Veronika Hamatová

* 1943

  • "When I went through all that, they gave me a big penance to pray for what I had done. Rosaries, prayers, but pray. What I did was I got divorced. They gave me this penance. And for that, I think the Lord God is letting me have such a long life to pray for it in the world."

  • "Dad didn't tell us anything about how [the Czech colonists] came. But my mom told us how her dad came from Bohemia. He came as a boy, as boys they came here to Romania. So they told that story, that they came here as boys from Bohemia. And there were about two or three brothers. That there was a forest everywhere. That they came this way above the cemetery, and where the cemetery is, that's where they came together. And there was a woman or a girl that died, so they made a cemetery there. Here, we have a cemetery. Here, they started taking all they wanted. He wanted to build, here was all forest and here was a spring of water, it's good. They started building and they made a village."

  • "I remember that people could go from here to Bohemia. I was already bigger then. They used to come from Bohemia to make us go to Bohemia, and a lot of people went. There were people living around us, like down the street. But they used to drive, there used to be a car going down the road, as there's a road to Cozla. That's where people used to go. I remember my dad came from Cozla and he said to my mom, 'Hey, let's go to Bohemia!' [...] Mum said to him, 'If you want to go, go!' We were four kids. She told us, 'Look, kids, whichever one you want, go with your dad. But I'm not leaving home!' And we didn't go, and neither did dad. But a lot of people went, but even from Bohemia they came back, they ran away. Then they attacked, the people who came back. But we didn't. We didn't go anywhere."

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    Bígr, 18.09.2023

    duration: 01:42:11
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She sinned by divorce, as one of the first women in a Catholic village

Svatební fotografie z prvního manželství, 60. léta
Svatební fotografie z prvního manželství, 60. léta
photo: archiv pamětnice

Veronika Hamatová, née Marešová, was born into a peasant family on 15 February 1943 (officially registered on 1 April 1943) in Bígr (Bigăr), Banat, Romania. Her father worked in the Cozla coal mines, from where he returned for weekends. Veronika and her three older siblings grew up under the supervision of their mother, whom they had to help on the farm and in the fields. She attended the local school from 1950-1954 and after finishing school worked on her parents’ farm. At the age of 18 she married and after 12 years of marriage she was one of the first women in the village to ask for a divorce, which was unusual in the local context (1970s) and her decision was not well received by the Christian community. Tragically, her ex-husband died a few years later in his home, where he burned to death in a drunken state. Veronika Hamatová raised her two sons and remarried three years after the divorce proceedings. However, the marriage was separated by her husband’s death six years later. Veronika Hamatová worked all her life in agriculture in Bigr (Bigăr), where she still lives today (September 2023).