Memory of Nation


Svatopluk Holec (1933)

 Svatopluk Holec (1933)
From Marxism to mycology

Final interrogation by State Security

“Of course, the madame comrades from State Security invited me over a few times. The first time it was about some leaflets before the elections, I really didn’t know anything about it. Then they started nitpicking. The last session was on 27 October 1989. I had just returned from the so-called Brno ‘twirl’, which meant roll call at four a.m., that is, getting up before three, written in Brno until two, handed over mostly without objections at half past one. And at half past three roll call again and back, ending at one in the night. So I came back from the Brno twirl, and the [State Security officers - ed.] came crashing in here at six in the morning. I said: ‘When I wake up...’ They came back a moment later - why wasn’t I coming. I said: ‘I’m sleepy...’ ‘Well, Mr Holec, what are you doing tomorrow?’ I said: ‘I guess I’ll be in the garden.’ We had a garden down in Lily Street. ‘Mmm, mmm.’ They finally admitted that there was a demonstration in the works in the square [in Pilsen - ed.] and in Sušice and [Karlovy] Vary. I said: ‘Well there you go, we didn’t even know about the one in Sušice.’ So I received a ban on entering the square. I said: ‘And can I at least take the tram to my garden?’ ‘Oh, sure, why not.’ I went around the time the gathering was supposed to be, but the London-style foggy, you really couldn’t meet up with anyone there. I was already in Revival at the time.”

  • born 7 April 1933 in Pilsen
  • grew up in Korunní in the Doupov Mountains, where his father Emil Holec worked as a clerk at a mineral spring
  • autumn 1938, the family was evacuated inland as the Czech border region was ceded to Germany
  • experienced WW2 in Náchod; his mother died
  • attended grammar school in Náchod and Kadaň, where he graduated in 1951
  • worked as a propagandist at the District Committee of the CPC in Kadaň
  • 1953-1954, studied philosophy at the Faculty of Arts of Charles University in Prague
  • 1954-1959, studied philosophy at Lomonosov State University in Moscow (earned the degree of Graduate Philosopher)
  • 1960-1967, worked at the Department of Ideology of the West Bohemian Regional Committee of the CPC in Pilsen
  • 1967-1969, assistant lecturer at the Faculty of Education in Pilsen
  • during Prague Spring, chosen as a candidate of the Regional Committee ofthe CPC in Pilsen
  • May to September 1968, member of the Secretariat of the Regional Committee of the CPC responsible for ideology
  • 1970, expelled from the CPC and fired from his job
  • during the normalisation, first worked as a inspector of patients on sick leave, then worked at railway post offices for 14 years
  • respected mycologist
  • 1989, active in Revival - The Club for a Socialist Reconstruction
  • 1990, returned to the Faculty of Education in Pilsen, where he worked until his retirement
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