Květa Dostálová

* 1933  

  • "This aunt of mine, who had been living with us, she was my father's sister, and a well known resident of Klimkovice. Without clothes, she looked like a child, but in fact, she was just a corpulent little lady. And she was a smuggler. Because my father, working as a tailor needed materials that had not been available in our town, she would go to Ostrava to buy the fabrics, she would wrap them around her body, tie them with a rope and put long skirts on the top of them. And she managed to avoid being searched, as she spoke the way people were accustomed to in the area. One word in Czech, one word in German. So this was very good. The customs house women would just scratch their heads, as they thought she was a freak of course. So she managed to smuggle things back and forth like that. And she was quite good at it.”

  • "Then the Czechs came. And some people started looting. There [in the apartments abandoned by the Germans] was furniture. The Glazars' house, for example, was full of beautiful things. We saw people loading their carts and dragging their loot home. And there was this house by the station, where fishermen had been staying after the war, but at that time, it belonged to the Germans, it was a warehouse, full of new, beautiful things. It was like walking into a supermarket or a huge department store. There were things for sports, musical instruments. And the people got in this building as well. And us kids, we were playing around. And we saw that just everyone would take something from there, so Nuskha [Sister Maria]and I decided to go there as well. And we would bring home with us two guitars, some ocarinas, harmonicas and other things. And my mother, she would just chase us away...”

  • "It was a beautiful day, the sun was shining, and suddenly we heard the sound of all those planes flying ten kilometers high. This terrible sound, relentless and unceasing... We girls ran upstairs, as there were rooms with windows facing north, and would lean out of the window. And because the planes looked like a cross at that altitude, we were looking at all these crosses, flying in formations, and suddenly we started screaming, as these flies of sorts started coming out of the planes. By that time, my mom wasn't just screaming, she would drag us back, maybe she would even slap us. It was an air raid, but Klimkovice wasn't its target. It was clear that Vítkovice was the target and the industrial area of Ostrava. And bombs started to fall, and they did this so-called carpet bombing, which meant they would drop all the bombs in just a single raid. And if you could recall this square of ours, they started to fall all around it and about a half of the square was destroyed. Houses were blown into smithereens. An awful lot of houses. There were just ruins and rubbish.”

  • "We trained in a fairly new hall of Sokol, which stood and still stands directly opposite our house. Some exercises took place on the field. Only later did we learnt that the land for the construction of the hall and the playground was donated to the Sokol members by our great-grandfather. The Sokol era was very intense and full of lively bustle and life. Yes, the neighbourhood was really lively every day. The sounds of vigorous Sokol songs and the commands of the trainers were heard everywhere, and we felt very important and mature at that moment. We also had our beautiful costume. It was a combination of beige and red, and it suited us all very well."

  • "We children have not yet seen so well what was happening around us. After all, it came so suddenly and unexpectedly. And so something really absurd happened back then. It was then that my sister was with other children after school in the square through which the German troops passed. And imagine that the children saw nothing more but a strange spectacle and began to wave. And what was even worse; the next day, when the children came to school in the morning, there was no longer a picture of the dignified president on the front wall of the classroom, but of a completely different one with a fringe in the forehead and a moustache under his nose. And the first task was to take a picture of this new gentleman. This was an order from a higher position that had to be carried out and kept by every teacher. And imagine that my sister Ňuška painted the best picture of Hitler.”

  • "We experienced the end of war there. We spent for about fourteen days or three weeks closed down in the cellar. We had a stove there to cook on, so we ate, cooked, and felt miserable there. The water was there because there was a laundry next door, so there was water, too, well the conditions were harsh, but more or less we kids just joked about it, that there are so many of us together, everyone explained something and it was fun."

  • Full recordings
  • 1

    Klimkovice, 29.11.2019

    (audio)
    duration: 02:18:45
    media recorded in project The Stories of Our Neigbours
  • 2

    Ostrava, 25.08.2020

    (audio)
    duration: 02:08:10
    media recorded in project Stories of the 20th Century TV
  • 3

    Ostrava, 28.08.2020

    (audio)
    duration: 02:06:05
    media recorded in project Stories of the 20th Century TV
Full recordings are available only for logged users.

During the Velvet Revolution, people were so nice to each other. Sadly, it doesn’t happen all the time

Květa Dostálová / 1950s
Květa Dostálová / 1950s
photo: archiv Květy Dostálové

Květa Dostálová, née Perníková, was born on 20 June 1933 in Ostrava. She grew up in a family house in Klimkovice. Her father had a tailor’s shop, but after February 1948, he was forced to join a cooperative. She witnessed life in Klimkovice after the occupation of the Sudetenland in 1938. In August 1944, she witnessed the bombing of Ostrava, during which Klimkovice sustained heavy damage as well. She also witnessed the heavy fighting of April 1945. She studied Russian and Czech at the Faculty of Philosophy in Brno. She married Ivo Dostál, who had a degree in English and later served as a diplomat. In the 1950s, she followed him to China, where he had served at the Czechoslovak embassy. She had taught Czech in Beijing. In the 1960s, her husband had been working as a diplomat in Kabul, Afghanistan. She followed him with their children, working as a Czech language teacher. In 1968, her husband was recalled from Kabul because of his protest against the Warsaw Pact troops invasion of Czechoslovakia. He hadn’t been allowed to hold public office until 1989. He was forced to do blue-collar jobs only, working as a foreman in a glass-works for example. The witness had been teaching at several secondary schools in Prague. In November 1989, she supported the Velvet Revolution with her students.