“Oh, I milked for forty years. We were there at half past three in the morning. When it was summer, it was fine. But in the winter! We came there, the pipes were frozen, we had to warm everything up, a disaster. Oh, but you get used to anything if you have to. When we had calves, we had to come three times a day. We bustled up at half past three, so as to be home again at half past seven, when the children went to school, so I helped them get ready. Then we had to go back for the midday, that was another two hours. And a third time at half past three again. It was practically the whole day. Then they got rid of the dairy, and they wanted us to have a day off. You can want that, but that’s not something you can just plan out like that. Because the one whose supposed to take turns with you goes to other cows each day, and they [the cows - trans.] are used to your hands and the way you milk them. So it usually ended up with mastitis. Say, because the cow had just calved and didn’t start up. Then they had to treat both the cows and the calves. The milk had to go. It was big trouble. When we used to go every day, we did. But as soon as we had the one day off... ‘Back to work tomorrow!’ It’s best when you don’t have any respite.”
“There was a big drought. And when you have so much cattle in the house and nothing to give them... That’s how dry it was. And because we had a lot of fields up in the top parts, it rained a bit there once, so we threshed somewhat at least. Of course, they came and confiscated what we had in the granary. Except they also wanted us to deliver even... oh, it can’t even be explained. It ruffles me up just to think of it. We took a wagon, I spread out [the crop - trans.], and four reapers reaped it. Then we went to gather it up to dry. We planned to come pick it up in a day or two. Uncle Franta Míšek came by. ‘Jan, no need to go up to the meadows for hay any more, they’ve taken it already.’ The people from Veselí District took it for their own purposes. They were founding a UAC.”
“Hostýnek and these gents came along again, asking what we would do about it then? Either I was to sign, or they’d confiscate the farm. Dad said: ‘No, I won’t sign. I said I wouldn’t sign into the UAC, I won’t be the first. I won’t sign.’ They were ready for that, of course. They had cars there. They took the horses into enclosure - that was Mila with her foal. They led her on foot. But they loaded the cows into a single cehivle, and they had another vehicle waiting already. That took away the pigs and the swine, and off they went. Then I got married, and because that meant we had over two hectares of land, they immediately wanted us to deliver such quotas of everything, pork, beef... My parents gave us a heifer, they’d raised her, she was two years old. We didn’t even have what to make [the deliveries - ed.] from, we didn’t work the field, but they demanded the quotas from it anyway. Then I really didn’t know what to do. ‘We aren’t tending it. How are we supposed to fulfil the quotas?’ It was a year from when Dad had died, so I remembered him and I thought: ‘Oh God, they paid so dearly, and here I am signing into the UAC.’ But there was no other way.”
Blatnice pod Svatým Antonínkem, 18.02.2017
Full recordings are available only for logged users.
It’s better to work every day without respite; no one wants to go back to work after a day off
Františka Bachanová, née Míšková, was born on 3 May 1935 into the farmer’s family of Jan and Anna Míšek in Blatnice pod Svatým Antonínkem. She enjoyed an idyllic childhood. She had two siblings. After completing primary school she was forced to continue her studies. However, she could not finish medical school, due to her father’s ideological opposition to the Communist regime. She then attended an agricultural school in Uherský Ostroh for two years. In 1955 she married the organist Vladislav Bachan, and they had three children. Františka’s parents resisted the pressure to join the local agricultural cooperative, but their farm was ruined in 1957. Františka’s father died suddenly. The following year Františka signed an application to the co-op and worked at a cow farm for the rest of her working life. The family received meagre compensation in restitution after 1989.