Hedvika Fojtů

* 1946  

  • "On the other hand, what was made together, it was then again broken into pieces. For example, in the field of agriculture, the time had come and it was again rapid. So rapid that if a man didn't get it, it would be liquidated, so it could work again. To a small extent, the village could have its own agriculture. And I can tell you from my own experience, I know this from here as well, because first they pushed us into the cooperative farm, and when it got a little better, it broke down again. So, the young people don't mind, they are no longer used to working. Therefore, they are even happy about it. However, I can tell you that almost none of the original owners have something, and those who got it, it was done by a fraud for very little money and even the tunneling was probably the biggest in agriculture. And mostly those who had a little piece of information and were superior, so always some non-farmer still has it. So, he has it as a factory. I have experience with this, coincidentally they are also my acquaintances, and they did the same. They transfer it to over five companies, nothing will be left of it. It's sold out, it's invoiced here, it's invoiced there, and so it keeps going like that until there's a little bit left, and what's gone is theirs, because they've somehow figured it out."

  • "It was not possible to come from school and go somewhere hanging around the village doing nothing, everyone just had their duty. For example, in the sixth grade, I had a note written on my desk that I had some lunch in the oven and a car is hitched for me and I should and come to the field here and there. And when I was riding down the road and there was a bus with workers, the narrow road... I was always very scared and the others thought that the horses were riding alone, because I was not seen in that car. So, each one of us had a task, and we didn't even consider it as some difficulty. We were used to it and we lived modestly. Regarding the supplies... and I can compare it well, because my aunt, who lived in Zlín, had daughters as old as me, so I often went there. When there wasn't much work, my parents let me go there for two or three days. And they ate pastry rolls with butter, sweet pastry rolls, cocoa in the morning and we ate dry bread and white coffee. And when the cows were before calving, it was more black than white, but we didn't consider it that way, because it was all done for us, we were actually farming. So, I know the difference between working-class children, because the money was certain there and there was always something left. And we basically couldn't even make the scrambled eggs, because all the eggs had to be handed in, and when sometime the cattle suffered from some disease, no one took it into account and allowed you to... They allowed you to make pig-slaughtering at home when you handed in everything they had prescribed."

  • “Of course, my mother didn´t want to enter the co-operative because in a village it was like this.. the one who entered first, he had only a goat at home. That means these people didn´t lose anything but gained a piece of land because they were given half a hectare of a private plot where you could grow potatoes or a bit of grain for your chicken, as the rest was taken away from you as part of the collective property. And those who wanted to establish a co-operative were the most ardent communists and now they simply had to force the big farmers to enter as well. Clear enough, nobody was too happy about this and right at this time, in the year 1956, my father died, and already then the compulsory supplies were inhumanly high. They wanted to force the people to enter the cooperative as it was impossible to fulfill these demands. If someone couldn´t fulfill them – these could be eggs or meat, exactly how much flax or potatoes, it had to be handed in. I remember the lovely potatoes we brought once from the field. A large cart full. I don´t know if you know what kind of carts these were but it was a kind of rack wagon which was full of sacks of potatoes and as they were lovely, off they went to the local school. So my mother brought them there and got 16 Kčs for 100 kilos.“

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    Újezd u Valašských Klobouk, 09.11.2018

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    duration: 01:19:57
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The mills of God grind slowly yet they grind

Portrait period photograph of the witness, Újezd 1965
Portrait period photograph of the witness, Újezd 1965
photo: archive of the witness

Hedvika Fojtů nee Bocková was born on 7th February 1946 at Újezd, a small village in Valašsko, Moravia. Her parents had seven children, a small farm and a few horses. From her childhood she had to help working on the fields and with the horses. In the 1950s her parents withstood the strong pressure of the Communist Party to enter the co-operative. Hedvika was not allowed to study at any other school but the Secondary School of Agriculture and had to stay in the village all her life. Her mother finally did not manage to fight the pressure and entered the local co-operative in 1960. Hedvika worked all her life as an animal carer in Újezd. Today she says that even the post 1989 events have not set right the injustices caused by forced collectivization.