Rostislav Zapletal

* 1961

  • “Mr Hajný worked in Prague, and he joined in there. He was looking for someone who’d join in his home town, Šumperk. Then when I started visiting him for various materials, I was usually given them by his wife, because he was in Prague I guss. Mr Hajný came to me in the pub and explained what it was about and asked if I would sign it and join in. I said I would, but then I was taken aback that when I made the rounds of all my friends, they didn’t want to have anything to do with it. When things got serious and there was a threat of big trouble, they shirked from it. It wasn’t until some time later that Frigo [Radomír Daněk - ed.] joined in, followed by other youngsters.”

  • “We arrived on Friday, and boozed for three days. In Olomouc, in Hradec, it didn’t matter. We really asked ourselves what else there was to do, if we had nothing to look forward to. We’d just drink ourselves to death. How to die? Some took the fast route, so to say, and committed suicide. But most people reckoned they’d drink themselves dead. What to expect? Nothing. I have long hair, so it’s the spade for me. I’ll never get anywhere, so I may as well drink myself dead.”

  • “If we felt something was important, we took a typewriter and tried putting ten copy papers into it, if we could type through it. That didn’t work, so then we settled it down to seven. We copied it out through carbon. We published sevent articles, and I left at bus stops or the station for people to take, read, or pass on, to begin distributing it. That’s how we started to fight.”

  • “I still can’t explain why I was different. I didn’t know anyone similar at the time. I was alone. I wore a green mantle and torn jeans. Perhaps it was related to music, I wanted to look like the bands. My parents dressed me for school, and I changed into those rags in the cellar and went to school and got into a lot of trouble. When I was in the ninth year, my classmates pulled my hair, and the teacher gave me money for a haircut and told a classmate to accompany me there. Horrible scenes like that.”

  • Full recordings
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    Hrabišín, 13.06.2017

    duration: 02:19:14
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
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We were chased down the street by people with scissors

Rostislav Zapletal
Rostislav Zapletal
photo: archiv pamětníka

Rostislav Zapletal was born on 3 October 1961 in Šumperk. In his youth he was one of the first local “dandies” (boys with long-hair, denoting an alternative lifestyle). He wore long hair, a green cloak, and torn jeans, he listened to rock music and held anti-totalitarian opinions and supported freedom of thought, like his friends. He remembers that they shut themselves off from the world in pubs, where they drowned their thoughts of a future in Communist Czechoslovakia in alcohol. This combination of alcohol and frustration led several of the witness’s friends to commit suicide; he himself attempted the same on multiple occasions. However, he was one of the few who began to actively stand up against the regime. Vladimír Hajný introduced him to the world of samizdat, which he then copied out and distributed. He became a member of the Society of Friends of the USA (SPUSA in Czech), and he signed several anti-regime petitions. In 2014 he was awarded a Certificate of Resistance against Communism for his efforts. As of 2017 he lives in Hrabišín.