Jiřina Žerebná

* 1931

  • "We had nice times until the forty-eighth year. People were nice to each other. But after the forty-eighth, after that, they didn't trust each other anymore. The atmosphere changed. People were afraid to say anything, because they didn't want to end up in jail, and so on. And then in the fifties, they started to force the farmers to join the Unified Agricultural Cooperative (JZD). My parents didn't join until sometime in the seventies or eighties. My mother was very ill and she couldn't work much, so we did a lot of work for her to make a living. They tried to talk her into joining the cooperative, 'You could go to the chicken farm,' but she replied, 'You've got others for that.' My parents still had to do the levy, and they were given the bad infertile fields around the woods and far away, as a punishment for not joining."

  • There were a lot of them, but they were decent. They also ate at our place, my mother prepared food for them. And they had a harmonica and they said, 'Oh, God, oh, God, what's going to happen with us...' And my mother replied, 'It's going to be okay.' And they said, 'No, no, Stalin is no good. Stalin like this...' [eloquent gesture]. Then they had a meeting near Lnáře with the Russians and they had to... according to some treaties and so on, they had to hand them over to the Russians. Even this Vlasov was there, and they... they took them all. The Americans didn't have the option under some treaties, so they had to hand them over. So the Vlasovs ended badly... that were shot dead..."

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    Blatná, 06.08.2021

    (audio)
    duration: 01:06:08
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
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People didn’t trust each other after 1948

Jiřina Žerebná
Jiřina Žerebná
photo: archív pamětnice

Jiřina Žerebná, née Říská, was born on 22 April 1931 in Kocelovice, a village near the South Bohemian town of Blatná. Her father owned a small farm with three hectares of fields in Kocelovice, which supported his large family of five children. Jiřina had a difficult childhood, together with her siblings she helped her parents from an early age and immediately after finishing primary school she started working. In Kocelovice she lived through the war, its end and the beginnings of collectivisation in the 1950s. She witnessed how the difficult times of the war brought the villagers together and how the collectivisation in the fifties irreversibly disrupted relations between people. Thanks to the location of Kocelovice - the demarcation line passed through the village at the end of the war - Jiřina came into contact with American and Soviet soldiers, but also with the Vlasov soldiers of the Russian Liberation Army. At the beginning of the 1950s, her parents were the only ones in the village who refused to join the Unified Agricultural Cooperative (JZD). Jiřina married in 1951 and moved to Blatná, where she still lived at the time of the interview (2021).