Olga Havránková

* 1937

  • “I was eight years old in nineteen forty four, so I was quite young. I just remember my parents listening to 'London', how excited they were... There couldn't be a single light left, it was all dark... And those searches, that was just terrible, all the time we were so afraid... Fortunately, my mother's cousin had been working at this bureau of agriculture, and sometimes, he would warn her about it, so my mother could tell the whole village: what would happen, what they were up to. As having just a single pig above the norm could get us shot, they were quite strict about it. I remember my parents being so afraid all the time... So we were afraid of those searches.”

  • “Before that, we could plant what we wanted to, that was the freedom we had. So we were quite humiliated by this. It was like there was a policeman watching over you, telling you what to do. My father was quite upset by it. My mother would conform to it somehow, but my mother also had no sympathy for collectivization. As there's nothing like freedom, after all.”

  • “Fortunately, my father had a motorcycle, which he bought after Germans confiscated his Harley. He bought a Jawa, so we could travel with him. He would take me to see my grandmother in the borderlands, for example. And I would be there maybe for a week and he would come to pick me up, as it was already harvest time: 'You have to come back home now, you have to help us.' And every time, I would cry. Or I had this trouble with my gallbladder and I ended up in a hospital, I was just fourteen-years-old and I ended up in a hospital – they kept me there for a week – and when I came back, my parents were thrashing the grain. And my mother said: 'Hurry up, come one, I've been waiting for you to come.' If she would say something like: 'You are home already, how nice of you...' But it was nothing like that. My mother was nice to us, but if there was work to be done... Hard work was something she was used to, so she expected the same from us.”

  • Full recordings
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    Brandýs nad Labem, 30.07.2021

    duration: 02:11:41
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
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As a daughter of a ‘kulak’, she wasn’t allowed to study what she wished to

Olga Havránková in 1985
Olga Havránková in 1985
photo: Archiv pamětníka

Olga Havránková was born on 16 February 1937 in Městec Králové as the oldest of four children. Her parents, Bedřiška and Bohuslav Krejčík, were small farmers, farming 12 hectares of land in the village of Malá Strana in then Poděbrady District. They had livestock at the farm and had been growing various field crops. Since her early youth, Olga had to help in both the household and at the farm. She witnessed the Second World War, running into the fields with her whole family every time planes would fly over the village. As the communist regime had been established, Olga’s parents were being forced into joining the collective farm (JZD). They manage to resist for quite a long time. In 1957, after their tractor had been confiscated, they were left with no option but to agree with them joining the collective farm. As a daughter of a ‘kulak’, the witness wasn’t allowed to study what she wished to – plant protection science – and after graduating from trade school she had been working as an office clerk. In 1961, she gave birth to her daughter. After 1989, her family got back some of the fields they once had been farming.