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Milada Cábová (1924 - 2015) - Biography

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We got on the train and one part of our lifes ended at that very moment.

Mrs. Milada Cábová, by maiden name Říhová, was born on March 1, 1924 in Lidice. The Říhas raised two daughters, Milada and her sister Věra who was ten years older and from a previous marriage (the first husband died in WWI). The Říha family lived in house number 89 in Lidice. Milada attended the first five grades of the local grammar school. After that she attended school in nearby Buštěhrad. After the eight mandatory years of school, she attended the ninth paid grade and then went to Buštěhrad to study with a local dressmaker. She wasn't able to complete her studies however because in June 1942, she was captured and subsequently transported along with the others to the Kladno town Gymnasium and from there, transported straight to Ravensbruck forced-labor camp in Germany. She and her mom lived in tough conditions there throughout the war. The SS, who were afraid of the upcoming end of the war, tried to get rid of all of the forced-labor camp victims. As a result, Milada and the rest of the women from Lidice were sent on the Schwerin March. The women's procession never made it to Schwerin, however. The guards were so afraid of the Red Army soldiers and the approaching front that they abandoned the women. The women finally arrived to Crivitz, where they met Czech men who were marching from the Sachsenhausen concentration camp. Both groups settled down at the end of the war in a forest camp. They were liberated by the Red army on May 2nd 1945. Antonín Zápotocký, who was among the men from Sachsenhausen, began immediate negotiatations with the Russians. He arranged the transportation of the Lidice women to Neubrandenburg and from there to Kladno. Only at the Czechoslovak border were they told by soldiers about the Lidice village destruction. Milada and her mom then traveled from Kladno to nearby Stehelčeves where her sister and brother in law lived. After two days, Milada´s fiancé, František Cába, came to visit her. He had waited for Milada the entire three years and had regularly sent her packages to Ravensbruck camp. All of the Lidice women were given a flat from the Kladno town managers. Milada and her mom lived in one of these flats until her fiancé got a flat in Prague.  In the meantime, Milada married František in August, 1945. Their son Lubor was born in August, 1946 and four years later, their daughter was born. Milada started to work at Ruzyně Airport in 1961. At first, she was hired as a flight clerk and later she joined the passport/custom department where she was responsible for visas and the exit clause for the flight staff. At the same time she also completed her education at evening school and passed the graduation exams. She presently lives in Lidice.

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