Ludmila Kotlabová

* 1932  

  • “Western intelligence men asked him to make them a radio which he did, as he went to college so he knew this sort of things. Then they arrested him and imprisoned him in Olomouc. He jumped over the wall and ran away, then he followed the Morava rive and somehow, he managed to get to Tovéř where he hid in our attic so I found him there. I didn´t know who he was. I went there looking for eggs and I heard a voice. I came closer and he said: 'Wait, madam.' He got up slowly and he repeated: 'Wait, madam.' I was so terrified. I jumped down from the attic, I didn´t say a word to mother Kotlaba and I just ran to the pub to fetch my husband. When my husband came home, Miloš had already been kneeling in front of old Kotlabová, begging her. And my husband knew his as Miloš used to help him repair the tractor. I didn´t know him at all.”

  • “There is a brook running through Kobeřice and there was a stone bridge crossing it. They blew up the bridge and couldn´t get across. We were on the German side and the other half was on the Russian side. The fighting lasted nine days as we were in the cellar. And father would cover the entrance to the cellar by stuff so the Germans wouldn´t find us as they were in our house. Our house was totally bombed out by the Russians. We were living on a hill. And the Germans were hiding in the mountains nearby. There were no regular Russians, only the slant-eyed Mongols.”

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    Tovéř, 14.12.2018

    (audio)
    duration: 02:32:39
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
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I spent my nights shaking, waiting for them to come for me and sentence me for twenty years

Ludmila Kotlabová née Navrátilová
Ludmila Kotlabová née Navrátilová
photo: archiv pamětnice

Ludmila Kotlabová né Navrátilová was born on January 8th of 1932 in the village of Kobeřice in the Prostějov Region. As a child, she witnessed the last days of the World War II in Kobeřice. For eight days, her family had been hiding in the cellar while fierce fighting took place in the surroundings, claiming many lives and also severely damaging the house. In 1949, Ludmila married Miroslav Kotlaba and moved with him to his family farm in village of Tovéř. In July 1951, she found Miroslav Štedrý, an exhausted political prisoner on the run, in the attic of the farmhouse. Despite the atmosphere of fear and series of arrests being made, Ludmila and her husband sheltered the fugitive for several days. Though Miroslav Štědrý had been apprehended later, he didn´t give away the people who protected him, and Ludmila Kotlabová didn´t speak about her brave deed for decades. She shared her story after the collapse of the communist regime as she was sure that she wouldn´t face punishment. During the collectivisation, Katolabas refuse to merge their farm with the newly established Collective Farm. They were forced to meet extreme produce out-put quota, they were banned from using their pastures and in the end, they had to hand over all their cattle. As they could no longer sustain themselves, they found no other option than to join the Collective Farm, which they did in 1953. After that, Ludmila Kotlabová had been working at the Collective Farm until her retirement. In 2018, she was still a resident of the village of Tovéř.