Ludmila Fialová

* 1933  

  • “We’d jump into anything with excitement because we had experienced a cruel war and expected life to get better. They promised us things and we followed like sheep because we believed them. Then it obviously went wrong. But regular people had no idea about many things because they were able to keep a lot of things secret. I only realized all of this now, in 1989, 1990, 1991… I was also a member of the Party. I joined them sometime in the 1980s because I was a manager in Textilana and it was required of me. But some things, like what happened to Milada Horáková, I only learned later. Your eyes would come wide open when hearing that. I think that there were more – excuse me – idiots like me. We’ve organized so many work projects here in Rotava with my husband. We didn’t think that we were doing it for ourselves but for everyone. Out of belief. I was a member, I shouldn’t say bad things about people, but I regret it. Back then, however, it was a requirement to be in the party, when I was a manager at Textilana, here in the stitching division we had fifty women.”

  • “The cavalry came. I think they were soldiers from Central Asia because their horses were small and tireless. When they were pushing out the Germans, this thing happened… The Germans were running away. That area has three streams, a smaller one, a bigger one, Myjava, Myjávka, and some sort of creek as well. As the Germans were retreating, they were blowing up bridges over those streams. Of course, that wasn’t a problem for the horses anyway. Now those were pushing the Germans to retreat, the Germans blew up another bridge and the last bridge was blown up by the troop before them so about thirty people were left behind in the section between. The cavalry destroyed them. A soldier was sitting down and suddenly he was under a horse’s belly, shooting an automatic gun. We’d never seen anything like it. My cousin was still alive at the time and we lived half in isolation. The soldiers were thirsty. My uncle was drawing out water, there was a large trough. He opened the gate and they came in to water the horses. My cousin and I offered them water and they gave us so much candy! There was a candy factory in Trnava so they had probably robbed it. There weren’t too many incidents with the Russians, about two rapes. One of the culprit was being led by guards with sabres to the municipal office. I don’t know what they did to him but he probably didn’t end up well. I don’t know if they shot him in the end. In Borský Mikuláš a girl was also raped by a soldier and a female officer was taking him to the neighboring town of Borský Petr to the municipal office and something probably happened on the way, she shot him next to the cemetery. They brought us nothing, they took nothing away from us. When they wanted something like eggs, people would give them stuff for free or they would pay.”

  • “We were in Russia in 1989, I mean in Central Asia where we visited several of the republics. We came back to Czechoslovakia twelve days before the revolution. In Russia we heard and read news about the events in Prague. We weren’t sure what it meant – that Czech students are protesting, that they want to introduce capitalism… Of course, Russian propaganda was different, so we had no idea what that was about. We came back twelve days before the revolution and saw what was happening on the TV. We were wondering if it was 1968 happening all over again…”

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    Horní Rotava - domácnost pamětnice, 04.08.2016

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I spent most of my years in Bohemia so I proudly consider myself Czech

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Ludmila Fialová
photo: Dobové foto: archiv pamětnice, současné foto: Renáta Malá

Ludmila Fialová, née Včelková, was born on 21st March 1933 in Vienna. After the Anschluss of Austria to Nazi Germany her family left to Záhorie, a poor Slovak town where the family originally came from. She was brought up by her grandmothers because her parents had to work in a different town. During the war, her father was executed for participating in a resistance movement. After the war Ludmila and her mother moved to Hostinné, a town located near Krkonoše mountains. Her marriage to an alcoholic and moving in with him near Nitra brought her two sons as well as deep pain. After meeting Jan Fiala, she left her Slovak family again, remarried, and moved to Rotava where she gave birth to two more sons. She was then employed at a local branch of Škoda and participated in building the new town’s cultural background - Rotava was declared a town in 1965. Ludmila became one of the founding members of the Czechoslovak gardening association. Her new job required her to join the Communist party at the beginning of the 1980s - she was a factory manager at Textilana. After the Velvet Revolution she quit the communist party, disappointed. She is involved in the culture in Rotava to this day.