Svatopluk Bajer

* 1947

  • “My grandfather died in 1913. My father was twelve years old at that time. And they were going with horses from Rožnov, even though the railway was already built at that time, and transporting mainly linen to Hungary. - How did the journey in a horse-wagon take? - Well, he was going with horses and it took about ten days to get to Pressburg. A week or ten days. When he went to Pest, it took two weeks or longer. There were wooden wagons which were covered by cloth. And there were not even many roads at that time. They were going through those mountain passes, via Střelná to Slovakia and he used to say that many times they even had to go through rivers and through that pass.”

  • “We had a woman who worked as a gatekeeper there at that time and she was a staunch communist. And we, watchmen, were armed with guns. And she declared that she would shoot at the workers. She explicitly said it. And she would be capable of doing that. At that time I told her that although I had a day off, I would come to keep an eye on her. And I really did go to watch her. I told her: ‘I will not allow you to do this.’”

  • “My father was a member of Sokol and of Farmers’ Cavalry. He was actually the organizer for the whole area. And during WWII, he and other five Sokol members and officials, who were allegedly against the Germans, were imprisoned as hostages for two months. That was because at that time, Boy Scouts attacked Hitlerjugend here in Radhošť. They had summer camps in Výsluní and the Boy Scouts attacked them in Černá hora. And as a warning they imprisoned six people for two months, but because nothing else happened, they were then released. They were imprisoned here in Rižnov, but they were not allowed to go out.”

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    Rožnov pod Radhoštěm, 12.04.2018

    duration: 02:58:43
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
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I think that no other laws would be necessary in the world if people adhered to the Ten Commandments

As a child
As a child
photo: archiv S. Bajera

Svatopluk Bajer was born on May 27, 1947 in Rožnov pod Radhoštěm into a family of horse-wagon carters. His grandfather Florian used to transport linen from Rožnov weavers to Pressburg (Bratislava) and Pest (Budapest). After the abolition of his trade after 1948, the family earned their major income from agriculture. His father succumbed to the pressure and eventually joined the Unified Agricultural Cooperative in 1957. Svatopluk studied at the secondary school of agriculture in Rožnov pod Radhoštěm. In 1966 he started his basic military service in the Border Guard near Znojmo. After the disbandment of the Unified Agricultural Cooperative his father became an independent farmer and Svatopluk was helping him on the farm. A blocked sewer system, into which drained a covered stream that formed the boundary of their land, flooded their house in winter 1974. The house was damaged, then sold one year later and eventually torn down. The family moved into an apartment in the new prefabricated building at the new housing estate in Rožnov. They only sold their entire farmland when they managed to obtain a construction permit in exchange for the permission to sell, which the authorities were denying to Svatopluk for a long time. In 1977 he completed the construction of his new family house in Dolní Paseky and he still lives there with his wife. Svatopluk worked as an employee of the Grassland Research Station and as a watchman in the Loana factory.