Jarmila Semotamová

* 1933

  • "When I first came to the interrogation in Brno at the Příčná Street, there was apparently a Russian. He was so rude and crude. He beat me so much that you can't imagine it. That was always a blow and I went down. Then they poured water on me and again: 'Bitch, get up! The beast, the anti-state element, and she's going to lie around here!' I had to jump to attention in front of everyone who passed and announce: 'Number 802 reporting for questioning'."

  • "And she didn't even recognize me. I looked in such a way that when I got to her, she was standing with a lady in front of the house where they both lived, and my sister had her son in a pram. She was talking to the lady and I walked up and said, 'Hello. Hi Fanynka.‘ The lady said to my sister, 'The young lady wants something from you.' She turned to me and remained looking at me and said, 'What do you want?' So I said, 'Fanynka, it's me, Jarmila!' And she fainted, and the lady caught her so she wouldn't hit the ground. Then she brought me to where the three boys were living, to my eldest brother's house, where our home was, where we all had lived. Until they locked us up. They were terrified when they saw the state I was in. They couldn't believe their eyes that it was me. I weighed 45 kilograms and was 172 centimetres tall. It was just skin and bones."

  • "Two of us stayed there and we sang. This warder came running up: 'You beasts are going to sing here? Get going, you´ll go to the black one [cell]!' It was a concrete cube with nothing but a bucket and concrete. We had to strip naked beforehand. He locked us in there and said we'd be there for three days and three nights. No drinks, nothing. But they let us out after two days. We survived there naked, completely naked on that concrete in the cold. You can't imagine, we were just praying. I think that's the only reason we survived. It was bitterly cold there. They only ever turned the lights on for a moment when they wanted to see if we were still alive. We were standing with our backs to each other and prayed to the Lord one more than the other that we would somehow get stiff, that we wouldn't feel the cold. So after those two days and two nights they let us go. We both got out. 'Get dressed and go upstairs.'"

  • "Then they finished the interrogations and took us back to Znojmo. And they shouldn't have done that." - "So they didn't interrogate you in Znojmo anymore?" "No, there we were just waiting for the trial and there my mother and I experienced... and I don't want to talk about that... that's too much. There they just... first my mum and then they came to me and said, 'We've been at your mum and now we're going to try you.' I disconnected myself and I don't know anything else. I woke up in a terrible state. I can't stand men since then."

  • Celé nahrávky
  • 1

    Vápovice, 26.07.2022

    délka: 01:44:00
    nahrávka pořízena v rámci projektu Stories of 20th Century
  • 2

    Jihlava, 30.09.2022

    délka: 01:40:41
    nahrávka pořízena v rámci projektu Stories of 20th Century
Celé nahrávky jsou k dispozici pouze pro přihlášené uživatele.

Warders in the Znojmo prison raped me and my mother

Jarmila Semotamová, née Šárková, period photo
Jarmila Semotamová, née Šárková, period photo
zdroj: Witness´s archive

Jarmila Semotamová, née Šárková, was born on 27 October 1933 in Znojmo. After the signing of the Munich Agreement and as the attacks of the Hennelein Germans grew stronger, the family left Znojmo and fled to Kunštát, where they survived the Nazi occupation. After the war, the Šárka family returned to Znojmo and her father started to work as a taxi driver. After 1948, the communists nationalized his trade and the national transport company charged him for the repair of his vehicle, which he was not able to pay. In 1950, he resigned from the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia (KSČ), and in December 1951 he illegally crossed the state border and fled to Austria. He kept returning to Czechoslovakia repeatedly, most recently in July 1952 to take his wife and three minor sons with him to Austria. The witness was supposed to assist her parents and siblings in their escape. They were caught by the border guards while illegally crossing the state border. The witness and her mother were subjected to harsh interrogations in the buildings of the regional headquarters of State Security (StB) in Brno and after the investigation was completed in October 1952, they were escorted to the prison in Znojmo. At that time, they were both victims of sexual assault. The state trial took place on 30 December 1952 in Brno. After the verdict was pronounced, the witness and her mother were imprisoned in the former Brno-Cejl prison. Jarmila Semotamová was released after a presidential amnesty in May 1953. With her status as a former political prisoner, she was unable to find employment, so she first worked on her husband‘s parents‘ farm. The violence she suffered in the 1950s had a negative impact on her personal life and in the 1970s she filed for divorce. She worked as a postwoman until her retirement and was judicially rehabilitated after 1989. In September 2022, she was living in Jihlava.