Renata Straková

* 1959

  • "Once, they went through the village and the mother carried bread for her children under her coat. My grandfather was on forced labor outside, in Austria, and grandmother was left alone with the children. She carried the bread hidden under her coat. Then there was a threat of death for something like that. They were walking down the street and suddenly SS- men appeared in front of them. Grandma turned pale, they were already stopped, little dad, seven or eight years old, was saluted by Heil Hitler, the German was surprised, Heil Hitler replied and let them go. So he really saved a life not only for himself, but also his mother. Grandma has turned pale, they still remember it. And this one he witnessed, even though they shot away the citizens of the village. How they also shot down the Germans, when the Russians came in and shot everyone without sorry. Despite the fact that there were also Poles in German uniforms. He heard when they were under the wall, that one shouted in Polish, Jesus Maria. He has such memories very vividly. "

  • “At that time I was in the fifth month, I said to myself, then when I give birth I will not be able to travel, I will still go see my parents, visit them. It was exactly on the first of May, then it was still manifesting, in the eighty-sixth, so I was watching in the square. And the next day they were all standing in line, taking the iodine tincture. I did not know what and why, but in Poland, Chernobyl was openly talked about. So I came by train to Trenčín and I asked the husband and father-in-law, how you take it, if I can go for iodine here as well. And they... and why, what is it about? They knew absolutely nothing about it. You know very well, you probably don't remember, but it was. Only after two weeks in Nové Mesto, helicopters measuring the degree of radiation circled over our housing estate. And I know that when I went for a walk with my daughter, I didn't find as many four-leaf clovers in our housing estate in my life as I did then, so those mutations had to be really strong there. Nevertheless, they hid it from people for so long that something happened at all. In Poland, it was known immediately, and therefore the iodine was offered to everyone. My nephew was born then and he really had very problems with his throat, coughing and so on. There were big problems with the child. I also wondered if it would affect my unborn child. And a son was born in August 1986 in Trenčín. So what was the difference between giving birth in Plovdiv and Trenčín. I'll tell you that. Of course, a husband with our daughter could only see through the window … when they were driving our son. Otherwise, no meeting with us personally. And then, he was sitting normally, but when he tried to walk, we found that something was wrong. We started going to neurologists and so on and it was found that he has a serious genetic diagnosis that he will never walk.”

  • "From the beginning, we noticed the Bulgarians were very pro-Russian, pro-Soviet. There the influence was great, I would say. Protective, party children also really got there for their studies. That was obvious. We even saw it, the kids talked about it. Those students who were in the party always had better grades than other Bulgarians. They had better relationships or professors with them, than with others. They were really privileged. Strangers like me... hm. Let me tell you one thing, they have always looked at the Poles a little from above. Of course, in every socialist state, every year had a compulsory political subject. The first year was the history of the Bulgarian Communist Party, the second year was educational communism, and so on. For those four years, we had to take a political subject every year. And everyone took it very seriously. But in those lectures or exercises it was so for us... well, the history, the history of the communist Bulgarian party, it was so uninteresting for us. We always had comments and did not want to give us a word because they were afraid that... what we would ask again and what they would have to explain and answer. We have spoken out in particular with regard to the collectivisation of agriculture. And they don't, don't say anything, you are still kulak, there is no collectivization with you at all, you will not express yourself here, you are still masters and bourgeoisie. They still considered us more pro-Western. Even though we were in the same camp. "

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    online, 26.03.2021

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„Bulgaria was the furthest country, where I could get under communism.“

Renata Straková, as single Galkowska, was born on February 10, 1959 in Szamotuły. Her mother‘s name was Daniela, as single Mlynska and father Kazimierz Lech Galkowski. On March 16, 1966, her brother Jacek was born. She went to primary school in the years 1966 - 1974. She studied at the grammar school in the biological-chemical class (1974 - 1978). She graduated from a university in the Bulgarian town Plovdiv, Department of Horticulture - Viticulture (1978 - 1982). In the third year, she married the Slovak man Peter, with whom she met on an mountaineering course. In 1982, a daughter Veronika was born, who was given czechoslovak citizenship. In April 1984, they both started working in state property in Nové mesto nad Váhom. They got a three-room apartment. Renata started as a hop- grower. In August 1986, a son Lukáš was born. In 1988 they moved to Trenčín and the husband started working as a steam boiler operator. Later, Renata completed additional university studies for teaching. She also received a certificate in German. She taught science subjects at primary school for six years. Together with a friend and a native from Katowice, Poland, they founded the Polish Club, Stredné Považie (2002). For the last nine years, she has worked at a social services center. She retired in 2021.