Helena Kalusová

* 1948  

  • “As my dad was in the uranium mines in Pribram, my mother got permission to visit about once every six months. She also needed to save money for the trip because she had to get to Pribram by train and spend the night there. In the morning, there was a bus near the station and it took us to Milín. We had a half-hour visit; after that it was over and we went back home. My mother always took us two. Always two children and next time another two, so my dad could see us and we could all visit him in turns. It was sitting at a wide table, with a wide board in the middle so we couldn't shake hands. Then, at the end, my dad had to have a benefactor there, because he always got a place near the edge. So the warden allowed him to take one child on his lap for a while. From there I still have a little tear with a cross that my dad made for me. Here and there he secretly gave us something, but only because they let us sit on his lap.”

  • “Two gentlemen arrived. I know their names, but I won't name them. Still today I can see how they led Dad each by one hand, and as he was walking, he turned after me. We didn't know what was going on and suddenly he was gone. It was in July and only in October (December) he was sentenced to seventeen years for some kind of subversive activity; apparently, they had a group and he was said to be the organizer. But we don't know what he was doing. We were terrified because we didn't know anything until the trial. Then I remember that cars arrived every day, the kind of black Tatraplan. As we heard the car door slam, they came without greeting, the door to the house opened out wide, and then it started. At first, they took the camera, dad's good shoes and suits and took them away. Then they kept coming every day, throwing mattresses out of bed, throwing duvets and all clothes off the closet. They took what was convenient for them. Then they did not arrive every day, but only occasionally. As children, we feared these visits most of all. After he was convicted, it was all over.”

  • “My dad was born in Laktaš in present-day Bosnia and Herzegovina on August 9, 1917. He was with the pilots and got captured. I do not know how he got there, but then served on a nearby farm in Kralova. Then he got to the farm in Nová Hradečná, where my mother helped out and met each other. My brother was born in October 1945, then my sister in December 1946, I was born in January 1948 and my youngest brother in December 1949.”

  • Full recordings
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    Nová Hradečná, 11.12.2018

    duration: 02:16:46
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
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They came every day, throwing mattresses out of bed, throwing duvets and all clothes out of the closet

Helena Kalusová (née Šobotová)
Helena Kalusová (née Šobotová)
photo: archiv pamětnice

Helena Kalusová, her maiden name Šobotová, was born on 10 January 1948 in Hradečná (since 1960 Nová Hradečná). While her mother Anna comes from a nationally mixed marriage between Czech and German, her father Milan Šobota is of Serbian origin. The father comes from the village of Laktaši in today’s Serbian countryside in Bosnia and Herzegovina. As a pilot of the Yugoslav army participated in battles with Hitler’s Germany. He was captured in April 1941. He was then transported to agricultural work in the Sudetenland, where he met his future wife. The family then lived in Hradec, where after 1948 his father became a member of the anti-communist resistance organization named the White Legion. In July 1954 he was arrested and subsequently sentenced to 17 years in prison by the Regional Court in Olomouc. He had to leave his four children aged five to nine at home. Then he went through correctional labor camps at uranium mines near Příbram. After more than nine years he was released on October 31, 1963. He did not see his children growing up; they could visit him only once a year in prison. In the end, despite the bad cadre assessment, and thanks to the support of the teacher, Helena got to the secondary school of education in Přerov. Then she worked as a governess in the after-school club. In 1968 she married Karel Kalus, with whom she later had two children. In 2018 she still lived in Nová Hradečná.