Ludmila Zouharová

* 1946

  • “Mum returned when I was 17. I had been working in Moravská Třebová for a year by then. She was released on parole, she didn’t know ahead of time when they would let her out. I got a telegram: ‘Lidunka, I’m coming home.’ I couldn’t sleep at all that night, because I had the afternoon shift, so I waited until the morning to call at the factory to take a holiday, so I could visit Pivín. It was... I was excited, but at the same time, you know. Ten years. We loved one another a lot with Mum and the whole family. But it was missing, spending time with your mother. The old lady tried, but it was too much for her. Mum was on her way home, she didn’t even know how to get there. Those people had it incredibly rough.”

  • “I found out that Dad had gotten the death sentence one time when Auntie Hladíková came by – Dad had stayed with her in Kolín as a boy. I used to have quinsy every year. I happened to be down with quinsy that time, so I was huddled up under a duvet in the kitchen. And now – as children like to listen what grown-ups are talking about. The old lady read Auntie Hladíková the letter in which Dad wrote that he had gotten the death sentence. And that was just so horrible for me. I buried myself head and all and... cried terribly. But I never asked the old lady anything. And she never read us that letter. She only read us what Dad had written to us children.”

  • “I didn’t think about what I’d want to be because mostly the way it was, children didn’t get where they wanted to. I enjoyed everything. I liked manual work, animals. We had to help the old lady on the farm a lot, I liked that too. But I had no idea whatsoever what I’d like to do when I grew up. Not even in the ninth year [of primary school – trans.]. And secondly, the old lady had already told me I wouldn’t go to any school because she and the old man were old, something could happen to them, and Mum was to be there [in prison] for another nine years, and so I would have to work, if something happened, so I could look after Radek. So I took that as being decided. The old lady spoke with her brother and got me a place in Moravská Třebová. I had no idea where I was going, what I was getting into. I took it that this was the way it was. I cried about it, of course, because I liked school, I liked doing sports as well. And I must say that – I don’t know about other children who were in my situation – but when the children wrote down which school they would like to go to, and the old lady said I’d go to Hedva in Moravská Třebová, I had written there – Moravská Třebová, Hedva, employment. The headmaster came along, knocked on the classroom door, and said: ‘Lidka, come outside. Why did you write Hedva there?’ I said: ‘The old lady says I have to go to work.’ He said that if it’s because I was afraid I wouldn’t get to any school, he would get me enrolled at a twelve-year school [a type of secondary school – trans.].”

  • “When we travelled to Pardubice, we would take a train at five o’clock in the morning and we would manage to return on the same day. But when we went to Ilava or to Leopoldov, we would go from Pivín to Olomouc at nine o’clock to catch the express train there. We would travel for the whole night and then in the morning wait at the train station, and granny would buy us breakfast there and then we would go for the visit. Sometimes we had to wait for several hours before they called us. We did not know whether we would managed to catch the return train. Most of the time we would leave from there on Sunday evening and it never happened that in the morning granny would say that we were poor souls who were too tired and we would be allowed to stay at home. It was a given that we would go to school. Granny was like a general. When we travelled to Želiezovce or to Leopoldov, it was almost a two-day journey. Or in winter – trains were delayed.”

  • “Granny slept upstairs and we slept in the adjacent room. Aunt Hladíková from Kolín arrived to us that day. Granny would read the letters from mommy and daddy to us, but she would never read the whole text. I was probably sick that day, because I was sleeping in the kitchen. I was covered with the blankets and granny was reading to my aunt from the letter where dad wrote that he had received a death sentence. It was horrible. I did not want them to know that I heard it and so I remained lying under the blankets, with my head covered as well, and I was crying and crying, but crying inside me, so that they would not hear it. Granny never knew it. Even afterward, she never told me that dad had been sentenced to death. We simply did not write to him. I don’t know at all how my brother learnt about it. I have never asked him.”

  • “My mom arrived from work in the afternoon. Uncle Vráťa had quinsy and he was lying in bed. He lived with his family downstairs and we were upstairs with the grandparents. When they arrived, my mom told me to go to the Sedlák family. I went there and then I saw that the car was no longer standing there and so I returned home. It was horrible. Granny was sitting at the table in the kitchen and my brother was lying on the floor and crying. He depended on our mom very much, because he was constantly ill and my mom was afraid for him. He was three years younger than me. He was four years old. Everything inside the house was upside down. I asked what had happened. Granny has never told us anything.”

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Good-bye, mommy, good-bye, dear children, daddy, brothers

Ludmila Švédová (Zouharová) - 1959
Ludmila Švédová (Zouharová) - 1959
zdroj: archiv pamětnice

Ludmila Zouharová, née Švédová, was born on September 21, 1946 to Ludmila and Václav Švéda. During the Nazi occupation, her father was imprisoned for several years and her grandfather Josef Kasparides was nearly executed. In 1948 the communist regime nationalized the factory of her grandparents Kasparides. In 1950 her parents‘ farm in Lošany became confiscated as well and the family was evicted. Her father Václav Švéda then became a member of the anticommunist resistance group of the Mašín brothers. On May 2, 1955 he was executed in the Pankrác prison in Prague and the urn with his ashes was destroyed. Ludmila‘s grandfather František spent seven years in prison and her uncles Vratislav and Zdeněk were imprisoned for eleven years. The property of all of them became confiscated. Her mother Ludmila was arrested as well, and the authorities did not even allow her to part with her husband for the last time. She was sentenced to eighteen years of imprisonment. She had to leave her four-year-old son Radslav and seven-year-old daughter Ludmila at home. She was interned in prisons in Pardubice, Bratislava and Želiezovce where she nearly died do to a serious case of dysentery. She returned from prison after ten years. Nobody wanted to employ her and she thus began working as a janitor in the company OP Prostějov. As her daughter Ludmila recalls, she suffered most from the disrupted relationship with her children which was caused by the long years of separation. When she was sixteen years old, Ludmila had to leave home and in order to secure living for the family she became employed as a worker in a textile factory in Moravská Třebová. She eventually remained working there for nearly forty years until her retirement. In 1968 she married in Moravská Třebová. She had two daughters with her husband, but they divorced in 1982. In 2018 she was living in Linhartice.