Toman Brod and his wife Libuse

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  • Photo taken in:
    Prague
    Country name at time of photo:
    Czechoslovakia, 1945-1989
    Country name today:
    Czech Republic
    Name of the photographer / studio:
    Petr Parth

This is one photograph from an artistic series made by one photographer. It was taken in the 1980s at Na Frantisku in Prague.

My wife Libuse was (and is) very beautiful, in fact they used to photograph her as a model, so that's why she became quite well-known among photographers.

In the 1980s, when the photograph was taken, the regime had started to gradually collapse. Expressions of dissatisfaction with it increased, be they civic activities such as for example Charter 77, or demonstrations against the regime, which especially multiplied at the end of the 1980s.

I myself was one of the first signatories of Charter 77. It wasn't a tough decision for me to sign it, basically once, around Christmas 1976, some friends came to see me and told me that something is being prepared, something that isn't aimed directly against the regime, that it's an initiative that wants to force the regime to respect the very laws that it itself accepted.

So I immediately said yes, I agree with this, I'll sign right away. And I signed. I didn't occupy any sort of leading position in the Charter, maybe that's why the repressions against me weren't so bad as what others had to live through.

We also had our home searched, that we did, which wasn't anything at all pleasant, but those that were performing it were really more these primitive types, so they for example confiscated a children's toy, this tiny printing kit, ostensibly so that we couldn't propagate some anti-state pamphlets.

We happily kept on meeting with the other Charter signatories, not as signatories, but they were friends, so simply as friends.

Or they would come to our place to wash the windows, some of the worked for a firm that arranged the washing of windows, it wasn't all that expensive, so we said to ourselves, why should we do it, we would order someone and that firm always sent us one of our friends.

The police came to arrest one of them, while he was standing in the window. It was a horrible scene, nevertheless they didn't manage to arrest him, at least not in the attic of our apartment.

Interview details

Interviewee: Toman Brod
Interviewer:
Lenka Kopřivová
Month of interview:
April
Year of interview:
2005
Praha, Czech Republic

KEY PERSON

Toman Brod
Year of birth:
1929
Decade of birth:
1920
City of birth:
Prague
Country name at time of birth:
Czechoslovakia
Occupation
after WW II:
Historian

Other Person

Libuse Brodava
Year of birth:
1932
City of birth:
Breclav

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