Ludmila Langrová

* 1923  †︎ 2015

  • "The murders were investigated, and in Pardubice, the StB (State Security) got eight people to admit to the murder of Blažek. You can imagine what the interrogations were like. But they still couldn't find the right one. Until one time in the pub, it was some event, Kořínek, the chairman, got drunk, pulled a gun out and started shouting: 'Blažek's blood is not on my hands,' and he started threatening people. The criminal police from Kutná Hora called in their Prague collegues. They investigated up to the point when he became suspect. They arrested him, but he didn't want to admit to it. So they played him - they dressed him up in normal clothes and put him, as if by mistake, in a cell with his brother, and told him he was going home. He told his brother Tomáš that he was going home. Tomáš didn't like it, that his brother would go free when he planned the whole thing. (...) They had a microphone planted there, so that's how they got them. In the end they hanged the both of them. When the Communists found out that the rest are innocent, and that they didn't have any wrong to prove them, they made them up as a seditious group, and Jiří Klečka was supposedly their leader."

  • "I was born in Žleby, my father had a carpentry. I studied at a business school in Prague, after finishing school I met my husband. He was from Kunvald, but he had a granny in Žleby. We got married in August 1945, our son was born two years later, the one who died a year ago."

  • "We lived in a former stables, there were 78 of us. All kinds of women - murderers, those convicted by state and popular courts, collaborators. We had our fill of bedbugs too. They liked me a lot. We could wash a bit more once a week when they turned up the water tap. We walked around dirty, as if powdered. I used to sing in church beforehand, the brick factory damaged my voice, and working in a cementworks after my release finished the job. So that's my souvenir. Every week they did so-called "filcunk". The wardresses threw all of our things around, searched everything. And if they found any sharp object, it was very bad, we had to borrow nail clippers. Some of our head wardens were terrible, they woke us up mid-night and shouted at us. Then the ruffians charged in, the wardresses and wardens, and they threw all our things around. One couldn't just go back to sleep after that. And we had to get up for work at five in the morning."

  • "There was this butcher, Kostelecký, who they arrested during the big bus arrest in July. They took to the StB station in Pardubice, and released after some two months. Some time later they visited him again, goodness knows why, it was this esteebie (member of StB) from Čáslav, whom they called Goldmouth. The butcher was terrified of them, so he asked them to wait a moment, and he went down into his cellar and hung himself. I had said that if they were to come for him again, he would hang himself. And so he did."

  • "The chairman of the National Committee in Žleby in 1950 was this chap, Kořínek, a post-war Communist and former National Socialist. He was a great careerist, he wanted to head the sugar factory, and the pre-war Communist Blažek, with whom he didn't get on well at all, was blocking his career. So he had revenge. No one knew it was him. First he shot him, but Blažek recovered. The second time he jumped him together with his brother Tomáš, they attacked him in the forest above the town, at the cross there. One acted as look-out, the other shot at him. That was the end of him. Suddenly this big hassle started. Kořínek picked out unreliable people and had them watched. We were watched during the night, we went to a dance, and the secret police was listening in on us. During the interrogations we found out that they knew everything about us. We didn't say anything else than what people normally say at dances."

  • Before the arrest - "I went to church and the women were sitting in front of the shop, and they spat at me: 'Do you see her, the clerical whore, yeuuugh...' They wanted to take my son, because my mother might bring him up in religion, like she did me."

  • Ludmila Langrová was sentenced to four years, as was her husband. Her father was also convicted, he made coffins in the Pankrác jailhouse for about a year. Jaromil Langr spent most of his sentence in the Jáchymov district, Ludmila was in a women's prison in Rakovník. "I made bricks for three years. Only once did they allow a visit, that was it. When I worked over 150 percent, I could send my mother a few crowns, as she was alone with no money and with the child. She didn't have a job, she didn't receive welfare, her husband couldn't send her anything."

  • "He begged them, on his knees, begged the esteebies, his hands clasped. Please, go away, leave my daddy, let my daddy go... goodbye... a stone would be melted, but it didn't even touch them."

  • "After that I was at the StB station in Pardubice, working in the kitchen. When my husband found out I was there, from the janitors, he cut a little heart for me out of orange peel. He spent two days in solitary confinement for that, the poor thing. I was in solitary confinement two days and two nights. They happened to be building new confinement cells in Pardubice at the time. So it was all fresh, the concrete, mortar on the floor, no window pane, nothing. Just a jam bucket as a toilet. They took me out only after I fell unconscious. My husband was in confinement dozens of times. The moment they didn't like something, then straight away they sent them to solitary confinement. And they abused and abused and abused us."

  • "(I was) in a newly built bunker. The width was just about to spread your arms in, it was pitch dark. I walked along the walls to make sure I didn't bump myself. I couldn't sit, and there wasn't anywhere to lie down. As soon as I stopped walking, the guard shouted at me. The floor was covered in mortar. They had to build new ones because I guess they didn't have enough of them. So that's where they forced us, into fresh and untidied correction cells."

  • "What was it like, living in a provincial town with the people who told on others?" "We had to ignore those scumbags. We knew exactly what sort of blighters were the ones who told on us and then smiled as if nothing happened. We couldn't just forget about it."

  • "My husband had Parkinson's disease towards the end of his life, and the doctor said he must have been hit on his head. They bashed his head against the wall during interrogation. They forced him to drink urine until he got diarrhea. (...) A normal person couldn't understand how it would be possible for humans to commit such atrocities against each other."

  • "Before the arrest, my husband was returning home on his bike and the local SNB (National Security Corps) man stopped him. Teacher sir, don't tell on me, but they're coming for you. I said to himself, why would they go for him. Then he met the local women, and they spat at him. When he came home, he thought they must have gone crazy. And the next day they came."

  • "When we went to court, dad went in front of me, about two steps. I ran after him and said: 'Dad, please, don't be angry at us.' He turned round, and that mongrel gave him such a slap, that he staggered. And I thought, if I ever meet him again, I would kill him. The sort of villains they were, I can't even describe. Who hasn't lived through it just can't know what to imagine. How awful a time it was. All fear, distress, one ws afraid to talk to anyone. I'm simply surprised that we just about survived it. My husband said, when he returned from Jáchymov, that he didn't think he would live to see home."

  • "We got what we got. No one can relieve us of that. It'll hang on us like a rock until death."

  • "Some of the civilians were missing a conscience too. There was one, she told me: 'Give me your home adress. I'll write to them to send parcels to me, and I'll secret it in for you.' So I gave it to her. Ofcourse, no parcel ever arrived. After my release, my mother asked me: 'Did you get the wool, did you get this, did you get that?' Nothing, ofcourse. They were that mean, that they kept it for themselves."

  • "My life philosophy, message? Honesty, decency. To help the weak. That people would behave decently, wouldn't lie or steal, and would be honest. I don't wish hardship or suffering on anyone. What we went through, I wouldn't even wish for my worst enemy. When we're just talking about it like this, it doesn't seem so awful. But those who experienced it, they know what it's like."

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    Žleby, 11.04.2007

    délka: 01:25:51
    nahrávka pořízena v rámci projektu Stories of 20th Century
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The width was just about to spread your arms in, it was pitch dark

Ludmila Langrová was born on the 5th of June 1923 in Žleby. Her father had a carpentry and employed six people. She studied a business school in Prague, after her graduation she met Jaromil Langr, who studied at the Teacher‘s Institution in Čáslav. They married in August 1945, two years later a son was born, Miloš. In 1950 they were both arrested among many other Žleby citizens. They were both sentenced to four years in prison and were released early in 1953, after Gottwald‘s death. Jaromil Langr had been taken to the Jáchymov district, Ludmila had been in a women‘s prison in Rakovník. Ludmila Langrová‘s father was also arrested and held in custody at Pankrác for several months. After their release, they both had to do menial labour. Jaromil Langr died in 2004. Ludmila Langrová passed away on October the 14th 2015.