Václav Langer

* 1929  

  • “They established a cooperative in Přáslavice already on 1952, but the fields had been sown for the cooperative already in autumn. They have already taken over the fields and technical treatment of the soil was done. The fields around the village were appropriated by the cooperative. About five of us larger private landowners and a great number of ‘kravař’ landowners, who had about a hectare of land each, did not join the cooperative. From the larger landowners, there was I, Jenda Kotrů, Miloš Vodička, František Miků, Vítek Vodička, the Libigr girls and Kubáč, too. But he got into some mess and so he then joined the cooperative. The rest of us managed to endure it until 1958, and we joined in 1958, because it was no longer feasible to continue farming independently. There was lot of work, it was difficult to get labourers, and the taxes were high and they gave us the worst fields on the edge of the village. And so we agreed upon it and we went to join the cooperative.”

  • “There were wooden barracks, and at first Russians had stayed in them, then Germans, and then we. It was a camp with three buildings and part time workers were later housed there, because they were throwing out ash from the stove straight from the windows and we all then had to clean it. We did all this after our work shift was over.”

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    Přáslavice, 03.07.2018

    (audio)
    duration: 02:41:53
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
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One could not do anything about it

Václav Langer in the PTP
Václav Langer in the PTP
photo: archiv pamětníka

Václav Langer was born on October 8, 1929 in Přáslavice near Olomouc as the seventh of nine children to parents Bedřich and Františka Langer. During the occupation of Bohemia and Moravia by the Nazi Germany his father was summoned to the local administration office several times in order to register as a German national, since his parents were a mixed Czech-German couple. He repeatedly refused and he thus saved his sons from being drafted to the war front as soldiers of the wehrmacht. Later he resisted the pressure exerted by the communist regime and he refused to have his family farm incorporated in the Unified Agricultural Cooperative (JZD) during the collectivization process. As a consequence, his youngest son Václav was sent to the Auxiliary Technical Battalions (PTP) where he then served for the next 26 months as cheap labour in coal mines in the village Zbůch near Pilsen. His father died in 1954 and the pressure was becoming more intense and the family was then left with no other option than to join the JZD and to hand over their private fields to the cooperative. Václav Langer subsequently worked in the local Unified Agricultural Cooperative and after completing a distance study at an agricultural school he worked in the position of an agronomist for many years. After the fall of the communist regime he was elected the first post-communist mayor of Přáslavice in 1990. During his five years in the office, he witnessed the withdrawal of the Soviet army, which was garrisoned in the barracks located at the outskirts of the military training area Libavá. In 2018 he and his wife were still living on their family farm in Přáslavice.