there were six of us, I was the youngest. It seems to me that for this reason I am probably the last living of our delegates to the congress of Jablonec. We got to Vysočany by car, inscriptions everywhere, left, right. ´Go right back home! ’, Lenin, wake up, Brezhnev went mad,” and such various slogans. We didn't know what would happen to us. We didn't know what would happen. If the congress delegates don't disperse us, if they don't arrest us, if we don't lose our lives in the end. But the whole nation, both Slovak and Czech, basically arose and the Soviets failed to provoke such an action anywhere that they could prove to the world that there really was a counter-revolution."

  • "And because I, as a teacher, didn't want to sign the agreement that the invasion was necessary and that it was in fact helping us, I just had to leave. First from Jablonec nad Nisou, I was not allowed to teach here. I was the deputy director in Pivovarská, I was not allowed to maintain the function, I was not allowed to be a class teacher, I had to teach in Lučany. I stayed there for a while. In the end, I was not even allowed to be a lecturer at the so-called socialist academy, it was said at the time. And in the end I had to go to the quarry, because someone had to feed the family. I already had four children, and my wife could not work. And then the time was interesting in that the working class, it was said, had a leading role in society. That is, they made me a worker, that is, I became a member of the ruling working class, as it was said at the time, which was, of course, stupid, no worker thought he was running this society."

  • "I moved from the quarry to education. So it happened that the teachers in the Jablonec region wrote a petition, noticed that the teacher was working manually in a nearby quarry, and came to the conclusion that I should return. And that petition influenced my return. I did not return to the class, but I became something we today call the director of the school office. I had the job for six years, until 1996. It was not an easy time, because many school principals had to quit, there were bankruptcies and competitions in schools. According to the lustration law at the time, everyone had to bring a confirmation and an affidavit that they were not agents or collaborators of the State Security. The one who did not bring it could not be the principal of the school, or the kindergarten, or even primary or secondary school. Let’s compare this to what is in the highest position today, Prime Minister. As the director of the school office, I had to stop the work of many excellent school principals only because, out of fear or lack of courage, they did not say what they thought and agreed to the entry of troops, they eventually became collaborators of the State Security. Maybe they didn't hurt anyone, but they couldn't bring a lustration certificate, and by law I had to remove them from office, they couldn't make a school principal. So, I sometimes hurt good people, teachers, excellent school principals, and regret that. But that revolutionary era sometimes required such revolutionary interventions."

  • "When [Jan Palach] had a funeral, it was something very sad. There were tears in everyone's eyes. And that's why I was very sorry about how quickly everything was forgotten. As in 1969, it was no longer the Soviet army, but the Czech police, the Czech People's Militia, the Czech army unfortunately behaved towards people who, a year after the August invasion, tried to express their disapproval of the stay of foreign troops in our territory, I was sorry about that. How many people, Czechs and Slovaks, simply adapted. How we, who were badly engaged, who were fired from our jobs, persecuted in all sorts of ways, and who became second-class citizens, so to speak, as few people were just interested. I was sorry."

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    Jablonec nad Nisou, 18.02.2021

    duration: 01:07:45
    media recorded in project The Stories of Our Neigbours
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A stonemason with a doctorate, that was a rarity

Candidate to the Senat
Candidate to the Senat
photo: PNS

František Vízek was born on November 22, 1940 in Morkovice in Moravia. After graduating in 1958, he started working as a teacher in Josefov Důl, in 1967 he graduated from the Faculty of Education of the Jan Evangelista Purkyně University in Ústí nad Labem in the field of mathematics and geography. A year later, he refused to sign an agreement to invade the Warsaw Pact troops and had to leave education for political reasons. He became a worker in the Liberec quarry, trained as a stonemason and graduated for the second time at the Industrial School of Stonemasonry in Hořice. In 1985 he passed rigorous examinations in the theory of mathematics at Charles University and became a stonemason with a doctorate title. After the Velvet Revolution in 1989, he became the director of the School Office in Jablonec nad Nisou. In 1996, he was elected senator for the Czech Social Democratic Party. He has been retired since 2000, with his wife he has four children, fourteen grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.