The Word for November
The Word for November
Yes, I surely ought to remember the Velvet Revolution. Now it is 25 years ago. It has gone by fast. And the ideals of many of us who welcomed it have gone by too. Still in 1996 when I went to Australia in winter (summer there) and somebody stood up critically against the Czech Republic, I defended it with all my might and persuasion. It was only a year after my return that I drew back. Unexpected things started to happen in politics. Foul tricks, climbing to power or wealth over the others started to appear. Frauds and swindles in party accounts etc., perhaps I do not have to go on, everything is well known. Maybe it is a success that the good things lasted for six years…
Good friends in Australia told me that my project was good but I could not do it on my own. I needed someone good at business. And it so happened that after my return I met Dr. Martin Stránský. We agreed on wonderful co-operation. It was a good time: Street Národní třída in the centre of Prague, a secretary, girls to do advertising for the editorial staff of both Přítomnost and the Czech Dialogue. The magazine was developing and improving. It took about three years before the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that had bought and distributed it in the world, changed intentions and various people under the leadership of comrade Kavan. The ministry substituted the Czech Dialogue for the Czech Papers (České listy), which was a nasty stolen fake of the Czech Dialogue.
I like living here. I travel round the world to my compatriots, and although I meet with beautiful places and wonderful people, I am glad to live here in the Czech Republic and in Prague. But I am also very ashamed of people who live here too. Hopefully, there are not more of them than those who are upright. The problem is that the predatory ones come to the fore, while the decent ones stay quietly somewhere in the corner. They do not know the truth which says: THOSE WHO DO NOT FIGHT AGAINST EVIL, SUPPORT IT THEMSELVES.
When I turn on the TV or look into newspapers, it is hard for me to believe what I see. The President who was elected (!) by the people (the stupid ones) kowtows to communist China, claims in our name that Tibet belongs to it and that we are not going to speak about any human rights. (I hope he enjoys it in hell when they show him what human rights are about.)
The institute which explores the crimes of the totalitarian regime is in fact being liquidated. It should be led by a certain Mrs. Rudinská who shot a film about Pavel Wonka where she claims that he signed something for StB (the Secret Police). So was he beaten to death in prison for no reason? Comrade Rudinská is appointed there while decent research workers are being fired.
The media also give space to Milouš Jakeš. Let us remember the comrade who may go to hell soon too:
About February 1948:
“Communism meant a lot for people… It gave them security of livelihood. Each revolution always touches someone, otherwise there would be no use making it. After February properties were nationalized but later it was leveled. Norms were settled and everything was calculated…. Basically, the differences between various professions were proportional according to the motto: Everyone is paid according to the quality and amount of work.”
About joining co-operative farms:
“Some chose to join, some were talked into it, some joined for fear…Those who did not fulfill consignments went to prison. They were imprisoned according to current laws.”
About the political trials in 1950s:
“I saw it so that the people were against the republic, against the regime, that they wanted to re-install capitalism and break the co-operation with the Soviet Union. Horáková is now considered a heroine but she was really looking forward to the arrival of the US Army… The complex post war development was connected to the cold war that had been declared by Churchill and the USA.”
About his brother-in-law who was imprisoned at Jáchymov (an uranium mine):
“He did not complain about anything. He was quite satisfied with the way he was treated. Those who did not mess around or do mischief had no problems.”
One could go on with this for a long time. Martin Mejstřík who was one of the student leaders of the so called Velvet Revolution in 1989 became skeptical and wrote somewhere that it all had been a swindle that should have brought those (sows, in my words) back to power.
I am writing this on October 28th, the day when independent Czechoslovakia was established. A very sad day it is today. Czechoslovakia has completely disappeared, there are bastards in high posts…
Is there anything nice that I could tell you in the end? There was a beautiful film on TV today. Its name was Ta naše písnička česká and it was about Karel Hašler. It was shot very well in 1967. One could see that the atmosphere in our country was becoming better then (before it was destroyed by Russian tanks a year later). After it Zdeněk Mahler was talking about Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk also in a very nice way. And in the afternoon the President decorated Sir Nicolas Winton and Sir Winston Churchill in memoriam. At least.
Nicky, as his friends call him, became 105 years old in May. As probably everybody knows, he saved almost seven hundred mostly Jewish children when he managed to bring them to foster families in Britain in 1939 and thus saved them from gas chambers in concentration camps. His daughter Barbara who takes care of him was not enthusiastic about his journey. It is dangerous for his health… But Nicky, who was promised as a former pilot to be able to see the cockpit in the plane, said he would rather die of excitement in Prague than of boredom at home.
In the evening there were more decorations and distinctions - thirty-three all together. The President is decorating, his ADC reported, and the President did. He started with the Slovak left wing politician Fico. At the same time Zeman was giving his personal intellectual lesson to the public about what the left and right wings mean. Then he started to mix “apples and pears”: Soldiers who had been killed in Afghanistan, Miroslav Zikmund the traveler and in the end our dear colleague Lidka Lojdová, the author of drawings and stories, accepted a decoration for her great uncle. He was a parish priest who let himself be murdered together with his parishioners at Lidice though he had got a possibility to leave. He refused. He stayed with his people to the very end of their and his own lives.
Zeman did not forget to decorate also people to whom he was obliged for some service: Film director Filip Renč who had shot his presidential campaign, Lucie Bílá who had been singing in it though until then she had been a fan of Václav Klaus and others whose names I have forgotten. Next time he will decorate his dentist for repairing his dental prothesis.
I look forward to your letters and reactions.
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Amerika II. aneb z deníčku vydavatelky
Tato kniha vzniká nyní na mém počítači. A je to bomba! Pracuji na ní jen chvílemi (což ovšem obnáší hodiny), protože hlavně denně dělám Český dialog. Ale oba tyto, jak by se dnes módně řeklo – projekty, jsou pro mne moc důležité. Časopis se snažím zlepšovat, přibyli v poslední době dobří autoři, přibývají čtenáři po celém světě…
A kniha? Bude o téměř třiceti letech časopisu, který jako jediný vydávaný z ČR vede léta dialog s Čechy doma i ve světě. Byly všelijaké pokusy jiných zdejších periodik ujmout se tohoto tématu, ale všechny ztroskotaly. Český dialog vytrval a to přes veškeré, a někdy opravdu velmi těžké překážky. Především v prvních ročnících, kterými nyní listuji a vybírám z nich perly, jsou velmi cenné články od autorů věhlasných jmen jako je Josef Škvorecký, Jaroslav Strnad, Alexander Tomský, Jiří Ješ aj., či neznámých, ale kteří napsali ze světa, kde žijí, zajímavé postřehy, ohlasy či názory. První ročníky byly opravdu mimořádně živé a dynamické. Po mé první cestě do daleké Austrálie v roce 1997 se začala českou společností šířit „blbá nálada“ a i ta je zde velmi plasticky vylíčena.
Kromě politiky jsou zde samozřejmě i moje cesty do světa za krajany. Napsala jsem o nich sice už pět knížek, ale ne o všem…tady to pokračuje. Například New York, Kanada, Jižní Amerika, Švédsko aj. A na webových stránkách budu ráda uveřejňovat některé ukázky a vy je, doufám, budete rádi číst. Budou nejspíš v rubrice OSTATNÍ, ale ještě před tím, než tam spadnou, tak na stránce hlavní.
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