Marie Žídková

* 1933

  • „What bothered me the most was that there was no freedom that one needed to develop and grow in all aspects, that one could not do what one wanted, believe, go to church where one wanted. Some may mind that I go to church, but is that something bad? And I was bothered by injustice. Lots of people were locked up. We knew what it looked like in those jail. We felt desperate that people could not live as freely as before and do what they wanted. It bothered us that there was no literature, that there could be no lectures. We were a cultural family, even though we didn't have much money, and we were unhappy about it. And every other moment, one of our acquaintances was imprisoned. We knew a little bit about what was going on there, how they were being beaten. Of course, we didn't know as much as we do now. They were not allowed to explain it. If people knew more they would only be against them. Those who had acquaintances in prison learned a lot, but the others may not have known. So we did not believe that what the Communists were preaching was true. It was just empty talk. Their practice was as in all regimes that oppress. It was fake. If what communism preached were brought to fruition, it would be ideal, but it was not true. So that was our relationship to the regime. Not that we're doing anything, setting something on fire or something. One is internally opposed and reacts by doing good where one can and where one wants.“

  • „All cantors received a questionnaire with many questions. Among other things, one question stated how we dealt with religion. I said 'yes' or something. There was no answer to such a question. It wasn't a question of whether we were going to church. I was never in church in Svinov on purpose, because I knew what would happen. I felt terribly sorry because I was baptised there. I said to myself that I would not provoke, because it was very nice there (at school). So we handed it over and fifty-four of us got kicked out. So I was unexpectedly released in the fourth year of my apprenticeship, since apparently I do not guarantee a proper pedagogical effect on students, and that was the end.“

  • „Every moment a warning came from the radio that enemy planes were approaching, and we immediately had to go to the basement. We picked up the violin and rushed into the cellar. And all the cantors. And suddenly there was such a terrible rumble that we thought we were buried, that the whole building had fallen. And the rumble of glass could be heard. So we crouched down and waited to see who would get us out. We were convinced that the building had collapsed. It hadn’t. But all the windows were broken. The concrete foundation of the building withstood it. Next to us on the street was a completely demolished house.“

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    Ostrava, 20.09.2021

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We faced the lack of freedom, injustice and lies by virtue

Marie Žídková as a gymnasium student / around 1949
Marie Žídková as a gymnasium student / around 1949
zdroj: Witness's archive

Marie Žídková, born Franková, was born on April 4, 1933 in Svinov, later a part of Ostrava. Her father made a living as a taxi driver. After Svinov‘s annexation to Germany, the family moved to the Vítkovice district of Ostrava, which was in the then Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia. She experienced repeated bombings of Ostrava. Her older brother Miloslav Frank studied with the Salesians, with whom he was later secretly ordained a priest. After high school, Marie studied and graduated from a pedagogical school in Brno. She taught music education and Russian at the primary school in Ostrava-Svinov. In 1958, the school management released her for political reasons. The only job she then got was a job as a worker in the operation of Klement Gottwald‘s Vítkovice Ironworks. In 1968, she was able to return to education. She taught violin and music education at the Elementary Art School in Ostrava-Vítkovice (previously Folk art school). She married former political prisoner Leo Žídek, with whom she had three children. During the communist regime, she helped spread samizdat religious literature and organised unofficial Christian trips of young people to the mountains. In 2021 she lived with her family in Ostrava-Svinov.