Olga Schmidtová

* 1926  

  • „She left in September, with her husband and a three-month-old baby, little Peter, whom she held in her arms. First, they stayed with some relatives of my husband, but then the English figured that it was people who had not been agreeing with the regime and so they got into a different family. They didn’t speak English. Even I gave my daughter some lessons as I had started taking English lessons at a language school and because I had known they were going there and were intending to stay there for good. Oficially they only went for a visit. But we had been informed, naturally, that my daughter would stay there for good.”

  • „I had a disciplinary proceeding because I had refused to rehearse a poem with the kids during the annual celebrations of the Victorious February 1948. I told them I hadn’t had any poem to rehearse. In response to that the principal of our school brought me a poem by Jan Noha. It was a poem about a militiaman, and it said: ‘I took a cigarette and a rifle, my loyal partners, and went to the streets.’ I told the principal that I couldn’t give that to the children. That it was about cigarettes and rifles. And that it wouldn’t be educational for a teacher like me to tell the kids that it was OK for someone to take a rifle and go shoot in the streets. But he insisted on that poem and commanded me to rehearse it with the kids. But I was stubborn and refused to rehearse it.”

  • „We were pulling out rocks from the ground and building them so that the tanks couldn’t enter our street. When the Germans and the Czech collaborators were putting in back in again, there was alo the lady who had previously told me to watch out, that I could go to a concentration camp. I was there with my classmate and we walked on the barricades and watched the Germans fix all that we had previously used to build those barricades and I saw the lady who had threatened me with concentration camp. I said: ‘Look Táňa! That’s the woman who had threatened me with concentration camp!’ I didn’t want to hurt her, didn’t want to tell on her. I just said it out loud. Unfortunately, the ones in charge of the Germans had heard it and wouldn’t let it go. And they said: ‘This lady had threatened you with concentration camp? Well come here then,’ they said and gave her a heavier load. I felt sorry about it. I’m not one of those who would want to take revenge, not even on the Germans. But it was just a slip of the tongue.”

  • „As a child was in Sokol. But our instructors in Sokol were Slovaks. Not all Slovaks were Hlinka sympathizers. My husband, although both of his parents were Slovaks, they were Czechoslovaks. They had always claimed allegiance to Czechoslovaks.” – “Have you ever experienced a change in the teachers’ or students’ behavior?” – “Yes. Unfortunately, they immediately replaced the teachers there. The Czechs had to go. The Czechs had to leave to Czechia. They fired them. I was studying at a gymnasium and they fired the Czech teachers even if they had spoken Slovak.”

  • „Most of the prisoners were forced on the death march. They had to leave the camp. My husband, although he had already been able to walk a little, was not sent on the march by his doctor. There were more patients like my husband who had stayed in the camp. Of course the doctor, a Jew, had to leave too and he then died during the march, unfortunately. He had been Mirko’s friend. But then the Russians came and liberated them. They were welcomed with joy, the prisoners were free, my husband could already get up from his bed. They could do whatever they wanted to because their captors had long been gone.”

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    Praha, 03.04.2018

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    nahrávka pořízena v rámci projektu 10 pamětníků Prahy 10
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    Praha, 03.04.2018

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No one could say anything else than what had been prescribed and approved in the Radio

Olga 1951
Olga 1951
zdroj: archiv Pamětníka

Olga Schmidtová, née Holečková, was born January 23, 1926 in Banská Bystrica into a mixed Czech-Slovak family. Her father Vladimír Holeček was Czech and worked as an inland revenue officer; her mother was Slovak and was a teacher. Olga had a brother, Vladimír, who was four years older than her. After the declaration of the independent Slovak State and the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, the family decided to leave the fascist-inclined homeland and moved to the Czech town Třebovice where her father had inherited a house. However, they spent most of the war years in Holešovice. In 1941 Olga commenced her studies at an acting conservatory in Prague. During her third year there she was subjected to forced labor in a factory. She finished her studies in 1947, the same year her daughter Zuzana was born. However, she divorced her husband, the artist Oto Opršal, soon after. In 1949 she got a job in Martin where she met her second husband – actor Mirko Schmidt, a participant of the Slovak National Uprising who had survived the Sachsenhausen concentration camp. The couple moved to Prague in 1954 to work in the Czechoslovak Radio as Slovak broadcasters. Olga worked there for two years. She then taught literary drama classes at a music school from the 1960s until her retirement. She had never been politically engaged but went through a disciplinary proceeding for refusing to rehearse a poem about the Victorious February with the kids. In the 1990s Olga registered to the extras casting database but directors started assigning her episodic comedy movie roles as well, given she’d been a professional. In 1968 her brother Vladimír immigrated to Switzerland and her daughter Zuzana Kodíčková († 2011) immigrated to Great Britain. In London, Zuzana established herself as a theatre and TV screenwriter and director and produced a Czech-UK motion picture ‘A Pin for the Butterfly’ in the 1990s under the name Hannah Kodicek.