“The Kubíček family had a hall and a meeting took place there about a kolkhoz being established. The Czechs were only accepted because of their machines. The Koubek family had a threshing machine powered by a gas engine. When it was founded they came to us and told us that we were kulaks and that we wanted to hide in the kolkhoz and that we were going to herd white bears instead. That went on all the time and all the time we lived in fear. Once godfather Vodrážka told us to not get frightened but that there were a couple of formanky standing outside of the school and that we were designated for Siberia. We, Catholics, were the first to go.”
“It was November and it was raining. A Jewish man from the town, Srul, had a Ukrainian lover in our village. She was always clean, cream on her skin, a brushed-up hairdo on her head. He dug out a sort of a zemlyanka in this valley in the Popov fields and he put a heater in there and used some grass for heating it. There were no woods or shrubs where we lived. Once in November, when it was raining heavily, a hairy man showed up behind our glass kitchen door. Mother always had the most courage and so she went outside and asked who was there. He said that he was Srul and that he would like a piece of bread. So mother gave him two loaves of bread and some eggs and asked him whether he was able to cook himself some potatoes. He said no, he didn’t have a pot, he had nothing. So whatever mum had she gave him, a piece of butter, a piece of curd cheese. We had no lard because the Germans took our pig and the Bandera group took our heifer.”
“Seventeen Bandera group members once came to us and my brother then got epilepsy. That was in March and about three quarters of a meter of snow had just fallen. They came and told my brother to get dressed and to show them the way. Mother knew that once they took someone that person usually wouldn’t come back and she told them that she would go with them instead. They took him and led him behind our forest. At our field he had to completely undress, lie down into the snow and there they tortured him for three hours. They shot next to his head, and one of them was a Hejduk. The Hejduk family were terrible people, excluded from the Czech society. When he came home he said he was awfully cold. Mother made him linden tea. Before morning came he had his first epileptic seizure. He suffered so much that on 21st August 1976 he went and jumped under a train.”
Ludmila Uhlířová, née Stárková, was born on the 1st of April 1922 in Bludov, Volhynia. The village was founded by her great-grandparents. Despite never having moved she witnessed the Polish Republic, German occupation, and the Soviet Union. During the Soviet era her family was considered to be kulak and designated for deportation to Siberia, which was, ironically, prevented by the German occupation. During this time she witnessed the merciless mass murders of her Jewish neighbours. The region was also under attack of groups of Bandera supporters who killed large numbers of people and almost beat Ludmila‘s brother to death. In 1947 the whole family emigrated to Czechoslovakia and settled in Vidnava in the Jeseník region. Two years later Ludmila married Josef Uhlíř and moved to his farming estate in the nearby village of Stará Červená Voda. Her husband fought in the 1st Czechoslovak Army Corps and, just like Ludmila, was originally from Volhynia - from a town called Hlinsko. During the collectivization Josef Uhlíř was forced to join the local agricultural cooperative. However, he refused to sign the unfairly formulated statutes, which led to his subsequent expulsion. The couple then continued to make a living as private farmers, which was not easy at the time. First some of their machines were confiscated and later their lands were exchanged for some of the worst and most distant estates. In 1958 Ludmila‘s husband died in an accident and so she and her three children moved in with her parents in Žulová, where she lived until 2016. As of 2017 she lived in a nursing retirement home in Bílá Voda.