Anna Staňková

* 1927

  • "I tell parents until today, they don't understand me because only I say it. Children or young people cannot be forced or compromised, when compromises are made, we spoil them. There must be consistency, order above all, so that they get used to something they cannot get out of. You have to find ways and that's hard, keep trying ways so that it seems to come from them and not from me. And that is very cunning, because then they are all excited and drive like tanks.”

  • "I was in Syrovice near Brno and my niece, the second girl, was born there, and she squawked like a parrot at night, so I didn't sleep. So, I left by a night train, I had to save time, so I wanted to go to Ostrava by a night train. There was still time, so I sat down, in a moment he came to me, I already knew he was a State Security officer, they had those brown leather coats, he sat across from me, I knew what he was. Well sure, they didn't hide it. I had an apple, so we split the apple, he covered me with his coat because he knew I would sleep. I slept deeply because the girl was crying so much that I didn't sleep at all. And we travelled all night, I slept deeply, only sometimes I saw that something was moving on my legs, so I looked to see if the coat was coming off, no, the man was sleeping and the coat was in place. When I got off the tram in Poruba, I already felt that another person was following me, so I slowed down, he slowed down too, so I turned around, I was always angry with them: 'You're right, I'm following you.' He carried a bottle of milk, innocently, I immediately knew what and how. It was early in the morning, he followed me across the park to the apartment and said, 'So we heard about you making a virtuous woman out of yourself. And I say, “So what?” So, there were at least three or four of them, 'we saw how virtuous you are, what you let happen, what you like. But you know what happened at night.' And I say: 'Did something happen? So, if something was happening, I was asleep, you saw it and you were awake, so why didn't you wake me up?' Well, those were the conversations. 'What do you want all the time?' — 'You'll see, we won't talk about it now, you'll see in the future.' He walked me to the door."

  • "I was in Poruba in the Ostrava region and I had a university colleague from Brno, she had five children, so I had the youngest one with me for the holidays. It was after noon, he lay down on the bed and we were resting after lunch, and a man came and said that I had to go with him. 'The car is outside, so get dressed and let´s go.' I said, 'I have a baby here.' - 'We don't care.' So, I went to my neighbor and asked her to take care of the little boy, and I went with them. Of course, they had the psychological methods, we drove through, so they would make an impression, so we drove through underground, through dark corridors. I knew what it was going to be about, that it was an interrogation, I knew that people were going to it, but I didn't know anything about it. People didn't know anything either, I was just told by those who had gone through it: 'Don't name anyone, because they immediately take the names and go after those people.' So, they brought me in, I don't remember the details, but it probably went something like this, they kept asking and talking and forcing me to do something: 'Sign this paper.' I don't know how they reasoned, but I calmly signed the paper for them. Although I could have assumed that they would fill out the paper I signed with whatever they wanted, but that didn't occur to me at the time, and on the other hand, they did what they wanted anyway."

  • "When I used to go to that choir to sing, a German teacher used to go there. She sang with us, but we knew her so casually. A German teacher, but always polite, nice, but she had no contact with us. Then she came, apparently she already felt the end of that Germany, I don't know, so she came to sing in that choir. Of course, everyone recognized her, no one would say anything because they didn't want to harm themselves. But there was a coup, the Germans wore white armbands or some kind of marking, and suddenly nobody wanted to talk to that woman. All of a sudden, we were all virtuous and terrible patriots, but I´m not into it, at all. Of course, I'm little stupid in this regard, I'll do the exact opposite, I can't see a person being hurt. So I went in public, I didn't go with her before, I always grabbed her arm in public and I walked with her down the street from that church, with that Marenka, that was her name. So, I took her to her mother, with whom she lived in a villa near the Jevíčko intersection. Then she was so open with me, she told me some things. She was terribly devastated because she was caught by some, I think, a communist from Jevíčko, he knew she was a second-class person, so he raped her, and she was extremely devastated by that."

  • "But what I think was bearable, at least for me, I saw that the inhuman regime was not inhuman. It was just an apprentice, they were just students of that Lenin, Stalin, that crazy regime. Because they at least did that, for example, that the crimes would not be seen, and especially I felt that way in my childhood, there was a worker who came to us, a German, and he kept an eye on these things so that they would happen. But they never took from us, for example when there were so many children, they did not take our potatoes or grain, not all of it, as the communists did, they took everything away. Neighbors brought something in their baskets and gave tickets and so on so that the children would not die of hunger. So, they never did that.'

  • Full recordings
  • 1

    Cetkovice, 13.05.2021

    duration: 01:56:53
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
  • 2

    Cetkovice, 20.05.2021

    duration: 02:39:27
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
  • 3

    Cetkovice, 23.09.2021

    duration: 02:17:33
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
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The woman has no sympathy for communists

Anna Staňková at secondary grammar school
Anna Staňková at secondary grammar school
photo: archive of the witness

Anna Staňková was born on May 7, 1927 in Jevíčko into a farming family as the eldest of twelve children to Anna and Antonín Staněk. In her childhood, she had to work in the fields and take care of her younger siblings, but she also trained in Orel, sang in the church choir and attended the theater club. After completing five years of general school (primary school), she began studying at the secondary grammar school in Jevíčko and during the protectorate she completed her studies at the secondary grammar school in Boskovice. At the end of the war, she did not have a good experience with the soldiers of the Red Army and publicly defended the popular teacher of German nationality. After graduating in 1946, she decided against her father’s wishes to study at the Masaryk University in Brno. During her studies, she had to take care of herself because she did not receive any financial support from her parents. Her father died soon after forced entry into the unified agricultural cooperative (JZD). Thanks to her difficult situation, the witness was able to finish her studies as a social case, although she did not initially pass the political checks due to her views and Christian mindset. In 1950, she graduated from the Faculty of Philosophy in the field of philosophy - Czech and received her first placement at Osoblaha in the border region. In 1963, after constant problems with communist superiors, she was fired from the education sector with the justification: Public threat to youth. She was briefly unemployed, then worked as a clerk and cleaning lady in Čedok. In the period of easing of the political situation around 1968, she was rehabilitated and started working as a teacher of Czech at the experimental grammar school in Ostrava-Poruba. In the 1970s, during the period of normalization, nonsense inspections in her classes began, there were accusations of overburdening pupils, and everything culminated in the transfer to an apprentice school, the so-called Zengrovka. She was constantly psychologically blackmailed, monitored by State Security (StB) and summoned several times for questioning. In the ABS (Security Services Archive), a volume of counter-intelligence elaboration archive No. KR-863208 of the MV had been preserved, where it is clearly described that she was offered cooperation several times, which she always refused. She devoted her entire life to the upbringing and education of children at various schools, mainly in northern Moravia. She retired in 1984. In November 1989, she personally attended the canonization of St. Agnes of Bohemia in Rome, and after the revolution she became one of the first teachers at the church school in Odry region. Faith in God was and is her greatest strength in difficult periods of life. At the age of 94 (in 2021), he still follows all the activities around her with interest.