Werich was very fond of his three wives, says Tereza Brdečková. She wrote a book about Jana and Zdenka around Jan Werich

“Jana and Fanča would never be the same again without Jan Werich, but also his wife Zdenička. But I would be a bit different without them too.” You wrote that in your book. What did you mean?

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At the beginning of the 1950s, when it was very difficult here, an artistic society of really very good people was formed in Prague, who on the one hand were certainly not communists, but on the other hand knew that they did not want to emigrate. And they didn’t have the strength to fight it.

She was also a war, and two, they wanted to do their thing. And because it was both a relief, they had a dark sense of humor and a bit of a bad conscience. This company included people like Jan Werich, Jiří Trnka, many great painters…

And my father, who was a little over thirty at the time and who had worked with Jiří Trnka since the end of the war, was asked by Jan Werich to write the film The Emperor of the Baker, The Baker of the emperor.

And it affected you because you grew up in this environment…

I grew up in that environment, even though I didn’t go to the Werichs. My dad didn’t want me to be friends with these famous people, so that I wouldn’t explain it somewhere, because he was from a family of teachers and considered it socially inappropriate and stupid.

And I would almost agree with him. Moreover, the environment generated prematurely adult children. Because the adults didn’t get in front of them – they talked about what they wanted, they talked about politics, they talked vulgarly. They enjoyed a free life in these houses and apartments near Trnka and Werich. They were sort of parallel Bohemian societies.

Werich is much more ours in his failures. We deal with him much more than with someone who is completely clean.

Tereza Brdeckova

People who were in the camps and prisons at the time would probably disagree with me, for them they were only a bit of collaborators with the regime. But I think someone also has to live normally for the country to go on. And I know that, for example, Václav Havel had the same opinion on this.

Let me quote one more sentence: “Do you know how happy everyone in Kampa would be for you?” Fanča asks you and you reply: ‘I don’t know, I’m just angry at the misinterpretations of Werich’s ending. Kampa. “

The Werichs were very generous when it came to letting strangers into the barracks. And the same people, when they witnessed family conflicts, spread them throughout Prague. And so it was that long after their deaths, Janina’s unfortunate end was seized by the tabloids, everyone was interested. It was written that Jana was drinking, that she was chasing Werich with an ax … And Fanča wanted this to be finally revealed.

How did Werich catch your eye while writing? You write about the women around him, but you have to put it in the context of the times, and just as Werich drew attention in everyday life, he had to draw it here, isn’t it? it not?

I think everything around him was flying and everyone understood. I don’t say reconciled. It was the same with us. After all, I write in the book that the most important person in this society and at that time was the man, the artist or, for example, the doctor, then his wife, and no one cared much about children . It wasn’t like today.

Not only was Werich a breadwinner, but he was also very kind and loved all three women. The first person (on correspondence, editor’s note) intrigued – the great love they had for each other.

It’s clear in these letters, and when I read it, I felt it. Even if you write this later, marital dislikes and times when the other can’t even stand each other. But I’ve been wondering all this time, what do we still have on this Werich after all these years?

There are two things. He as a personality was somehow universal… He had ideas that he had thrown around, he wrote in a journal that he sometimes had to use them. And it came up to him from somewhere. After all, Jiří Suchý says he said he believed in God because he didn’t know where the idea came from. Indeed, Werich was somehow blessed.

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The other side of it is the time he managed, how he could. Not always the most honest – as we know, he starred in a terrible Soviet film in the 50s. He did what he could, as best he could. Voskovec was always sick for him. And even in these failures, Werich is much more ours, we deal with him much more than with someone who is completely clean.

I don’t like the big reviews of young authors from the so-called Husák children’s generation, because I’m absolutely sure that if they lived in such a time, they would end up the same, because this time could really make a clown out of everyone. world. Which I remember.

How was Mrs. Zdenka really? Why did Jana, Werich’s daughter, live? And what happened to the fate of the granddaughter Fanchi? Listen to the whole conversation.

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