“Our mom, she was a great farmer. And well… Matyáš then came here, he was the chairman, and he told me: ‘Mrs. Fryštacká, I feel so sorry for you, you work so hard, so many fields, and with three children.’ And I said: ‘So what I am supposed to do?’ – ‘Well, that’s why I am coming to you… to join the Unified Agricultural Cooperative. You will have everything there and you will not do anything.’ I asked: ‘And who will work the fields then?’ – ‘ Well, there will be groups of farmers, you see, and you will have a better life than when you work alone now. They will all be workers.’ I said: ‘Nooo, nooo!’ – ‘If you don’t sign it, we will transfer your husband to Ostrava.’ When they said this to me, I thought: ‘Holy Virgin, then I will…’ I signed it, I signed it for this Mr. Matyáš. In 1958. In 1958 the cooperative was established. At first there were just a few of us and then in 1958 the rest of them joined. But I signed it a year earlier, and a neighbour then met me in the village and she told me: ‘Don’t you even go home, your mom is so angry at you that you have joined the cooperative.’ I came home and they told me: ‘We have worked so hard with daddy in order to have something to hand over to you, and you just give it to the communists. We gave everything to you, the cow, and the pigs, and we had a wagon made for you, and we have helped you so much and you join the communists.’ They reproached me, they berated me so much. I was then crying for the whole day until my husband came back from work, and when they went home, they were crying , too. Everybody then had to sign it and join.”
“My husband worked as a carpenter and he got acquainted with minister Hasal there. He had fled to America and his wife and two daughters were in the concentration camp in Svatobořice, with the girls. And my husband worked as a carpenter there, and so he got to know them and he was bringing things to them, supporting them, you know, giving them bread… and then they caught him in the cemetery and they locked him up in a chamber in the cemetery where he had been always leaving the food for them. He was there for two days as a punishment and I thought, thank God that they did not shoot him. He was scared after it had happened, and we were afraid that they would imprison him, because the repercussions for that were horrible. He had served as the chief of the local Orel organization, and led an amateur theatre, and we thus hid all the documents about it. And with the Hasal family… they even came to our wedding, too.”
“That’s how it happened. In 1944 only four of us girls and three boys received it and we had to go as if we received a draft notice. Then I received a notice to go to Kyjov to pick up my documents for the journey to Germany. The four of us thus went there and I received the documents and I went home. And when I arrived home, my mom told me: ‘No, you are not going anywhere, I am not going to stay here alone for all the work with two little children while you would be going to Germany to work there. I would not be able to live like that.’ They even came for me. A policeman and a doctor arrived, and my mom made me get under a feather duvet, just as I was, fully clothed, and she told them that I had a very high fever. And since I was so scared, I really got fever. The doctor said: ‘This cannot be, she would infect the whole transport, she has tonsillitis.’ And the following day the policeman came again, the three girls were already in his car and they were going, and I came to him and showed him the document which stated that I was to stay at home for two more weeks due to my disease. And he looked at it and said: ‘What kind of scribble is this, I don’t have to take that signature seriously.’ But then he became very official and he said to my mom: ‘Did not you know that you were supposed to fight even more for the girl? Why did not you have her married or send her somewhere to serve as a maid?’ So he advised them like this and they then went to Zlín to see Mr. Slepička, and they gathered all the food ration stamps they had at home, and lard, and bacon and eggs. Every time they went there they brought him something so that he would let me stay at home.” – “How many times did they go there?” – “Seven times, and every time they had to bring all that. Only when they came to him for the seventh time, he told them: ‘She will go.’ They nearly collapsed and then they went straight to the church in Zlín and they cried a lot, and the farmer, his name was Blábolil, just happened to come out of the church. He was walking with the mayor and they asked: ‘Godmother, why are you crying so much?’ And they replied: ‘They are taking our girl to Germany, and what am I to do here with the two little kids?’ He turned to the farmer: ‘Well, could not you employ her on your farm? She is used to housework.’ And he replied: ‘Yes, that would actually come quite handy to me.’ He thus went directly to Mr. Slepička and they arranged it and said that I was already employed at his farm.”
We did not have any idea what would happen. We lived in what was there
Antonie Fryštacká was born on October 30, 1924 in Vacenovice near Kyjov. Her childhood was filled with working on the field, as well as with the kindness of her grandparents. In 1930 she enrolled in the elementary school in her native Vacenovice, and after completing her studies she began working on a forest seed-plot in the same village. She was aware of the war due to the restrictions which were being introduced in Vacenovice. In 1944 she was to go to do forced labour in Germany, but her mother managed to postpone Antonie’s departure and instead she arranged for her to work on a farm in Milotice. Antonie thus spent the last year of the war working close to the count’s family at the chateau in Milotice. It was there that she met her future husband Jan, who worked as a carpenter in the concentration camp Svatobořice-Mistřín. While he was there, he was helping the wife and daughters of general Antonín Hasal, whom he befriended after the end of the war. Antonie married him in May 1946 and they began working on the fields which they received as a gift for having helped the general’s family. They had three children. In 1958 Antonie was forced to agree with handing over their fields to the Unified Agricultural Cooperative (JZD). She was thrilled to be able to witness the Velvet Revolution and she went to Prague at that time to attend the ceremonial holy mass on the occasion of the beatification of Agnes of Bohemia. After the Velvet Revolution she travelled to various pilgrimage sites in Europe.