“Svoboda’s men came first on lorries, and Mum ran up holding little Liduška to show them to her. And they said: ‘Please,’ they spoke in Czech, ‘when the ones on horses arrive, lock the women into the cellars and hide everything away.’ They’d really rape anyone. There was a man from Prague who’d come here for the summer, he was a Sokol member, we were friends with him. He was sitting with my father on a bench in front of the shop. And a Russian ran up and said: ‘Davay chasy!’ And he started taking of [the man’s] Swiss watch. He had lots of them on both legs... I wasn’t in the cellar, but I didn’t go outside. I had two children already and that was enough. I didn’t need to start anything with the Russians...”
“There were priests imprisoned in the Želiv internment camp, and we supplied meat to their kitchen. They had a ration of about 8 dkg, and depending on how bold we happened to be feeling, we’d slip two salamis or something under the meat. Except the cook didn’t give those to them at all, but instead she’d take it home for herself. She stole the meat, and then she informed on us for giving it to them.”
“The Communists got the upper hand again, and they locked me up. But because I behaved well, they didn’t transfer me anywhere, and they left me in Jihlava. I begged them, so that my family could visit me easily. Jarka waited for me... And when the day of the trial was set, they didn’t know what to do with me. So they gave me an extra heel of bread for breakfasts. They even took me to the doctor... There was one [woman] from Sedlice imprisoned here as well, but we didn’t meet each other. They had a smithy downstairs. Those are not happy memories, really. But even though they upped my food like that and they allowed me to go for walks in the courtyard, people still failed to recognise me in the bus on the way home from prison afterwards.”
I don’t want to disappoint you, but I’m not a Communist
Ludmila Zadníčková, née Mrťková, was born on 8 January 1919 in Želiv. Her mother was supposedly an illegitimate child of the Lobkowicz family, her father was the son of the Želiv gravedigger, where he later built himself a house and opened a cloth shop. The witness trained as a dressmaker. She married the butcher Jaroslav Zadníček and bore him two daughters, Ludmila and Jaroslava. After the war the couple bought and successfully managed Psot’s Butchery in Želiv. In 1950 the monastery in Želiv was turned into an internment camp for priests, monks, and nuns from the whole country. The Zadníčeks supplied meat to the camp and tried to make things better for the prisoners. The witness acted as a go-between for correspondence between the inmates and their families. However, the group of supporters was informed on and arrested. Ludmila Zadníčková was sentenced to six years, despite having two small children. She was released in 1953 by an amnesty declared after the death of Czechoslovak president Klement Gottwald. She lost thirty kilogrammes during her stay in prison. The Communists nationalised the family butchery, and after her release the witness was allocated to the textile mill Sukno in Brunka near Humpolec. Her daughters were barred from studying because of their mother’s background profile. The witness later worked as a pub manager in Sedlice. Ludmila Zadníčková died in March 2014 at the age of 95.