“It happened on Sunday, May 27, when we were in the church. We arrived home, and Mana stood in front of the gate, raising her arms. There was a Tatra car in the yard, and there were gentlemen who had arrested and taken my father away. And then, as Daddy told us, he was told that he had two hours - he would sign that he would give up everything. They told him he could be a steward there. And if he did not sign it, then they're moving us out. They even told him they'd shut down his wife and put us in a children's home. Dad said that when he remembered the history, how difficult it was actually getting the property, how happy they were later, that he couldn't sign it. So he didn't sign it, never returned home. On Monday we moved out, and we were not allowed to take Dad's stuff. It was Máňa who saved his clothes, the bike, we just couldn't take any of his things, nor the furniture that my grandmother needed, and we moved to my mother's parents.”
“As I could no longer live with that lady, I had a private room with such a family, they got divorced and left me a room that was in the attic. It had no insulation at all, so it was crazy cold. So when I came back from school at seven o'clock, when I came to the family house, it was terribly cold. I started the heating still wearing my coat, I didn't even take it off. I didn't buy food because I knew I would throw up. One day my dad came and slept over there and in the morning he was… there was no running water, I had to go to the basement for running water, so I always brought water into a bucket and poured it into the sink. Well, my dad saw that there was ice on the sink in the morning.”
“When I was leaving school, I was… I really had excellent grades during all school attendance, I really learned well, and I applied - at the time, they were eleven years old - to a medical school. I was called by the headmaster of the school and there was a lecturer who... I think he was ashamed, he was a great communist, and now they had to tell the little girl that I was a gulag´s daughter and that I wasn't allowed to attend any school.”
Dad refused to give up the family estate, so he ended up in Jáchymov
Věra Ptáčková, née Kučerová, was born on 16 February 1944 into the farmer‘s family of Jan Kučera in Svobodne Dvory - Chaloupky. In 1951 the family was confiscated a farm with 50 hectares of land and animals; the father was sentenced to nine years in prison and sent to the Jáchymov mines. The family without a father had to move out of the farm the day after father´s arrest and lived in Sobčice with the parents of the witness‘s mother. Father Jan Kucera was released during amnesty after spending three years and three months in prison. Věra Ptáčková was unable to continue her studies after finishing elementary school and at the age of 14 she was forced to move from her family to Nové Město nad Metují. There she had a job completing the Prim watches. Her family moved to her after two years and still lives in Nové Město nad Metují. Jan Kučera received his native farm in restitution, but the family was deprived of it again by the witness‘s brother, who took advantage of his father‘s ill health after a stroke and gave him the sign of transferring the farm to himself. After the 1989 revolution, the witness privatized Náchod Coal Warehouses with her partners, where she worked in the years after maternity leave. They managed the company until 2017, when it was sold and at the age of 73, Věra Ptáčková retired.