You’re going to herd white bears
Ludmila Uhlířová, née Stárková, was born on the 1st of April 1922 in Bludov, Volhynia. The village was founded by her great-grandparents. Despite never having moved she witnessed the Polish Republic, German occupation, and the Soviet Union. During the Soviet era her family was considered to be kulak and designated for deportation to Siberia, which was, ironically, prevented by the German occupation. During this time she witnessed the merciless mass murders of her Jewish neighbours. The region was also under attack of groups of Bandera supporters who killed large numbers of people and almost beat Ludmila’s brother to death. In 1947 the whole family emigrated to Czechoslovakia and settled in Vidnava in the Jeseník region. Two years later Ludmila married Josef Uhlíř and moved to his farming estate in the nearby village of Stará Červená Voda. Her husband fought in the 1st Czechoslovak Army Corps and, just like Ludmila, was originally from Volhynia - from a town called Hlinsko. During the collectivization Josef Uhlíř was forced to join the local agricultural cooperative. However, he refused to sign the unfairly formulated statutes, which led to his subsequent expulsion. The couple then continued to make a living as private farmers, which was not easy at the time. First some of their machines were confiscated and later their lands were exchanged for some of the worst and most distant estates. In 1958 Ludmila’s husband died in an accident and so she and her three children moved in with her parents in Žulová, where she lived until 2016. As of 2017 she lived in a nursing retirement home in Bílá Voda.