“Gottwald died and I had to photograph the memorial ceremony on the town square in Vítkovice. What an experience. The bosses from all factories from the ironworks were bringing wreaths there. And I was standing there with the camera and I had to take a picture of each of them. There was a kind of a green shed, and it served to suggest a tomb. Inside there was a portrait of Gottwald and people were laying wreaths there. Several guys from each factory, and wreaths and ribbons.”
Interviewer: “Did they want you to become a member of the Communist Party in your workplace?” - “Several times. I was a candidate for the station’s commercial deputy. But I would have to join the Party and I have never done that. ‘You are against yourself,’ the chief told me. But I would rather hoe a hectare of the cooperative’s beets field alone than to join the Party. And that was it. Nobody then came to me anymore, because they knew that they would not be able to convince Blahutová.” Interviewer: “Why you did not want to?” – “Because dad was doing forced labour in Glogau during the war. And when he returned, he did not have anything. Not even a thresher or a grinder. He had to obtain all this with great troubles in order to be able to farm again. And when he acquired all this equipment, the Unified Agricultural Cooperative came and they took everything from him. Because he was a kulak.”
“The Russians wanted dad to harness the horses into the buggy and take them to some officer. But on the outskirts of the village they hit my father with a rifle and they pushed him down from the buggy and they went away without him and the horses were gone with them. Dad came home and he was crying. A Russian commander was resting there on a bench and dad was begging him to do something. ‘It’s war. I cannot do anything,’ shrugged the Russian. We have never found out where the horses ended. They killed cows and all animals, and then they fried and boiled and baked the meat. Only the innards were left scattered around the barn.”
“The woman had a scarf tied under her neck. She had never worn a scarf before, she always used to have her hair combed nicely. And now she was looking at me from under that scarf and she was somewhat greenish and yellow. Her face seemed familiar to me, but I could not recognize her. ‘Květuška, give my greetings to you mom.’ But I didn’t know who she was. ‘I am Slovíková, don’t you know?’ And I started crying, because I liked her. I have never heard that she had caused harm to anyone. She was always helping everybody... All her teeth were knocked out as the cruel wardens had beaten her. She had only one tooth left in her mouth. They were not doing well and they all wore bands with the letter ‘N.’”
Květoslava Blahutová, née Ulmannová, was born February 4, 1935 in a family of a farmer in Polanka nad Odrou near Ostrava. Her mother died while giving birth and Květoslava was thus raised by the family of her father’s sister. In 1942, the Nazis confiscated farms from the largest farmers in Polanka nad Odrou as part of a program for additional settling of the Sudeten region by ethnic Germans, and they sent the farmers to work in Germany. Květoslava’s father Ulmann worked as a farmhand at a farm in Glogau in Germany. Květoslava witnessed the fighting for Ostrava in April 1945 and the subsequent internments of German inhabitants. After 1948 her father was marked as a kulak and all his property was confiscated. In 1951-1954 she worked in the Klement Gottwald Ironworks in Vítkovice in Ostrava. Later she became employed by the Czechoslovak State Railways where she continued working until her retirement. In August 1968 Květoslava witnessed the occupation of Czechoslovakia by the Warsaw Pact armies.