Anna Bařinová

* 1926  

  • “How did the financial reform affect your life?” - “Very much! As I had two thousand crowns that I had saved on my account and... I don´t know if I just... Shoes for my husband! I bought him shoes and I couldn´t afford to exchange the money. And this man, Mr Růžička, who had been in the management of this enterprise here in Zlín, learned that I couldn´t exchange any money, so he exchanged three hundred with me. And I gave him... Wait, how was it? He had quite a lot of money, and if you had quite a lot of money the exchange rate was fifty to one, something like that. And my husband was doing his military service. In 1953, he was in Slovakia on a military exercise, so he didn´t know what was happening. Until he came home. And this Mr Růžička gave me money and we made an exchange... I exchanged quite a lot of money of his. So he would have some. Fifty to one. So he would get three hundred crowns that he gave me. For the money he had saved. As in his case, they didn´t want to do the fifty to one exchange. If you had just too much money, they didn´t want to exchange it. So that´s how I was affected by that.”

  • “Slovakia had separated from the Czech, as you know. There was a lot of talking, but nothing could be done about that. But the Slovaks had quite a good time. We were well-off, as we were with the Germans, as we had just everything. Sugar, just everything, we had it all.” - “And how was your life during the war? What was your experience?” - “Well, we had... Then we sold sheep, as the landowners had a pasture where our sheep used to graze. And we would share the profit with this nobleman, as they were Hungarian noblemen, so we would share the profit somehow. I don´t remember how they would split it, fifty-fifty maybe. I mean that he would get half of the profit. So they would shear sheep. And as I remember, my father got twenty thousand. For the wool. And there were these huge sacks of wool and the buyers gathered in our yard. Mostly Polish Jews were buying our wool.”

  • “We spoke Hungarian at home as kids, as our mother was Hungarian. And so was our grandmother. They were trying to learn, but we mocked them every time they made a mistake. So they knew no Slovak, just Hungarian. But we spoke Slovak with other children, as I went to Slovak school, to the first grade. That was in Hudkovice, where we would live in a solitary house. So when we went home as kids, and there were plenty of us, to this solitary house, we were chasing after walnuts, and the walnuts were shelled already, as they fell from the tree back in autumn. That was amusing. I had a beautiful childhood.”

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    Zlín, 22.11.2019

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Freedom is everything

Anna Bařinová, a portrait
Anna Bařinová, a portrait
zdroj: Archiv pamětnice

Anna Bařinová née Putnocká was born on August 3rd 1926 in Budkovce, Slovakia. Her mother, Marie, was of Hungarian origin, a fact due to which the family had been forcibly relocated to Slovak-Hungarian borderland in 1938. After her father, Štefan Putnocký, managed to convince the authorities him being a “pure-blood Slovak”, the family had been allowed to return to its previous place of residence. After the war, Anna decided to leave Slovakia as a nineteen-years-old. She started to work at Baťa Enterprise in Zlín. For a young woman, growing up in a remote settlement of Budkovice, it was an amazing experience. As the youth could enjoy music and dancing. For the first time, she experienced how it felt like to take a shower. In 1948, as a Revolutionary Trade Union Movement (ROH) member, she had attended the XI. All-Sokol Rally in Prague (Praha), where, in the strongly anti-Communist ambiance, the Sokols refused to let the Union members to the parade grounds. In the early 50s, she met her future husband, Zdeněk Bařina, in Zlín (Gottwaldov at that time). During the World War II, he had been supporting partisans with his father, who, indirectly, had been the cause for the Ploština massacre. In 1950, as signatures had been gathered for an open letter asking Klement Gottwald for a death sentence for Milada Horáková, Anna Bařinová refused to sign. After Bařina´s tailor workshop had been nationalized, the family left for Napajedla where they would spend most of their lives. In the 60s, Anna Bařinová´s husband, Zdeněk, joined the Communist party, leaving it after the Warsaw pact invasion of 1968. Speaking about the socio-political development following the Velvet revolution, Anna Bařinová states that most of all she values freedom, the most precious thing there is.