The communist prison broke my father. He was a body without soul when he came back.
Vladimír Zářecký was born on 20 May 1944 in Žamberk and he grew up in the family of a farmer in Kunvald. Both parents, Jaroslav (1912-1970) and Antonie (1914-1993), came from farmer families. Vladimír and his two older brothers, Jaroslav (1940) and Eduard (1941-2021), had to help with various chores from an early age. There was always plenty to do on the farm with 32 hectares of arable land and 16 hectares of forest. However, times were not kind to private entrepreneurs. After 1948, when the communists came to power, everything changed. In 1950, the German Neugebauer family from Neratov, who lived and worked there, had to leave. The Zářecký family had to surrender their machinery, including a tractor, and in June 1953 the State Secret Police officers arrested his father Jaroslav. A writing was painted on their house, ‘KULAK LIVES HERE’. After eight months of solitary confinement, his father was sentenced to eight years in prison. He served his sentence in uranium mines in Příbram and Jáchymov. Meanwhile, the mother and sons had to fulfil absurdly high deliveries. They worked very hard and without any machinery, the boys couldn’t go to school to be able to get everything done. They had nothing left for themselves. Although the father returned from prison in 1956, it didn’t help the family much. He was forbidden by the court to work at home, and moreover, the communist prison made him a broken man. His funeral in 1970 was monitored by the State Secret Police (StB). Thanks to the support of his teacher Filáček and his uncle Jan Lyer, Vladimír got into the Secondary Industrial School of Construction in Hradec Králové in 1958. He graduated in 1962. After the departure of her older sons to the army and the younger one to school, the mother was left alone at home to work, and so she had no choice but to join the Unified Agricultural Cooperative (JZD) Kunvald in 1959. After graduation Vladimír worked as a bricklayer in JZD Kunvald, then at the regional administration of monuments in Pardubice. In 1963-1965 he was in the road army. In 1965 he married Václava Šípková, born in 1947, they moved to Letohrad and had three daughters, born in 1966, 1969 and 1979. Although he was always interested in politics, he listened to his father’s warning and did not become politically involved in 1968. He worked in OEZ Letohrad, then in Montostav Letohrad. In November 1989 he participated in demonstrations in Prague and joined the Civic Forum in Letohrad. After the opening of the border he went to work in Germany. In the 1990s, the Zářecký family restored their family farm in Kunvald and his brother Jaroslav started farming there again after forty years. Vladimír retired in 2006. In 2022 he lived with his family in Letohrad.