Drahomíra Černotová

* 1926

  • "In that castle there were beds, sort of primitive ones, but it was good as first aid. You were able to heat the space. At the bottom there was a large joint kitchen, where people would cook. We got our lunches there and so on. And in that Bzenec it was all organized in such a way that the people expected, that they could take into their family some children, as each one wanted. Someone wanted a boy, someone wanted a girl. And so the children were all given out. I also went into a family."

  • "Back then everyone went back to their own homeland, from which they came, where they had family closest. And so we also went. What could be done about it? Everyone already knew, what was going to happen, that some sort of military campaign could come, and so the people prepared and sold off, what they could. And plentiful supplies were made. I know, that mother filled great jugs up with lard, that was how lard was usually stored for the winter. There were no refrigerators, no electricity, and that was how it could be preserved. Geese and pigs were killed, so that there would be fats. And the meat was preserved. I do not know exactly know it was done anymore. Back then I did not understand everything perfectly, but food supplies were secured. Bread was baked. All of the clothing was taken, also the duvets. The people, who were staying there, those Hungarians, when they saw, that we were leaving, that we were liquidating everything, they went shopping. They bought everything up by one crown, by two crowns everything, that they could. They did not want it for free, so they at least gave a crown or two for a chicken or goose. Not everything could be killed and consumed, because there was a lot of it. And so there came at least a few crowns out of it."

  • "They had a lot of people on the estate. Father had a farmhand, who was with us for the entire year. Then it was all Hungarians. They caught fish and took care of their plots near the cottage, that was enough for them. But they came for seasonal work. Each one had a certain farmer, with whom he worked. In the summer there came the heatwaves and sometimes it was over 42 degrees, lunch had to be on the table at eleven o'clock already. The people came home from the fields, had their lunch, lay down under a tree or somewhere, where it was cool, put a hat over their face, so that the flies would not bite them and disturb their sleep, and rested until two o'clock. When it was two o'clock or half past three, they went back in the fields again. And they worked however long was needed. When it got cooler in the evening, they went to wash off in the Danube. They all went and even brought the horses into the water. The horses stood there. Those, who belonged together, leaned on each other's necks. That made them feel good. And after they recovered like this, they swam around a bit and came up out of the water. And the cows did the same. They went on these islands in the summer, and then you could only see the horns in the water."

  • Full recordings
  • 1

    Ostrava, 23.09.2021

    duration: 01:39:37
  • 2

    Ostrava, 28.09.2021

    duration: 02:13:18
    media recorded in project Stories of the region - Central Moravia
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The communists were worse for our family than the war

Drahomíra Černotová / around the year 1944
Drahomíra Černotová / around the year 1944
photo: archiv Drahomíry Černotové

Drahomíra Černotová, née Besedová, was born on the 9th of June 1926 in Šuľany in Žitný ostrov, in southern Slovakia. Her parents had gone there in the twenties to settle the border regions of the young Czechoslovakia. They farmed on an estate with 120 hectares of land. In November 1938, after Czechoslovakia was forced to give Hungary a part of eastern and southern Slovakia as a result of the arbitration talks in Vienna, which included Žitný ostrov, the colonists were expelled and fled back to Moravia. They gained asylum in the town of Bzenec. Drahomíra and her siblings at start lived in the local families. After the war their parents bought a large estate left after the expelled Germans in Šenov near Nový Jičín. The communists bullied them during the fifties as they were private farmers and in the end they evicted them due to the construction of a military repair complex. Her parents got only a small apartment as compensation and barely survived with a meager pension. Her brothers Miroslav and Radomír were also imprisoned by the regime. After her marriage to Jindřich Černota, Drahomíra moved to Ostrava. They both joined the Church of the Seventh Day Adventists. Her husband died at the age of 42 to cardiac arrest while working in a mine. The witness worked as an accountant at Vysoká škola báňská. In the year 2021 she lived alternately in Ostrava and with her granddaughter in Prague.