Jarmila Gajová

* 1937

  • "When I think of the road we took from Pilsen to Karlovy Vary, the so-called Krásná Ves, or whatever it's called, it was a horror. Velichov too, it's a beautiful village nowadays, but when we came here, I can tell you that we cried with horror. We didn't know anyone here..." - "Was everything empty?" - "It wasn't empty, it was already occupied. After 1945, the communists needed to occupy the depopulated borderlands, because they had evicted the Germans. So there were farms and houses, beautiful, and nobody in them. Owners of little houses from northern Bohemia, from Hradec Králové, from Kolín... that's how the borderlands were being inhabited, they offered them a house or a farm and these people moved in and started farming. The village was being put together, because the original inhabitants were not there, from complete strangers who gradually moved in and occupied the houses. When we came in 1953, it was already occupied and inhabited, but the people didn't have the sense of community that they used to have in the village that had lived there for hundreds of years."

  • "I have one more ugly memory of 1945 as a small child. I was walking home from school with my friends, there were three or four of us. And there was a big farmhouse with a big garden on the edge of the village, and there were maybe a hundred Germans sitting on the ditch, I don't know if they were prisoners of war. They were led by our so-called..., I don't know what they were engaged in, they were called hurrah partisans. They were leading them there as guards, I don't know where they were leading them, where they were leading them from, it was probably from the labour camp that was behind Kolvín, but I don't know. Being curious children, we stopped there, walking around and looking. They were having a rest there, because they probably couldn't go anymore, drinking water and eating bread. The guards were walking among them and guarding them, unfortunately they were Czechs. So we were standing there, watching, they were all stunned. One of the middle-aged Germans had his shirt unbuttoned and on his shirt there was a beautiful, big gold cross hanging around his neck. Then one of the guards who had been going around came and told us to go. He came up to him and ripped the cross off his neck by force, and the man got such a blow that he had a ten-centimeter bloody bubble by his nose. So that's one of my most horrible experiences."

  • "Once we came to the fence and there was a hairy, scruffy guy sitting there, he seemed horrible to us. So we started screaming and went to tell our parents. Our parents chased us away, it was one of the partisans. Dad went to see him afterwards, made a deal with him, sent him somewhere. I know that after that they brought him food to the hay barn and that my dad also gave him boots, back then they used to be given work boots, nowadays they call them canadas [combat boots, trans.], because he had nothing to walk in." - "Were they Czech partisans?" - "They were Russians. One day in the late afternoon they called Dad from the forestry administration in Padrť to come there immediately. So he left and he wasn´t coming back, wasn´t coming back. I know that it was evening, dark, my mother was praying, kneeling, crying, because she thought that they had caught the partisan and that he had revealed that he had the boots from my father. But it was a bit different, it was really a few days before the end. We had a beautiful Aero car, we used to sit in the boot as kids, if you know what the first Aero cars were like, I can't tell you the number. The Germans wanted both from the director, who had a little Tudor, and we had an Aero, to buy the cars, these high ranking officers, and they wanted to leave. In the end it ended up so that my dad came back and it was all right because they wanted to buy the cars and they didn't buy them in the end and I don't know how they got [away]."

  • Celé nahrávky
  • 1

    Karlovy Vary, 20.07.2023

    délka: 01:24:22
Celé nahrávky jsou k dispozici pouze pro přihlášené uživatele.

Her father refused to join the Communist Party and they were sent to the Sudetenland. They eventually found a home here

Witness Jarmila Gajová in the Memory of Nations studio in 2023
Witness Jarmila Gajová in the Memory of Nations studio in 2023
zdroj: Post Bellum

Jarmila Gajová, née Müllerová, was born on 17 September 1937. From childhood she grew up in the now vanished villages in the Brdy Highlands, where her father worked as an administrator of military forests. During World War II, the family supported the uncle who was imprisoned by the Nazis in concentration camps. Her father also helped Soviet partisans towards the end of the war. However, after the war, he was suspected of collaborating with the Nazis with whom he had come into contact professionally, but his brother-in-law who had been in prison interceded on his behalf. In 1953, the communists moved Oldřich Müller to the newly established military area of Hradiště in the Sudetenland because he did not want to join the Communist Party. From 1956 onwards, the witness worked as a teacher in Kyselka. She married Václav Gaja, who was a civil engineer at the military forests, and they had a daughter together. During the invasion in August 1968, they were escorted from their holiday in Rügen by German police officers to Czechoslovakia. During teachers´ background checks, the witness then refused to sign the approval to the entry of Warsaw Pact troops. The Müller and Gaja families spent a large part of their lives in Velichov in the Charity building, which used to be a hospice for wealthy Germans. She was still living in Velichov in 2023.