Vlasta Palisová

* 1921  

  • “We are boys and girls from Zlín, where working hard won’t make you lean. We want to learn a lot, but know all well that only hard work will really tell. To help ourselves, to help the school is our aim. With all our strength to achieve the same. To show the world we’re Zlín pupils, we’re love to have fun and have hard-working scruples. Those who see our school will see what all we to do keep healthy. We exercise, go camping, love the sunny day. Cleanliness and tidiness make us happy, gay. When all our duties are complete, sing we joyful and sweet. Our youth will have a long heyday! Sing glory to our school, work ho, hurray – work ho – hurray!”

  • “When we reckoned things had quietened down for a bit, we ran out of the shelter. On the way, we thought we heard someone yelling. We were in the shelter for just a short moment. A patrol ran up, shouting: ‘Everyone out, up the hill, to the forest! Gas, gas, they hit the gas! Wet towels and leg it uphill.’ We saw people surge out of the city at full tilt. Children screaming, mothers pushing prams with pallid faces. Everyone running as fast as their breath allowed. Anyone with a bike took it and rode off. Fumes, fog everywhere. The neighbour from across the road had four little children. She had two hands, two prams. But because she was German, no one cared if she managed or not. I was already up ahead because I was running to get the wet towels, and then I looked round to see where Mum was. She had gone back to help the German lady with one of the prams. Even though she was fighting for breath herself and puffing hard uphill. Then Dad took over, and I took the two children by their hands, and we ran up the hill. We were there for a long time until the fumes dissipated and things calmed down. Then one more fighter plane flew up, circled around the factory, and flew off again.”

  • “The Czech Fairy Tale. In an old castle on the Danube stood three gates of iron. For three hundred years the Czech princess sat imprisoned there. Chains bind her hands to the walls of her cell. Brutish guards tortured her, slapped her daily in the fact. The castle’s master was a black bird, a big eagle with two heads. Terrible eyes it had, and each talon on its feet was bloodied, as it fed on Slavic blood. It carried off Czech children to its castle. It ripped their tongues out, as it ate those with special delight. When the princess heard in her prison the children’s lament, she leant out of her window and called for help. For three hundred years she called, agonised in heart and angered in soul. But none awoke, until the Czech lion arose. Until one stormy night a voice broke through the prison’s depth: ‘Princess, my dove, I will free you!’ At that a night passed by the castle, and in the lightning’s strike the eagle saw someone beating with hammer at the castle gate. Who is that beating on my gate? Who disturbs me in these walls? From the gate there came the call: ‘A Czech blacksmith, knight, a Czech!’ The ancient Danube castle rang with terror, cries, and screams. The Czech knight Masaryk enters the castle with his legions. With his first blow he slew the eagle, the second broke the prison clear, the third cut the shackles clear, and thus he spoke to the princess: ‘For three hundred years separated from the motherland, come join us in our new Czech land.’ The end.”

  • Full recordings
  • 1

    Zlín, 27.03.2018

    (audio)
    duration: 05:22:53
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
Full recordings are available only for logged users.

I trained as a seamstress on my mum’s behest, but I wanted to be an actress

Profile photo
Profile photo
photo: archiv Vlasty Palisové

Vlasta Palisová, née Šafaříková, was born on 2 April 1921 in Brno. She moved with her parents to Zlín at a very early age. Her father Alois Šafařík was employed as an accountant at the Baťa Works, and in 1949 he was ordained a deacon of the Czechoslovak Church (later renamed to the Czechoslovak Hussite Church), standing in for Evangelical pastors from the surrounding region. Vlasta Palisová attended the Masaryk Experimental Differential School and trained as a ladies’ tailor. She and her father played in several amateur theatre groups, and she was an active member of the Sokol sports movement. In November 1944 she witnessed the bombing of Zlín. After the war she married; she raised two children with her husband František. She devoted her whole life to caring for her family.