“We were still in operation, but we had to give up - a ‘kontingent’ [from German, meaning quota - trans.] they called it - eggs. When a pig was slaughtered, you had to ask permission from the council, and you had to hand in the skin from the back, which was used for leather boots and handbags. You had to hand that in. And a vet came, gave you a stamp that it’s all sanitary. You had to give up milk, you had to give up corn. But I can tell you, when I buy eggs nowadays, they’re dirty, sometimes even with feathers. [The quotas] we had to hand in, every egg had to be clean. We wiped every egg with a rag, otherwise they wouldn’t accept it and we’d be in big trouble.”
“I was employed at ZPA at the time, and Russian soldiers were keeping watch. Say I’d walk from Stodůlky, and the soldier didn’t even notice me. He saw a woman on her way to work. Things were quite calm at the ZPA factory. I don’t remember any turmoil. Then there was that thing with the Two Thousand Words [a famous manifesto of Prague Spring - trans.], they went about with the lists of those who disagreed, and they came to us in accounting. I said, no, I won’t sign it, why? Look, are they protecting us? They are. We’ll see how things develop, then we’ll decide. Why should I sign some pamphlet? My husband had the same approach.”
I don’t like that everything we built up during Communism is now in private hands
Ludmila Grafnetrová was born on 15 September 1933 in Grygov near Olomouc. Her parents had a farm, she and her two sisters helped tend the field and care for the cattle. In 1947 she started attending a secondary school of agriculture in Olomouc. During a visit to her aunt in Prague she met her future husband Ervín Grafnetr. They married in 1953, and the witness moved to Prague. She would travel to Moravia to help her parents with their field, but she and her husband finally persuaded them to give up the farm and join the local united agricultural cooperative. Her husband had completed training at the Walter Works in 1947, and he was employed at the factory his whole life until his retirement. He worked himself up from apprentice to experienced lathe operator, and he joined his career with the Communists and trade unionists. He was the chairman of the factory committee of the Revolutionary Trade Union Movement. They both adhered to Communist ideals.