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Zbyněk Bezděk (1918 - 2015) - Biography

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I lost faith in people. Everything was just a charade.

Zbyněk Bezděk was born in 1918 in Rovensko. His father was an important figure in the village and owned one of the largest estates there. Zbyněk Bezděk was expected to continue in the agricultural line, and thus prepared himself to take over responsibilities for the estate. For this reason he studied at the Economic College in Olomouc. In 1943, a barn full of hay was set on fire in Rovensko. To stop such an event from occurring again, the Gestapo took hostages from the village. Zbyněk Bezděk was one of them. He spent several weeks at the Gestapo stations in Šumperk and in Wrocław, where he was made to clear rubble after air raids. As the act of arson was not repeated, he was soon released. After 1948, the Communists tried to force the family into entering the local agricultural co-op [known by the abbreviation JZD - transl.]. To increase the pressure, Zbyněk Bezděk was called up for special training (i.e. VTNP - military forced labour camp) in Dolní Životice. He returned home four months later, by which time the estate was co-op property. He started work there, but in 1952 he and his parents were fired as kulaks. As part of the complete socialisation of the village, he was re-accepted into the co-op as an agronomist. At that point he was a long-distance student at the University of Agriculture and Forestry in Brno. He was still in touch with his friends in Dolní Životice, joined by a common enemy. In 1962, he and his friends were arrested and accused of enmity towards the state. As a result, he was sentenced to ten months of prison, of which he spent the first part in custody in Ostrava, the rest in Karviné. After his release he had to go back to the co-op, where every day he met the people who had testified against him in court. Diedn in 2015.

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