Karel Hoder

* 1927  

  • "The Communists wanted me to stay there, but I did not want to, that was 1948, the communists wanted me to make bulletin boards there, and I refused it. And then nationalization took place. The chief boss flew to Norway, fleeing because the communists took his enterprise from him. The communists in Prague made a big havok. Then came the decree that businesses must be nationalized. I remember how the communists went to Beneš to the Castle to sign something, he did not want to, but eventually forced him, but it was tough for him, as Beneš wanted to prevent bloodshed. On the 25th of February, the laušmans marched through Prague, and against them matched the evil ones, and now the two groups were shouting and throwing objects in all directions, because each had a different opinion. Beneš was afraid of bloodshed, though he prevented a little bloodshed, but the big one came. Well, those were times."

  • "I was helping my dad here while he could still be selling, then the factories that had been nationalized stopped supplying the goods, so he had to close it down. But then in 1959, their regime was already gone bankrupt, because it was all miserable here in comparison to other states, so the culprits were sought, and the communists began to deal with small merchants and craftsmen. They made a raid in Letovice, not just for dad, but also for the other craftsmen in Letovice, there were four in total. Dad got four years in prison, and the other four small craftsmen also locked up."

  • "My mother was all bitter, she could not do anything. She was at home, then went to work at the swimming pool and in the nationalized RaJ dining room as a cook. We were not accepted anywhere. As I wanted to workf for the Letostroj company, I had already pre-arranged it, but when it came to the cadre committee they dismissed me and said it would not work and that I could go either to the industry or to Kovošrot. So I chose Kovošrot. I worked there until 1968. I had an anti-communist label!"

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    Letovice, 31.08.2018

    duration: 02:10:42
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
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My father has never recovered from prison

authentic foto
authentic foto
photo: vlastní

Karel Hoder was born October 9, 1927 in Letovice. Parents worked in manual workers’ professions, the mother in a ceramic workshop, and father was a trader. The waiter belonged to life-long scouts, and three times was involved in the organisation´s renewal. In Litovel he apprenticed as a trader and went to work at the U Rotto ironmongery in Prague. In 1948 the shop was nationalized, the owner fled from the communists in Norway and the witness was forced by the communists to produce propagandist bulletin boards for them. He refused and returned to his native village of Letovice. After 1959, the communists began to search for small businessmen, blame them for embezzlement and locked them up in jail. There were huge trials in Letovice, the witness´father was accused of embezzling money and was sent to prison. Since then the whole family has been monitored by the communist party (KSČ). The mother could not get a job, and had to go to work in the nationalized RaJ dining room as a cook. The children signed themselves up to grammar schools, but they did not take them because of a poor cadre profile. Karel Hoder agreed a job at Letostroj, but the communists rejected it and had to settle for work in the industry, where he worked until retirement. After the velvet revolution he opened a small commodity store and devoted himself to his lifelong hobby - collecting old film posters. Today he lives in Letovice.