One of these ‘dangerous women’ was Dagmar Šimková, who later produced a In Byly jsme tam taky, Šimková explains how her family were. Byly jsme tam taky by Dagmar Šimkova · Byly jsme tam taky. by Dagmar Šimkova . Print book. Czech. [Erscheinungsort nicht ermittelbar]: Sixty-Eight Publ. Byly jsme tam taky by Dagmar Šimková, , available at Book Depository with free delivery worldwide.

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Kelly also writes a blog The Imkob East and she tweets as kellyhignett and thevieweast. In the years after World War Two, the communist consolidation of control across Eastern Europe was accompanied by mass repression.

Dagmar Šimková

On this basis, they were incarcerated and subjected to forced labour in a range of areas including agriculture, textiles and industrial production. During their internment, these women imokv poor living conditions, hygiene and medical care and often suffered violence, abuse and humiliation from the penal authorities. Their house was confiscated by the Communists and both Dagmar and her older sister Marta were prevented from completing their University studies.


Marta fled Czechoslovakia inbut Dagmar became involved in underground resistance activities, printing and distributing anti-communist leaflets and posters mocking the new Czechoslovakian leader, Klement Gottwald. In Octoberfollowing a failed attempt to help two male friends escape to the West to avoid compulsory military service, she was imkv, aged just She was subsequently sentenced to fifteen years in prison.

For example, she described how during one lengthy interrogation, she was repeatedly forbidden to use the toilet, and her eventual inability to control her bladder was characterised as a female failure: After another hour my body gave up.

I soiled the carpet.

Dagmar Šimková – Dangerous Women Project

Unfortunately, her freedom was short-lived. She was found two days later, asleep in a haystack at a nearby farm and was returned to camp, where an additional three years was added to her existing prison term as a punishment Formankova and Zaloudek, We called ourselves by diminutives … We are noblewomen.

We watch imiov every move, intonation and expression carefully.

Two years later, during the temporary liberalisation of the Prague Spring of she played a key role in establishing Kthe first organisation to represent former political prisoners in Czechoslovakia. She also worked with Amnesty International, continuing to campaign for better prison conditions until her death in see Formankova and Zaloudek, Women who endured communist-era repression have often been reluctant to disclose the details of the traumatic and humiliating experiences they endured during their incarceration.


A number of accounts by women who were imprisoned for political reasons in communist Czecholovakia are available online, at Politicalprisoners.

Urad Dokumentace a vysetrovani zlocinu komunismu. Stalinist Terror in Eastern Europe: Elite Purges and Mass Repression. Reproduced with kind permission of the Czech National Archives.

References and suggested further reading: Jana Rehak Czech Political Prisoners: Patrick and Michael Murphey. You may also like. Human Rights and Dangerous Women.