Marie Chalupová

* 1925  †︎ 2017

  • „That was terrible. There were eight pallets, which could be folded out, a kind of a wooden booth with a bucket as a toilet. Hygiene conditions were terrible. There was not even water, nothing. I'm still amazed today that I did not get sick. Those pallets were all bloody, I do not know due to what, but even from the menses. The blankets we received were the same - dirt, dirt and dirt.”

  • “Interrogations were not simple. Sometimes I got pretty beaten up. The prostitutes took care of me. Once I came back really badly beaten, they took care of me, gave me medical cladding. There were too many of us in the cell, and not all had their own pallet. We all had just a bit of space. Once, I came beaten up badly and they left me a whole pallet. I managed to get some sleep. I had a dream I will never forget. It was dusky and I sat in the first row as the pope served the holy Mass and was assisted by other priests. The pope turned round, went up to me, bent over me and said: ,Accept the Holy Spirit.‘ I left the church and turned round the see the church up on the hill with beautifully lit up windows. I never feared anything else any more. I had much power inside me.”

  • “The inspector wanted to know, what I was about. I told her if I had said the truth, she would have thrown me out. She promised not to do so. So I told her that I was locked up and so was my husband and I was a political prisoner. I told her I could only work manually, not as a teacher. The inspector asked me to bring her more documentation. When she looked through them, she said they were drumheads at the regional level and I will never be an assistant in the kitchen. She suggested I attended a cooking course for two years and promised me a new kindergarten, where I could later work as a master chef.“

  • “And there I experienced Milada Horáková taken to execution. We knew she was to be hanged. There were fourteen of us in the cell. All along the cells the paths were sanded. At four in the morning they let out the dogs and as they were walking on those paths, we could hear that. When they led her we were all kneeling and praying. I will never ever forget that.“

  • Full recordings
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    Ústí nad Labem, 16.04.2017

    duration: 03:02:34
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
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How much did you get? Just a death sentence!

Marie Chalupova 24 years
Marie Chalupova 24 years
photo: archiv pamětnice

Marie Chalupová, née Dibelková, was born on 13 June, 1925 as the fourth of six children in Liboměřice near Chrudim, where her parents had their farm. Right after the communist party took over the power in February 1948, the family Dibeleks was forced to enter the united agricultural cooperative. At the time the witness worked as a kindergarten teacher in Písková Lhota in Poděbradsko and was engaged to Josef Chalupa. Both independent on each other began to cooperate with anti-communist resistance due to their disillusion over political development. Marie Chalupová helped Štěpán Gavenda and Miloš Zemánek, who had connections to the West. In August 1949 the secret police imprisoned her and she faced torture, beating and a threat of death penalty; in the end the court sentenced her to fifteen years in prison. She served eight and half years in prisons in Pankrác, Česká Lípa, Pardubice and Slovak Želiezovce. Her friend, Josef Chalupa, spent half a year in the death cell and then was sentenced to life imprisonment. In 1952 together with other six prisoners, amongst which were also Štěpán Gavenda, he managed to escape from Leopoldov. Gavenda was caught and executed in 1954. Josef Chalupa managed to flee to Germany and then USA, where he settled down. Marie Chalupová, who was supposed to be charged again a year past her release for alleged planning of crossing the borders, married Josef´s brother, František Chalupa, who was also a former political prisoner. Marie Chalupová passed away on December, the 25th, 2017.