Věra Kolková

* 1928  †︎ 2019

  • "Do you know what was our way to discover the city of Zlín? Jan Baťa asked my dad to harness the horses, put his children in the carriage and took me along. He drove us around Zlín so that the children could see what a beautiful city he was building. Sometimes, he'd take us all the way to Otrokovice. We were always being driven somewhere, always paid visits to someone. Something was happening all the time."

  • "The riding school was a central point, many people used to come there. There were plenty of young men. Back then, women had not yet been riding horses, with the exception of two... So the young men even had their own club in one of the rooms. That was where they gathered, where they changed into riding clothes. Later, when Tomáš Baťa Jr. returned, he would invite his friends over to this clubhouse."

  • "When I was at home, I had to attend evening classes, but I had spent a lot of time visiting Marie Baťová, the widow after Tomáš Baťa. One could say she was left with nobody. Tomík was then still in Canada. All of Jan Baťa's children were gone, and so were many families of former directors including their children. She felt sad all the time. When I went from work, I wouldn't go home but to Ms. Baťová instead." - "Did you spend more time at hers than at home?" - "Yes, that may have just been the case." - "You must have felt good there, then." - "Very good because it was nice there. She gave me her attention. But the way she is described in Mr. Hajný's book is not very truthful. In her villa, it was all about cleaning. She was very sensitive about it. Now imagine all that carwed wooden lining, it had to be polished all the time. She didn't spare any time to shout at her servants when they screwed something up. She wasn't a noble person who'd handle people with kid gloves. Even I had been slapped by her in the face for using some undecent word."

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    Zlín, 15.03.2018

    (audio)
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Cherish life and fight for it

Věra Kolková / Zlín / 2018
Věra Kolková / Zlín / 2018

Věra Kolková, née Malachová, was born on 5 September 1928 in Černá Hora in the Brno district. She grew up at a chateau where her parents worked for Count Moritz Fries. Věra‘s mother was a chambermaid, her father looked after the horses. In 1932, Tomáš Baťa hired him as a riding instructor. After the factory owner‘s death, he worked for his heir Jan Antonín Baťa. The family lived in a house next to the riding school in Zlín. Věra became friends with Edita, Jan Baťa‘s daughter, and other children of the company‘s managers. When the Baťa family established a school of arts in 1939, she encountered young visual artists who attended drawing classes in the riding school. After the emigration of the Baťa family to the US, she became friends with Marie, the widow after Tomáš Baťa. After the war, her family lost everything. In 1946, Věra worked in former Baťa store in Ostrava. Following wedding, she shortly lived in Bílá Voda near Javorník. She and her husband later lived in Bruntál, Dubňany and eventually in Zlín. She had worked in art galleries in Hodonín and Zlín.