“When I returned I found out that some changes had happened. That they had meanwhile closed down some departments, like the department where I used to attend the lectures, and the lectures that I had been going to. Professor Václav Černý had led this department, and he was en excellent scholar on literature, but the communist party did not like him from the political point of view, and so they closed down his entire department. Some professors had to leave do you know who were the people who were getting them fired from the faculty? A team of three very active people: students who were my age, nineteen or twenty years old, and they got such an authority that they were able to simply fire any professor whom they disliked. They simply expelled them. Professors were fired and they lost their jobs. Then there were some new lecturers who ruled the department, and they swore on Marxism-Leninism and they were listening to Marxist professors who had been Marxists already before the war. But these lecturers were not happy with their lectures at all, because the lectures were not sufficiently focused on the class system and the Party.”
“When I transferred from Olomouc to the pedagogical faculty in Brno, I started working at the position of a research worker and I became employed in the laboratory of pedagogical research. Now, when the normalization period started and they began firing people from their jobs everywhere - people who had been somehow involved with the restoration process and the Prague Spring - and they were expelling all teachers at the university: professors and senior lecturers. I was a research worker, and they were not expelling research workers. So what they did when they wanted to get rid of me was that they changed my job title to a teacher so that they would be able to fire me and then they fired me… It was bad, because they had to give me their consent if I found any other job. For six months I was thus searching for work in Brno, in the Brno district, in the whole region and then all over Moravia and I could not find a job. Not even in a special needs school, where I could not have a negative ideological impact on anybody really, because all that was needed there was some elementary reading, writing and calculation. Not even there was I given a job. I was only able to get a job offer to work in a gasworks. The director there was very helpful and they wanted to hire me to administer some of their newsletters and work standards which related to gas, and which did not pertain to any ideology at all. The pedagogical faculty never gave me a permission to start working there. And so I only found a job in Slovakia, because the Slovaks had slightly different standards because they had their own government. They already had a federation, they became a federative republic in 1969, and they had a certain degree of autonomy and they were able to hire me and they did not have to wait for some consent from the pedagogical faculty. I thus survived my worst years in Slovakia. I was going to Brno, because my elderly parents were here, and I had my children here. My son was about your age at that time. My daughter was much younger. Those were hard years because I was so busy that I did not know what to do first. We were making fun of it with my husband that we were only able to see each other at the train station, if we were lucky. Well, it was indeed difficult.”
“I wandered into the attic and I found out what had been left behind by them. I discovered that their name was Sagasser family and that they had a daughter named Hilda. And this Hilda was about the same age as I and she had letters there which some guy was sending her from the warfront. Obviously, it was all organized: a girl, who was a member of the Bund Deutscher Mädel, the Union of German Girls during the Hitler era, was ordered to exchange letters with some soldier so that he would not feel so lonely on the front. But one thing that especially touched me was that there were paper cut-out toys and such things which I did not know from my environment, and they were simple and they were used during christening of babies. And I was really emotional about it, and about Hilda as well, and I thought: Why, couldn’t she just have stayed here? Did she have to move? And I started imagining various stories and tales and none of them had a good ending, because in Europe at that time there was a surge of anger against the Germans who had caused all this and who had started this war.”
Only then you merit freedom and life, if you struggle for them day by day
Stanislava Kučerová was born in 1927 in Hlohovec in Slovakia. As a young girl she spent her childhood in Machov and Náchod where she started attending the first grade of elementary school. Then she continued in Hradec Králové where she studied at first at the Municipal Girls‘ Grammar School and in 1945 she transferred to a Boys‘ State Rašín Grammar school, where she was the only girl in the class. She experienced the Protectorate era as well as when her father was summoned by the Gestapo. She had been a member of Sokol since her young age. The deportation of Germans as well as the separation of Czechoslovakia are still sensitive issues for her. Stanislava studied philosophy and comparative studies of world literature at the Faculty of Arts of Charles University in Prague. However, the literature department was closed down in 1948, and so she continued with the study of sociology and philosophy and she received her doctoral degree from these subjects in 1952. She was also a member of the Youth Union at the philosophy department. Her uncle and aunt were marked as kulaks in 1949 and they lost their employees and eventually they were forced to join the Unified Agricultural Cooperative. In 1960 Stanislava started working at the pedagogical department of the Faculty of Arts in Olomouc, and from there she went to Dvůr Králové and later to Brno. Meanwhile she was also teaching at the music school in Trutnov. In 1968 she was expelled from her job and then she was not able to find another employment for half a year. Eventually she was commuting from Brno to Bratislava for seven years. Later she became a senior lecturer and in 1990 she became the dean of the Pedagogical Faculty of Masaryk University in Brno. In 1993 she was appointed the professor of pedagogy.