"My colleagues wanted to go home immediately, so I asked someone in Odessa if they could get us an earlier train. And we actually got that train. But I said, because it took about two days, I told the students that it was nonsense to be in Odessa and when would they be able to see Crimea and the spas in Crimea again. So, we also stayed in the Crimea. Then we went by train and our diplomatic platoon, which enlisted in Moscow, flew over us. When we were traveling by express, our government was flying over Slovakia. And I was already able to listen, because I was running home from the main station very fast, I had already caught the speech of our president. And that, again, is such an interesting thing. So, I'm terribly afraid of Odessa and I'm anxiously listening when the Russians are going to bomb Odessa. And it is such a wonderful tragedy for me what is happening with Ukraine now. I'm taking it seriously a lot."
"In the last year, the airmen actually did air raids at night. When there was an alarm at night, we could not go to school until ten o'clock. But at eleven o'clock the Americans started flying at those trains and shooting at the locomotives. So, about two months before the end of the war, we were attending school for an hour. In the winter we had a winter break and we went to school once a week. We were given assignments and then in a week we came again. We sat in gloves, we sat in caps, we sat in coats, we handed in assignments and received new assignments. So that's the end of the war for me as a schoolgirl."
And it was a situation that is hard to understand today, that when you arrived, perhaps to Prague, where I experienced everything, the Prague people had to go out of the city to get food. And when the train arrived at the train station, there was a lot of control, and when they found out that a Prager had something to bring home, all was confiscated without any mercy. So at that time there were such situations that it was certain which station just before Prague one needed to throw out everything brought from the village, just out the window, and someone had to stand at the rails. He had to take it, then the man peacefully finished travelling to Prague without carrying anything, and the one who picked it up also brought it to the end station of the tram, and then got it all home pretty well. So indeed, such cases happened, but not in the case of my family."
"It's very hard to say, because it was hard to feel the lack of goods. The fact is, there was everything during the first republic. There was almost nothing in the war. The food was only distributed with sheets. There was a very small amount on the clothes, and there were bunks. So everything was limited. Everything from remade from old clothes. The food was obtained in all sorts of ways, in addition to those tickets, people would go to the villages, there was exchange of flour or poultry for towels and linens. It was such a confusion, but after the war everything was gradually improving, so I can only say that everything has been improving year after year and supply was better. I admit that it all went faster in the West, but it really improved from year to year, and I would say that supply in 1967 was already very satisfactory and quite amazing."
"Improve and correct? Probably the problem is to what extent I could do anything. Of course, the pollution has been a big issue and I partly worked in the field of creation and prospective creation of individual agricultural areas, and there I met this problem. So yes, but rather we made an effort to improve the current situation."
"Well, that's the problem, the ideology. Because the fact is that when I was studying at the Agricultural University in the 1950s, one of the subjects was Marxism-Leninism. Just as I did aspirantry at school, there again we had a test of Marxism-Leninism. So, of course, I met with this lesson, and I learned a lot and accepted it as my own opinion. But otherwise I have never gotten into a rift or contradictions."
"Well, in any case, especially since I was working as a district zootechnician in Litomyšl until 1959, teams were making five-year plans, and then I would have criticized the planning that it was really too detailed and we made great efforts with the zoo technicians of individual cooperatives or state farms to compile those five-year plans and we had to help each other within the district. So in the same case yes. Then, within the framework of the Agricultural University, we understood the five-year period as certain periods, but the five-year plan as such did not exist for us."
"Well, it was the time I worked in the Litomyšl region. And I have to say that there was a big problem, because the pressure to set up cooperatives was very intense at that time, and the party's regional committees were ordering the cooperatives to set up and expand very quickly. And there I had some questions about how to get those people. Because on the one hand, I understood that agriculture had to get into big-scale production, just as the industry was transforming into big industry. But I did not want agriculture to be in the hands of a few people, and others had to work manually. So I welcomed cooperatives as an amazing solution to the large-scale agriculture, but the pressure for cooperatives to start fast so that farmers would quickly enter the cooperatives, so I often did not like it, because they first promised to the farmers, especially when they were a good farmer and there was a prospect that he might be a good leader of a section in the cooperative, so people talked to them, such as offering cars that had to wait for a long time, or even pressure was exerted that these people were forced either by great effort , or even when children were studying at school, so they might have been threatened to kick their children out of school. So, I did not like this fast-paced cooperative team. I think it should have been done slower and that it would have been better. But I am proud of the fact that even in the days of the cooperative society, which we founded in the district of Litomyšl, they are still working as agricultural cooperatives, whether it is a cooperative in Dolni Ujezd or in Morašice."
"I did not get publicly into any contradiction with the system and, as far as accusations are concerned, to be accused of being disqualified in some way, or punished, it is by no means the case. But of course I had some objections to certain matters. I spoke openly in public, and nothing never happened to me."
How did the agitators get the farmers to join the Unified agricultural cooperative? They blackmailed them through children
Květuše Havlíčková, née Kottová, was born on October 24, 1931 in Prague. Towards the end of the war, when the Allies bombed Prague, she became a direct witness to the fall of an aerial bomb on a residential building. After her graduation, she completed her studies at the University of Agriculture in Brno and became a zootechnician. During her studies, she underwent basic military training and joined the Communist Party. There she also met her future husband, Josef Havlíček, and after the wedding they had two children. After school, she was placed in Čistá u Litomyšle. She first worked at the Osík insemination station and then as a district zootechnician compiled five-year plans for the development of agricultural cooperatives. After a few years, she moved back to Prague, started teaching general zootechnics at the University of Agriculture and later obtained a docent’s degree. At the time of the invasion of the Warsaw Pact troops into Czechoslovakia, she stayed as a teacher on an internship in Odessa, from where she quickly returned to Prague. After normalization checks, she was expelled from the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia. At the time of filming in 2022, she lived in Cheb, where she moved to be with her son.