Libuše and Mirek Masaříkovi, U Opavice 4, July 24, 2018

“We were happy here, we found great friends; it was a completely different sense of community back then . . .”

The Masaříks moved to the U Opavice 4 apartment block in May of 1965, and they have raised a son and a daughter here. They filed their application for an apartment in Opava in 1962. They were already married then but had nowhere to live. Mr. Masařík was at that time dispatched on a construction work assignment all the way to Kralupy nad Vltavou and Mrs. Masaříková worked as an ambulance assistant at the Opava psychiatric hospital and lived in a rented flat. Later she worked at the Silesia company as a lift maintenance technician. For a few years after moving to U Opavice 4, Mr. Masařík was employed at the Opava construction company, but in 1969 he lost his job for political reasons and eventually was hired at the Agricultural Building Association. When the couple were assigned a three-room apartment in the U Opavice block, they were very happy. In the interview they compare the living conditions in their U Opavice flat with the way their parents lived. Mrs. Masařík’s family, for instance, consisted of seven members, and they all shared a two-room flat in Horní Benešov. The Masaříks also discuss the socialist brigades and how important it was for the coop members to improve and cultivate the surroundings to make the living here pleasant. The brigades also provided an opportunity for the tenants of the apartment blocks to meet and get to know one another. Mr. Masařík further reflects on the advantages of cooperative housing, as well as on the generation gap. The current generation of new residents mostly do not have the same relationship to the place as the original tenants, who invested much shared work and effort into the vicinity improvement.