Zdena Salátková

* 1922

  • “They told me to apply to the Party in Smíchov. I didn’t go there, then I got a reminder, so I went there one time. It was awful. The people there were all drunks, I stared at them all aghast, and I said I wouldn’t go there ever again. It didn’t take long for them to fire me from Černín Palace. I don’t know what the reason was, they told me I’m a kulak’s daughter and that serious matters were discussed there, at Černín Palace, and that I couldn’t do the job. I didn’t even know what went on there. I just connected calls, they told me who wanted to speak to whom, and so we connected them.”

  • “Well, so we started school, and I was looking forward to learning German, and then the Germans came. And the language - it was like they cut it from my lips. Just, I couldn’t stand it any more, and I didn’t want to learn it. Well, didn’t... I fretted an awful lot. We had a German there, a native one, and he forced us to learn Mein Kampf by heart. He tortured us with it, and I ended up getting a five [an F grade in Czech schools - trans.]. Because I hadn’t learnt it.”

  • “They moved all the farmers out in the neighbouring Lipany. They moved them to the border regions, where they worked as manual labourers. They wanted to do the same here. Everyone wanted to make a name for themselves, to curry favours, so they wanted to deport all the farmers. That Mr Krátký, he was a Communist, and he stood up for the people here. So he stopped it from happening, and not one farmer was deported.”

  • Full recordings
  • 1

    Benice u Prahy, 28.10.2016

    duration: 01:31:25
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
Full recordings are available only for logged users.

Evil things are done by small people with big power

Zdena Salatkova about 1954
Zdena Salatkova about 1954
photo: Zdena Salátková

Zdena Salátková, née Klegrová, was born on 22 November 1926 into the family of the farmer Josef Klegr in Pitkovičky (now a part of Prague). Zdena had two younger brothers, Josef and Oldřich. The family lived on their farm in Benice near Prague, where they had 12 hectares of soil. Zdena married and moved in with Josef Salátek from a neighbouring farm in 1949. After 1948 all the private farmers in Benice, presumably out of gratitude that they were not deported to the border regions like the farmers of the neighbouring Lipany, handed over their property to the local united agricultural cooperative without any resistance. Because Zdena refused to join the Communist Party, she lost her job of switchboard operator in Prague, and as the daughter of a “kulak” the mayor of Benice later refused to release her from the farming coop, where he kept her as a seasonal worker. She did not receive his permission to work full-time somewhere else, and so she had to live without a regular income for a full 13 years. The family had to make do with her husband’s wage. She finally found a job (at Kablo in Prague-Hostivař) in 1963 thanks to her husband’s connection in the national committee.