PhDr. Eva Melmuková

* 1932  †︎ 2022

  • "So they asked me to come. By then I was living with just my mother and my old grandmother, who was about 88 years old. They invited me to Bartolomějská Street where they kept me for a day. They said they knew things about me. They wanted me to cooperate with them, they gave me a paper to sign. But I didn't want to sign it, and I said I wasn't going to sign any of their papers. They said, 'Well, then you're not getting out!' I said, ' Well, I'm not getting out, but I can't sign any papers of yours.' So they started looking for a compromise. 'Well, what do you want to do?' I told I could sign something that I would write myself. Now it started... I tried, but I was already very nervous by then, because I spent a whole day of interrogation... They didn't beat me. I must say, they never touched me. They were hurting mi in psychological way, because they knew that my father was in a bad shape. My grandma was old, she couldn't function without my mother. There was only my mother left. They could easily destroy the whole family."

  • "I went to the District National Committee (ONV) and there were two secretaries. One seemed nasty and the other was some former workmen who got the job as a comrade, but he seemed quite nice. And when the nasty left the room and I stayed only with the other man, I said, 'Mr. Secretary, I still don't understand why you took the state approval to practice clerical work away from me?' So he replied, 'You shouldn't be surprised. I mean, it looked like some new reformation. There were people coming from all sides - and we can't allow that. Many people were telling on you and it was all kinds of people. Your evangelicals were among them.' I knew they were among them. After he told me that, his colleague came back. But I already knew what I wanted to know. So that was the withdrawal of the state approval, which lasted for 29 years."

  • "They threatened me. They were like, 'You know, you'll never see your father again, and who knows what will happen to him. He's not in a good shape and he won't last in Ilava. You have an old grandmother who won't last either, so say goodbye to them. You won't see your friends either. We can arrange all of that. We don't need to torture you, but you won't get out of here.' That's what they said. What more would they say, that they'd kill me or put me on martial law? They couldn't do that, so they threatened to lock me up. That was it. They took kind of a ridiculous approach: 'Well, you could do this and this. You must understand that we mean well with you. You could do great things.' They were either threatening you or trying to allure you into something where you could get something or help someone."

  • "My father knew they would find something to get rid of him because it was February 1948. My father saw what happened: Next door was the Ministry of Food Industry with Václav Majer, a democratic social democrat, one of the great ones. And when February came, my father was there to see it with his own eyes, how Minister Majer was dragged down the stairs and thrown out. 'This is what I deserve for working for you?' Get out, traitor…and so on… They just threw him out in front of the house, this revolutionary gang. And my father knew what was going on. It was just a matter of moments."

  • "I was walking home from work, there was a black car there and the men showed me to sit down. They drove the car up to Ruzyně and they talked to me about the meeting. Then they pushed me inside of the Savalin café. I resisted, saying that I wasn't going. But they said it was cold outside and we needed to talk. So we went in, they ordered me a coffee and a cake. I said I didn't want anything, but they ordered it anyway. Someone took a picture of it, I hope. If there was a photo, it would be just as well. It was their job to take pictures of people in some compromising situation, like eating with them. I don't know if anybody took a picture. That was one time. But I never entered any other public rooms, but it didn't make any difference. I just didn't know when someone would appear from behind the corner and push me in a car. I didn't even have a chance to call my mother to let her know I wasn't coming home. So I met with them eleven times all together. But they didn't get anything out of it because I didn't tell them anything. I refused to cooperate. I didn't do what they wanted me to do. I didn't say anything to anybody, I didn't reveal anything. They saw that I was useless as an agent. I was no good for them. And then when I got married and moved out, that was a rescue for me. I knew they wouldn't wait for me in front of a house anymore."

  • "The Piles Ballad was a ballad at the time when it was alive - a ballad about that piles of bones of those Czech people killed on the Czech border, etc. Poems were spreading around expressing what people were thinking. And mine were of this kind, because I was experiencing it very strongly. My ballads were reacting to particular moments, especially events happening in the 1950s, for example events in Poland, Hungary, student activities in our country at that time... They were reacting to concrete things. The Farmers' Ballad was about the eviction of farmers and the collectivization. The Children's Ballad was about using children to reveal something about their parents and so on."

  • "My mother was quite direct in this. When she saw how my father looked, because he was really swollen and just not healthy-looking. You could tell he was in a bad shape. So my mother jumped up to the guard who was walking with him and said, 'What have you done to him?' But the guard just pushed her away, 'Shut your mouth!' I had to pull her back so she wouldn't get into a conflict. But later it was me who almost caused a conflict. They let us sit in the back. The trial began, all sorts of formalities, then the interrogations started, and suddenly an absolute silence - nothing moved. We were waiting to see what was going on, and suddenly the chairman said: 'We are interrupting the trial! Unless the comrade in the last row stops taking notes, we will not continue. And the comrade was me, because I took a notebook, and my father, or anyone else, was talking, I was taking notes. And someone saw me."

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The State Security was trying to break her: Your father is not in a good shape and he won‘t last in prison.

Eva Šašecí, married Melmuková, as a vicar in 1956
Eva Šašecí, married Melmuková, as a vicar in 1956
zdroj: archiv pamětníka

Eva Melmuková, née Šašecí, was born on 25 February 1932 in Rome, where her father Oto Šašecí worked as the representative of Czechoslovakia at the International Institute of Agriculture at that time. In December 1932 they moved first to Jihlava and then to Prague, where Oto worked in the economic department of the Czechoslovak Ministry of Agriculture. Oto Šašecí was arrested in the autumn of 1957, later convicted in a mock trial together with agricultural experts. He was amnestied in May 1960. After studying at the Comenius Evangelical Divinity Faculty, Eva worked from 1954 first as a vicar and later as a parish priest in the Evangelical congregation in Smíchov. In December 1957, the communist regime withdrew her state permission to carry out clerical activities. On the basis of compromising materials seized during a search of her house, the security authorities of the Ministry of the Interior established cooperation with her in October 1958. However she refused to sign the binding cooperation document and drew up her own statement. On the basis of her refusal to carry out her tasks, the cooperation with the agent under the code name „Smíchovská“ was terminated in May 1961. She spent most of the normalisation period at the Research Institute of Brewing and Malting in Prague. As an invalid pensioner, the authorities allowed her to work as a parish priest again in 1986. In 1989 she was at the founding of the Civic Forum in Telč and succeeded in the first free municipal elections to the town council. A year later she habilitated at the Protestant Theological Faculty and lectured on church history for five years. At the time of filming (July 2022) she lived in Telč. Eva Melmuková died on November 5th, 2022.