Karl Affenzeller

* 1950

  • "What else comes to mind is that when the Sudeten Germans were expelled, there were simply no workers on the farm. The cows were dying, starving, sick. I remember my father saying to me: 'Look, the grass has not been cut for twenty years.' I see it like today, there was a Czech in blue overalls who came to cut it with a scythe... Moreover, the feed… there was not good quality farming because the feed was so bad... The harvest depends on the weather, a good harvest brings good feed. There was no expertise in these people because the original people were expelled, and someone else was settled here who knew nothing or very little about farming."

  • "Back then, as children, we visited an abandoned farm, it was already half-demolished, but there were machines and wagons. We had not even got inside before a border guard and his dog were standing there asking us what we were doing there. So, we said we were curious. It was all right, but he told us not to go there anymore."

  • "My grandmother came from Oppolz, today it is called the village of Tichá. They used to say: 'If you marry from the Sudetenland in Bohemia to Austria, you will starve.' There was always a big feast in Cetviny. It was usually always on St. Sebastian's Day – named after the saint. That is probably where my parents met. It was not an easy time. Everybody who had farming was self-sufficient, they were always well off, they had something to eat. That was not the case with the families of the employees."

  • "The explosions were so strong that people in Leopoldschalg said: 'Soup was pouring out of the bowl...' That is how strong the tremors were. In our village it was also very strong, and then probably because of people's complaints the Czech authorities were notified and I remember our customs officer saying: 'Tomorrow at 13:30 there will be a blast. Open the windows so that the window panes will not be broken by the shock wave.' Those were the blasts in Cetviny."

  • Celé nahrávky
  • 1

    Freistadt, 02.09.2020

    (audio)
    délka: 53:38
Celé nahrávky jsou k dispozici pouze pro přihlášené uživatele.

If you marry from the Sudetenland to Austria, you will starve... They do not have anything decent there

Karl Affenzeller during childhood
Karl Affenzeller during childhood
zdroj: Archiv Karl Affenzeller

Karel Affenzeller was born on 13 August 1950 in Mairspindt near Windhaag, Austria. His paternal grandmother Teresa came from the village of Tichá on the Czech side of the Czech-Austrian border and married into Mairspindt. His father, Franz Affenzeller, enlisted in the Wehrmacht during World War II and did not return from French captivity until 1947. He met his future wife Rosina Drechsler at a festival in nearby Cetviny and married a year later. Their family farm called At Reisingers’ and its land stretched exactly along the Malše river and thus along the border zone. Karl Affenzeller witnessed the blasting of the houses in Cetviny in the 1950s and the manning of the guard towers in the Iron Curtain zone. In 1967 he went to České Budějovice on a moped. In 1975 he took over the operation of the farm from his parents. Today he runs an inn and accommodation for Czech and Austrian tourists near the stone bridge.