Olga Dolníčková

* 1936

  • “My husband and I travelled around with a vending van, and that had to be tidied. I was cleaning up, I had a broom, and [the election committee] happened to arrive just as I was sweeping the van with the broom. Well, and then I read in the district papers, I didn’t go to the elections, I told them: ‘Look, chaps, I don’t have time, I won’t go, and if I want to I will, but I won’t be throwing it in here, I’m no invalid,’ in short, I didn’t want to. Well, and they wrote: ‘She took a broom to the election committee,’ but it wasn’t against the election committee. Or maybe it was, I don’t know, I was sweeping it around. Perhaps it was.”

  • “There we just divided up who will go where, to which factory. I was given the technical school and the students there, opposite Dyje is where the school is. I think it’s there to this day. Well, and the boys were bit more agile than us who came to them, so they wanted to form a procession straight away. And it all met up on the square where the church is, so that was empty back then, and that’s where we gathered. Everyone who wanted to demonstrate, because a nationwide strike had been declared. In the meantime while we were getting ready, I taught the boys the song: ‘Like a storm the relentless voice booms, he who suffered for centuries, will live in freedom again; rise up, Czech nation, hide not under the eaves, be ready at any moment, to let your shackles fall.’ And it goes to a well-known melody. Those boys had learnt it in a flash. The technical school then went marching up to the square singing this. The boys were so energetic, lots of the people who had come there were staring at us. But suddenly the whole square knew how to sing it, and it was repeated several times.”

  • “They sent them to Vyškovec when... How to describe in brief? They came there when they left Slovakia. They left, they had to leave, because Slovakia was an independent state, they’d always tended towards that. And back in thirty-nine they snuggled up with Hitler and began shouting ‘Czechs out!’. Of course, there was a big Czech community there, mainly teachers, postmasters, gendarmes. Because [the Slovaks] really didn’t know how to read, write, there really was widespread illiteracy there. My mum was from Pavlovice, she rode there sometimes by bike across the borders via Hodonín, and she taught in Holič or somewhere, and Dad, he was appointed to Drietoma, that’s here close to Starý Hrozenkov, and they taught in Slovakia. But when the Slovaks started shouting ‘Czechs out!’, Dad switched the radio on, and then he always told me: ‘Remember that wording’ - ‘The Slovak government,’ there was none, ‘is handing these Czechs over to the Prague government.’ And because his surname was Bohuslav, he was read about third or fourth on the list. They read it in alphabetical order. So he knew straight away what had happened.”

  • “I then attended those civic forums, but I stopped liking it later on because people starting coming who... And I don’t mind saying it - I got into the district privatisation committee, legally, and suddenly my hair stood on ends in horror because it was already full of those studied gents from some of the farms, who wanted something sent their way, because everything had to be processed by the privatisation committee. I even had several visits, I must say my husband protested about that, right inside our house in the evenings. The studied gent wanted, they were already lobbying like that back then, he wanted me to vote for this and that in the district privatisation committee. In short, for me to vote for this and not for that. So that started making me angry, none of that. But that’s how we are.”

  • “The people from down below went down into the school cellar because there was some fierce fighting between the partisans, and back then I think some Vlasovites arrived, from the Soviet armies, but I don’t even know who it was. They said they were Vlasovites. And they shot at each other. And our school, our flat up at the top, was chosen by the Gestapo. They had a great view of the surrounding area, up at the hilltops, and there from the roof of the school they blasted anything that moved. But the Vlasovites and the partisans could fire down below from the hilltops. So the battle for Vyškovec itself lasted two weeks. There were sixty people crammed into the cellar; the cellars there were built because people heated with wood. The school had been built in 1922, and the space under the classes was prepared for wood for heating. So the people heaped the wood outside and went into the cellars themselves. Well, and it lasted so long that it became endless. The Jahodas’ bulls broke loose and ate the belleshes [dry-baked doughnuts - transl.] they had ready, but those are just rumours. The animals were simply hungry, but as soon as a person stuck his head out, they shot at him. And so one - Dad used to say it was the worst boy, a rotter at school - he crawled through the streams and the undergrowth, and got all the way to the Russians, you could say, and he told them: ‘Don’t keep shooting there, there’re sixty people hiding in the school.’ And supposedly they had already ordered for some Katyushas, that they planned to blow the whole place up. So that boy, by describing the situation as it was there, he saved us and they called off the Katyushas. But that was a matter of a few hours, such a coincidence.”

  • Full recordings
  • 1

    Dolní Dunajovice, 08.09.2014

    duration: 03:40:40
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
Full recordings are available only for logged users.

No one had to ask me. I reckoned that, while I was still able, I would go and help.

dolnickova_olga_portret_1966.jpg (historic)
Olga Dolníčková
photo: Dobový portrét pochází z archivu pamětnice, současná fotografie pořízena při rozhovoru

Olga Dolníčková, née Bohuslavová, was born on 17 March 1936 in Trenčín (Slovakia) into a family of Czech teachers. Both her parents taught in the village of Drietoma, near Trenčín. In spring 1939 authorities forcibly evicted them from the territory of the new Slovak State. They found a home in Vyškovec, on the Slovak-Moravian border, just a few kilometres away from their previous location. The family spent the entirety of the war there, with partisans hiding in the surrounding forests and with more than sixty people hiding in their cellar for a fortnight during the final moments of the war. After the war her parents decided to move to the border region, where they were allocated to a school in the village of Dolní Dunajovice in South Moravia. Her father became one of the first Czech representatives of the local authorities, he even headed the village for a short time, and he was the first headmaster of the school there; Olga was among the first Czech children in the village. The family stayed in the village, and Olga later got married in Dolní Dunajovice and began working as a shop assistant. Due to the lessons her parents taught her, she refused to support the regime, a sentiment that increased in intensity following the events of August 1968. She refused to participate in elections, and she was not afraid to make public her opinions on matters concerning both her village and her country, often in the form of slogans, leaflets, and as she herself puts it: “I carried out all sorts of prankish roguery.” When things started changing in November 1989, she immediately took an active part in the events, initially at the district level, later also within the village itself. She was one of the village representatives in the Civic Forum, she persuaded capable people to go into politics, she participated in a number of negotiations, and she was also a member of the district privatisation committee.