Ludmila Hermanová

* 1936

  • “I did not know when they arrested my daddy, but on the second day we had to undergo a medical examination and there was a warden present as well. The warden just signaled to me like this. (three fingers, auth.’s note) I had no idea what it meant. Then I understood that three of us were already arrested. We were all arrested on the same day. Mom was still at home at that time, because people from the financial department from the district administration were in our house taking inventory of our property. There was one honest man from the financial department, whom I knew, and he said to my mom: ´Mrs. Olšaníková, report them everything you have, it is for your own good.´ As if he anticipated that the things would be eventually returned some day. Mom stayed at home for some time. My brother was feeding the horses. It was in winter and as he was climbing up to the hay shed, he slipped and fell down. He suffered a brain concussion and he was taken to hospital. When he was released, they were already taking my little sister to my aunt’s and arresting my mom. My brother thus came from the hospital and he remained at home alone. He was undergoing treatment after polio and my parents were paying for his regular stay in the Velké Losiny spa. When he was there for the first time in 1951, he stayed there from the New Year until Christmas, and my parents paid for all of this as private entrepreneurs. My brother then had to start working in the agricultural cooperative, but later there was somebody, I don’t remember who it was, who said that he was not fit for the hard work in the cooperative. Brother thus got another job in the sugar mill in Uničov and he learnt the electrician’s trade there.”

  • “We were numbers. I was 3306. ´Board the bus.´ At first they read the men’s names and my dad also boarded this bus. We were not allowed to talk at all. Men were sitting in the back part of the bus and women in the front. There were three or four policemen and dogs. They were sitting in the opposite direction in the bus. But I hated riding in the bus and I was sick all the time. At first they stopped for me several times. But then they got angry. They gave me a watering can. We stopped somewhere, I could see a huge dam. ´Men, get off!´ We were not allowed to turn or to talk with anybody. There was no way we could talk. As daddy was getting of the bus, he just grabbed my hand and I his. Fortunately nobody noticed this. I learnt that this stop was Leopoldov. We thus saw each other the day before our arrest and then we have not spoken to each other until we returned. We all returned on the same day, on May 11th.”

  • “They gave me half of an orange and said that my mother sent it to us and that she asked them to share it. I remember that we were cleaning the cell where there were four of us, and I got sick and I fainted. They called a doctor who said that I should not be disturbed and that I should be allowed to lie down, because otherwise you were not allowed. They immediately transferred two of the inmates to another cell and I was left there with only one woman. We eventually found out that the woman who remained there with me was an informer. Unfortunately I don’t remember her full name anymore which I regret a lot. I know her first name was Drahomíra. It was half past nine in the evening and they dragged me out of the cell for interrogation. Before that, as I had been lying there, I heard somebody choking and shouting. Later I learnt that it was my brother. The oranges they gave us had to be infused with something; I have no other explanation for it. My brother was completely unconscious. I probably didn’t eat so much of it. I don’t know, but with two people on the same day, I don’t believe that it could be a coincidence.”

  • “It happened some evening in July in 1956. There was a feast in Mladějovice on the day of Mary Magdalene, and the whole family always gathered there to celebrate it. The agent had arrived on Monday evening. He stayed there for the whole week. My brother was taking him to see some military buildings and things like that, and I was accompanying them sometimes. My brother was riding around with him a lot and gathering information. The agent came and asked if he could stay with us for some time, and that just in case, he allegedly worked for the Liberec district authority. Or something like that. I don’t remember it precisely. But he was not hiding at all during the day and people knew him because he worked there. Then in February 1958 I started a job in a bank and I began working behind a counter for savings books. There was a long line of people. The deputy of the director came to me and asked me to take a letter to the post office, although we had a girl there who was doing these errands. I told him that I had many clients waiting, but I obeyed. I only put on my coat. He handed me the letter. I walked out through the back door and he even called after me: ´When you go back, buy me some Junkas,´ that was a brand of cigarettes that he smoked. I mailed the letter at the post office and as soon as I left the building, two men appeared next to me, one on each side. They addressed me. A Tatraplan car reversed in. ´You will come with us to explain something.´ They drove me to Olomouc. They asked me if it was intentional. There was a winter coat hanging on the wall. I asked: ´My brother is here, too?´ ´Yes.´ That was all they told me.”

  • „V zimě jsme vyfasovali takový vysoký hrnec na uhlí, každá ubikace jeden. Vždycky v určitou hodinu nás svolali gongem a šlo se s velitelem před tábor nabrat uhlí. Topilo se v kamnech zvané vincky. Když jsme příděl spálili, tak už nebylo čím přiložit. Když se zatopilo a rozehřála se roura od kamen, dělaly jsem si na tom topinky. V létě, když se netopilo a topinky nebyly, vařily jsme si na plechovce, ve které se vyřízla dvířka, kávu, kterou třeba některá z nás dostala při návštěvě. V plechovce jsme udělali oheň z vložek, čistých, a v plechovém hrníčku jsme si udělali kávu. Pokud vyhaslo a venku byly velké mrazy, byl mráz i na ubikaci. Měly jsme jen deku na přikrytí, polštář a slamníky, které jsme si musely jednou za rok samy nacpat. Oblečení také moc nebylo. V létě jsme měly lehčí blůzu a kalhoty v šedobílé barvě. Na zimu teplejší kalhoty a kabát, pánské trenýrky, ponožky a komisňáky. To bylo veškeré vybavení.“

  • „Když jsem tam v tom červnu přišla, byla jsem asi dva dny na marodce v izolaci, pak jsem byla zařazena na setbu tabáku a paprik. Bylo to v pařeništích, muselo se vybrat asi půl metru hlíny. Jelikož jsem skoro půl roku nic nedělala, nedržela jsem v ruce ani koště, měla jsem hned puchýře. A to sluce! Byla jsem hodně spálená. Druhý den jsme šli na čočku. Luštěniny se tam také pěstovaly. A ta čočka byla hodně povalená. Trhali jsme to rukama a váleli do takových kotoučů. Do mozolů se mi zapíchaly bodláky. A bylo zase takové horko, že jsem hned dostala slabší úpal. Asi tři dny jsem pak byla doma. Pak se šlo na tabák. Sklízel se na několikrát. Začínalo se odspodu od největších listů a pokračovalo se nahoru. Bylo to krásné, když to kvetlo, ale jakmile jsem se ohnula mezi ty rostliny, strašně mě to dráždilo. Kašlala jsem a kašlala.“

  • „Jednotila a okopávala se tam například řepa, anebo se vysazoval tabák, papriky. Jeden řádek byl třeba kilometr dlouhý. Kolem dokola dozorci, psi. Když byla vysoká kukuřice, tak kolem objížděl dozorce na koni. Žádná toaleta, jen čtyři kůly obtočené pytlovinou. Musely jsme se nahlásit, když jsme potřebovaly. V létě tam bývalo horko, byli jsme až u maďarských hranic. Na poli stála podlouhlá dřevěná bečka s vodou. Když na to celý den svítilo sluníčko, bylo to teplé. A navíc, jedna nebo dvě vězeňkyně nás obcházely s kbelíkem a všechny jsme musely pít z jednoho hrnku. Na poli nás bylo třeba sto padesát. Byly tam prostitutky, cikánky, prostě všehochuť. A to se pak ani pít nechtělo. Svačiny žádné, na snídani černá káva. K tomu jsme jednou za den nafasovaly bochníky chleba pro celou ubikaci. Vyšlo to asi na čtvrt bochníku pro jednu na celý den.“

  • „Ubikace byly udělané z chlévů, protože to byly státní statky. Byla tam jen dvě zděné budovy. V jedné byly ‚mankařky‘, které měly manka. Druhá byla administrativní a byla tam také prádelna. Jinak bylo všechno dřevěné. Toalety, ani se to tak nedá nazvat, byly venku na dvoře. Před večerkou se muselo jít a potom až po budíčku. Bylo jich tam asi osmnáct, z toho šest normálních, ostatní takzvané turecké. Kolik nás tam mohlo být? Možná kolem pěti set. Mnohdy tam nesvítilo světlo a nejhorší to bylo, když vypukla nějaká epidemie.“

  • „Olomouc byla taková přestupní stanice. Přijížděly tam eskorty ze slovenských a českých věznic, tam se to promíchalo. Byla jsem taky vyvolaná, že jdu na eskortu. Na nádvoří stály autobusy a četli naše jména. Četli i tatínka, i když jsem ho nejprve neviděla. Nastupoval do stejného autobusu jako já. Muži seděli vzadu, my ženy vpředu. Neměla jsem tušení, kam jedu. V autobuse mi bylo jako obvykle špatně. Nejprve mi asi dvakrát zastavili, potom už byli zlí a dali mi kropící konev. Mluvit se s nikým nesmělo, ani se sousedkou. V autobuse stáli dva příslušníci, aby měli přehled přes autobus. Seděl tam taky pes a hlídal. Pak jsem někde zastavili. Nevěděla jsem, jak vypadá Leopoldov, a že vůbec taková věznice existuje. Muži tam museli vystoupit. Tatínek kolem mě prošel, nemohli jsme se ani rozloučit. My jsme jeli dál. Nemocné lidi vysadili ve vězeňské nemocnici v Ilavě. Po obědě jsme pokračovali dál. Ještě jsem nocovala v Nitře. A druhý den ráno nás asi tři ženy vezli antonem do Želiezovců.“

  • „Přišel za mnou náměstek ředitele, jestli bych nezašla na poštu s doporučeným dopisem. Bylo mi to divné, proč dopoledne, navíc jsme tam měli dívku, která měla poštu na starosti. Dělala jsem tehdy na vkladních knížkách a bylo tam dost lidí, ale byla jsem tam druhá nejmladší, tak jsem na sebe jen hodila kabát a šla. Když jsem vycházela z budovy spořitelny, náměstek za mnou ještě vyšel a volal, ať mu cestou zpět koupím Džunky. To byly cigarety, které kouřil. Pošta nebyla daleko, podala jsem dopis, a když jsem vycházela, zacouval ke mně Tatraplan. Z každé strany ke mně přistoupil jeden muž, a že půjdu s nimi, že jim jenom něco vysvětlím, a že mě zase pustí. Tak jsme jeli do Olomouce. Kabelku a všechno jsem měla v zaměstnání. Když jsem tam přišla, viděla jsem tam viset podobný kabát, jaký nosil bratr. Zeptala jsem se, jestli je tady i můj bratr. Policista chvíli mlčel a pak přisvědčil. Pak začaly výslech. Sledovala jsem hodinky, kdy mi jede vlak z Olomouce, abych se ještě dostala domů. Když bylo půl sedmé večer, odvedli mě dolů na celu. Hodili mi tam deky, musela jsem odevzdat prstýnky. Nespala jsem a čekala, co bude ráno. Ráno mi už dali vězeňskou uniformu a šoupli mě na celu. Byly tam už tři ženy, já byla čtvrtá. Cela měla maximálně pět krát pět metrů. A začalo to martyrium.“

  • “I had a piano at home. A concert piano, and dad wanted to save at least this piano. He claimed: ´This piano is not mine. Has anyone ever heard me playing it?´ ´But you have purchased it.´ They moved the piano to the culture centre in Mladějovice. Then there was the amnesty in 1960. We returned home on the eleventh. On the ninth there was some celebration. They took the piano for this celebration and they returned it back only in 1994 or so, but it was very damaged: they had been butting cigarettes on the piano keys and placing beer bottles on the top, and the score holder was broken. (Have you repaired the piano?) No, I sold it. (Have you ever played the piano afterwards?) No, nevermore.”

  • “The girls who were working on plucking feathers brought some feathers. We found a piece of wire and some green ink. We coloured the feathers and made a Christmas tree. Candles were made from cigarettes. But we had to hide them carefully so that they would not find them. Checks in the cells were being done frequently before Christmas, and they destroyed or took away everything they found. We also bought gingerbread, ground it, and added condensed milk. We only had a stove there. In winter the stove was used for heating. When we came back from work, we always had to bring coal in large tin containers. It was our daily ration of coal. We used the hot stovepipe to make toasts and cook. We boiled the condensed milk to make caramel and we made some cookies. (Did you give some presents to each other?) Only things that were made there. Some girls were very skillful. When they were sent somewhere to do some cleaning and they found some plastic water pipes, they were able to cut them into hair clips. Or the most adroit girls were even making some artwork from bread.”

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Nearly all of our family ended up in prison

Ludmila Hermanová - 1956
Ludmila Hermanová - 1956
zdroj: archiv pamětníka

  Ludmila Hermanová, née Olšaníková, was born August 3, 1936 in Štěpánov near Olomouc. In the late 1930s her parents rented a farm in nearby Moravská Hůzová. They however had to move out of the farm within forty-eight hours during the war and leave all their livestock and agricultural machinery behind, because the farm was located in the Moravian Sudetenland. The farm was taken over by a German family from Romania. The five-member family then lived in a small room with her grandmother in Štěpánov almost until the end of the war. In 1945 they were assigned a farm in Mladějovice, which began to prosper very well after some time. Ludmila‘s father was even elected chairman of the local village administration (MNV). However, the situation changed dramatically when the communists seized power. Ludmila‘s father was immediately dismissed from his position as the chairman and during the collectivization process which followed, he was being pressured by various means to join the unified agricultural cooperative (JZD). Ludmila‘s father was steadfastly refusing, and when in 1956 the family was contacted by Lumír Pavlík, who was an agent of the American CIC intelligence service, they decided to offer him not only shelter, but also to assist him with gathering information. When this activity became disclosed, the State Police arrested Ludmila‘s father, brother, mother and Ludmila herself, and together with several other relatives they were sentenced to several years of imprisonment. Only fifteen-year-old Stanislav, who suffered from polio, and his little sister Milada remained at home. Milada was taken to the house of her uncle and aunt who began taking care of her, and handicapped Stanislav, who also sustained an injury at that time, had to start working in the agricultural cooperative. In May 1960 the president declared amnesty and all the imprisoned members of the family were released on parole on the same day. After two years in the penitentiary labour camp, Ludmila was made to accept employment in the kitchen of the state farm in Mladějovice, and only a year and a half later she was allowed to transfer to a different job. She now lives in Ostrava.