Marta Laudátová

* 1947  

  • “Thinking back, I realise I really have to be immensely grateful to my mum and grandma who raised us. First, they did not foster any hate in us towards anyone. We prayed for dad every day, we had is image and mum would always tell us, reassure us that dad did nothing wrong, that he was innocent even though he was in prison. But we saw that the family, a certain part of the family, did not see it that way. ‘If he did not do anything he would not be in prison!’ So we got to see the other side too.” – “On a practical level, or a personal level, you as a child must have missed dad.” – “Luckily, we had uncles who tried to help us, substitute dad and help mum. When she had to go to somewhere, like to court, there was always an aunt or an uncle to go with her. We had a field, we grew potatoes and crops, and we had chickens, a goat and a pig; we tried to be self-sufficient. My grandma was very energetic and clever. My mum had to suffer through it and grandma encouraged us with her energy.”

  • “When I was home with my children the 1980s felt awful. To me it was like... no outlook, no light at the end of the tunnel. I would ask, ‘What will become of us?’ Everybody had a lot to worry about, little children, so we did not meet much – maybe once during Christmas. We did not watch the news, we didn’t even own a TV set. My parents watched TV, for example Austrian TV, and they would tell us something. With all those worries, we didn’t really... well those times felt like a burden.”

  • “Dad was teaching in Uherský Brod and they came for him at noon on 10 January and took him away. They first took him to his dwelling and then to Uherské Hradiště. He was among the very first. There was the ambitious Ludvík Hlavačka, he was... really... he must have been very smart but he used it to evil ends. He devised the electricity torture. The word got out later and inspectors came from Brno to ask what had happened. They got an explanation of how the prisoners were tortured, what they did to them... First, when they wanted to hear a confession, they beat them on the soles on their feet, and when that did not help, they introduced electricity in their shoes. They had a rheostat or what, connected to electricity, with two wires or pieces of tin, and they put that in their shoes and tortured them. When they didn’t like the answer they turned it on. My dad said it was so terrible he was praying to God to die. It was horrible, the pain was excruciating... he remembered it until the end of his life. He could not replace a light bulb – he said it was so horrible that, should hell be like that, it would be really horrible.”

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    Brno, 13.11.2018

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    nahrávka pořízena v rámci projektu Stories of 20th Century
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We knew that even if the evil was affecting us we had to resist it

Marta - profile photo period
Marta - profile photo period
zdroj: archiv pamětnice

Marta Laudátová was born to Zdeněk and Marie Svobodas in Bosonohy near Brno on 13 April 1947. Her father was an active member of Orel, a catholic sports organisation, and was arrested and imprisoned along with others in Uherské Hradiště in January 1949. He was one of the people who were tortured with electricity. He was sentenced for high treason in the case Bohuslav Koukal et al. He served his sentence in a labour camp in Jáchymov. He came back in 1955 and was still on parole and under surveillance until 1962. The witness had three siblings. Apart from the youngest one they all faced difficulties being admitted to schools. She finished the primary school with excellent results but was only allowed to study to become a turner. Towards the end of her studies he got a chance to continue at a two-year high school, and she passed the school-leaving exam in 1967. She went on to study a high school of technology as a correspondence course. She married Zdeněk Laudát in April 1975. The couple has raised three children. She worked at the St Cyril-St Methodius Primary School in Brno after 1990. The witness is actively interested in the destinies of Orel members and political prisoners and revives the memory of the unjustly imprisoned.