Marie Susedková

* 1930

  • “We had to move out by the end of October 1943. It was a gradual process. First they cleared out Otinoves, Odrůvka, Niva, then they moved Rozstání, Drahany. It was in steps, I can’t tell you precisely. At the end of the next phase, it was to be half of Lipovec, half of Podomí. Those villages were not displaced completely. The order came, and the owner had to hand in his keys within a given time. I remember how Dad came with his head in his hands, crying that he had already handed in the keys and that we would be leaving. Then, when we were living in Světlá, I attended the town [primary] school in Knínice, and now and then Dad would secretly go to have a look [at Rozstání]. All the fruit trees in the garden had been torn out. Our windows and doors were torn out. Everything out of wood, which the German soldiers used as heating in the winter. When we returned back home, we had to repair everything.”

  • “My dad came to visit that time; he had false teeth, and when the poor blighter saw me, he started crying, and as he cried his dentures chattered. They hardly ever told us anything during a visit. As soon as they sat down, they cried, cried, and cried. We stayed strong and we only let the tears loose when we came back to our cell. Mum was always the braver, never showing her pain to me. She cried as well, but not hardly as much. So men are cowards.”

  • “The second day he wrote to me in Morse code that he was thirty-two years old and awaiting execution, that he would probably be executed within a week, and that he could see me when I walked in the courtyard. Every evening he whistled me [the tune of a well-known Czech folk song]: ‘Good night, my dear, good night.’ I whistled back: ‘May God himself be to your help. Good night, sweet dreams...’ So we whistled to each other and communicated by Morse code. He was gone in three days, if I’m not wrong. But before that were on our walk. Suddenly, a window opened and something fell on the ground in front of me. The pair behind us picked it up, and we carried on walking. Both the guard and the mutter (cell leader) were there. We came back from the walk, and as we stepped through the doorway, I saw that everything was in chaos right up to the bunk bed where I slept. Because the thing he had thrown there in cotton wool... He’d chewed up some bread and broken up some straw into diamond shapes, and he made a heart shape in the bread, and inside it there was a tiny open window inlaid with the straw. The way it was open, the words ‘With love’ were written there. That was in the cotton wool, and he threw it to me. Later on they found it in my things, and it landed me with three days of solitary confinement.”

  • “They interrogated me whenever they felt like it. They kept asking me when the pamphlets were scattered about, what was written in them, who scattered them. I knew nothing about them. The interrogators had white shirts with their sleeves rolled up past their elbow. There were three of them, I sat opposite them, and they asked me questions all at once. I kept denying everything. One of the interrogators was nicknamed Long Honza, and he got into a fit and at half past one in the night he gave me such a blow that he knocked out two of my teeth and moved my jaw. He was a big bloke, and he kept yelling at me that I was lying. Then of course, I cried and I said I wanted them to confront me with someone, so they would believe me that I knew nothing about it. The second day they stood me back to back with Láďa Kratochvíl and confronted us with questions. That way they found out that I really knew nothing about it. Two sixteen-year-old boys, who were altar servers at church, found some rusty weapons somewhere and hid them in the church tower. They arrested the priest for the sole reason that he didn’t have his typewriter and mimeograph locked away. And those two altar servers used his typewriter to write pamphlets, and then they scattered them all over the ditches around the villages.”

  • Full recordings
  • 1

    Rozstání, 15.09.2014

    (audio)
    duration: 02:47:53
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
  • 2

    Rozstání, 18.09.2022

    (audio)
    duration: 27:20
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
Full recordings are available only for logged users.

A dull moon wanders the skies, no one to cross it in its path, it peers sadly from behind the bars

Marie Susedková
Marie Susedková
photo: archiv pamětnice

Marie Susedková, née Hrubá, was born on 22 December 1930 in the village of Rozstání in the Drahanská Hills. She spent many a difficult moment in this village. Planning to expand the Vyškov military shooting range, the Nazi regime displaced all the local inhabitants in 1943. This was in connection with the German plan to create a corridor that would join the isolated German settlements in the Litovel and Olomouc districts with the German settlements around Vyškov. For two and a half years the family thus lived in rented accommodation in the village of Světlá. In the meantime the Germans made a complete wreck of the family farm. In April 1951 Marie was arrested by State Security officers. A punch from one of her interrogators in Brno knocked out two of her teeth and shifted her jaw. They were trying to obtain a confession from her of participating in the Rozstání resistance organisation “Jan Hudec and Co.”, which wrote and distributed pamphlets and sent threatening letters to Communist functionaries. But although Marie did not knowingly cooperate with them, the Regional Court in Brno sentenced her to five years in prison for high treason. She spent two years and eight months in the prisons in Cejl Street in Brno, in Nový Jičín, and in Sučany, Slovakia. Upon her release she returned to her native farm, where she lives to this day.